We’re All Going on a Summer Holiday
by The Children's Society
Suitable for Key Stage 2
To help children understand difficulties they or their friends may face over the summer (SEAL theme 7: Changes).
Preparation and materials
- Read Megan’s story (available at: childrenssociety.org.uk/what-you-can-do/fundraising-and-events/megans-story).
- Familiarize yourself with the story of when Jesus sends out the 72 disciples in Luke 10.1–2 and have the passage available to read in the ‘Time for reflection’ part of the assembly.
1. Point out how, right now, at school, everyone is in the same place. To represent this ask the children to link arms with the person next to them. Once they have linked arms, tell them to firmly hold their own hands together so that each row forms a strong, long chain.
Ask everyone to stay seated and make sure they all keep their hands together. They must not move unless they have a name beginning with A, E, I, O or U.
If they do, ask them to keep their arms linked and hands together, but slowly stand up without breaking the chain. It should be very difficult or impossible (and, hopefully, fun and noisy!)
2. Ask the children why they weren’t able to stand up. They should answer that it’s because they were moving away from each other. Explain how this is like what happens over the summer holidays. Ask, ‘How did it feel when you couldn’t stand up?’
3. Now ask them all to stand up together. It should be fairly easy. Ask them to sit down all together.
Point out that they needed to work together and stay linked otherwise it didn’t work. This is what friendship and teamwork are all about.
4. Explain that there are only so many weeks left of term (encourage a cheer). The summer holidays are nearly here (encourage another cheer). Over the year, hopefully they have become more of a team and have more friends (encourage a final cheer).
When school finishes, though, they won’t all get to meet up as often. They will be going off to different places.
Not everyone looks forward to the summer holidays. Ask, ‘Can you think why that might be?’ They might say that it is because they miss their friends, they don’t get to go on a holiday, their parents and family may argue and so on. Ask, ‘How does it feel when we don’t have anyone we can trust and have fun with?’
5. Tell the children about Megan.
Megan’s favourite subject is maths and she wants to be a firefighter one day, but she became so unhappy at home that she ran away.
Did you know that, in our country, children like Megan run away from home every five minutes! Ask if anyone can tell you, therefore, how many children run away every hour.
Reflect on how sad they must have felt to leave their homes.
It doesn’t have to stay like this. Megan was able to speak to someone trustworthy and become her friend. Together they worked out her problems so she could enjoy being at home again.
6. Explain that one way we can all help those who may not be looking forward to the summer holidays is to stay linked, to be a friend to someone who may be having a tough time.
The Children’s Society works with children and young people who live in poverty and face adolescent neglect. It works with children who have run away from home to make sure that they are able to grow up in a safe environment, so we become a country in which children are free from disadvantage.
7. If you would like to support The Children's Society’s work with children like Megan, you can find some great resources at childrenssociety.org.uk/summer
Time for reflection
Say to the children, ‘Over the summer, let’s make an extra effort to stay in touch and stay as a team, even when we are in different places, so that no one is unhappy or lonely.’
Read Luke 10.1–2.
Then, ask the children to look to their left and right, then around them. Just as Jesus encouraged his disciples to go out in pairs, as they heard in Luke 10.1–2, encourage them to think of one person they may not normally speak to over the holidays and make sure they stay in touch. That way everyone will stay linked together. Explain that then, as a team, they will be able to support those who otherwise might not enjoy the summer holidays.
Thank you that I’m not alone, but have friends I can talk to.
Thank you that there is always help available, no matter what the situation is.
Please help us all to look out for each other over the summer holiday.
‘I belong to a family, the biggest on earth’ (Come and Praise, 69)