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Preparing to Move On

God is with us wherever we go

by Becky May

Suitable for Key Stage 2 - Church Schools


To help children prepare for changing year group or school (SEAL theme 7: Changes).

Preparation and materials

  • You will need a school photo of yourself, taken when you were approximately the same age as the children. If there will be quite a few children attending the assembly, create an image of the photo and have the means to display it during the assembly.
  • For Church schools, include Step 6, given in the ‘Assembly’, but this is optional.


1. I wonder how you are feeling as we get close to the end of term. Who is looking forward to the school holidays?

Ask for a show of hands.

Who is going away on holiday? Who has something exciting planned? Who is looking forward to not having to get up early every morning?

2. I’m sure you are excited as you look forward to the holidays, but I wonder if you have other feelings, too.

Perhaps some of you are feeling a little unsure about moving on at the end of term. Perhaps you are a bit nervous about the things that will come next.

Some of you will be changing class or teacher and some of you will be changing schools. You might be feeling a mixture of excitement and nerves as you look forward to new opportunities, but perhaps worry a bit about leaving us behind.

3. Some children say to me, ‘I wish I could stay here forever!’ and lots of children say, ‘I don’t want to leave this school, ever!’ I wonder if you feel a bit like that sometimes.

4. Pull out your school photo or display the image of it.

I wonder if you can see who this is.

Invite the children to respond.

Yes, that’s right. That’s me when I was the same age you are now, wearing my school uniform. You see, I haven’t always been a teacher who looked like I do now. I used to be a child, just like you. I used to go to school and learn lots of important things, I used to play with my friends and I used to fall out with them sometimes, too, just like you do!

Actually, I remember when I was this age and, just like you, I was getting ready to change schools, too. I felt really nervous about it and I said to my teacher, ‘Can’t I stay here forever?’ Well, look at me now! Can you imagine how silly I would look if I had stayed at my primary school? Wouldn’t I look silly sitting in a row of children like you, now that I’m this big?

5. You see, every year we get older, taller and, hopefully, wiser. We grow and change and things around us change, too. As we get older, we have to leave behind the things that we know and take a step into the unknown. That can make us feel nervous or unsure, but it can also be very exciting.

As you get ready to move on, to leave us behind and take your places in your new schools, remember this photo of me and think about how silly you would look, still sat here, in your school uniform in a few years’ time!

6.In the Bible, we can read about a time when Jesus’ disciples were preparing for change, just like you are now. Jesus had said to them that he would soon have to leave them to carry on the good work they had been doing without him still being here on Earth.

Jesus had a special friendship with his disciples and they felt very close to him. There were times when he taught them more about God, like we, your teachers, help you to understand things. There were times, too, when he showed them how much he cared for them, making them feel safe and loved. There were times as well when he challenged them to do things that they thought they wouldn’t be able to do.

When Jesus told his disciples that he would be leaving them, they felt very nervous. How would they be able to carry on serving God without him living alongside them?

Before he went, Jesus promised them that he would send a special helper – the Holy Spirit – who would continue to give them power to do the things God asked of them. Although they couldn’t see the Holy Spirit, they were able to continue without Jesus being with them, because God continued to help them through his Holy Spirit.

What’s more, God promises us that, if we ask him, he will be with us wherever we go, whether we are at home, school or even a new place – starting at our new schools, for instance.

Time for reflection

Let us make ourselves really quiet so that we can concentrate on those feelings we have deep down inside ourselves as we now think about the new schools and new places we will be going to.

There are lots of things to look forward to – new experiences, new adventures, new lessons to learn – and, even if we are feeling a bit nervous, we can remember that God goes with us wherever we go so we will not be alone.


Dear Lord,
Thank you that, wherever we go and whatever we do, you are always with us.
As we get ready to leave this school, thank you for all the happy memories and all the lessons we have learned.
Thank you that we do not leave you behind, but you will be with us at our new schools, too.


‘One more step along the world I go’ (Come and Praise, 47)

‘Leavers song’ (Songs for Every Occasion, Out of the Ark Music, 2002)

Publication date: July 2015   (Vol.17 No.7)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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