How to use this site    About Us    Submissions    Feedback    Donate    Links - School Assemblies for every season for everyone

Decorative image - Primary

Email Twitter Facebook


Sieves: What Is Worthwhile?

An assembly from the Culham St Gabriel archive

Suitable for Whole School (Pri)


To consider the importance of thinking about decisions and sieving unacceptable things out of our lives.

Preparation and materials

  • Gather a selection of small items such as some sand, rice and lentils. Also collect some small items that appear to be more precious, such as sparkly beads, jewellery, toys or wrapped sweets. Arrange all of the items on a tray.

  • You will also need a colander or sieve. Check that the holes or mesh will separate the precious items from the rice and sand.


  1. Show the tray of items to the children.

    Explain that the tray is a ‘busy’ place, full of lots of things. Some of the things appear precious, some less so. Encourage two or three children to help sort the contents into precious and less precious.

  2. Comment on what the children are doing. Some decisions are easy: the obvious precious things are easy to pull out. Sometimes, however, it is harder to separate the items. For example, the beads and the rice may be of similar size, so the ‘grains’ are more difficult to separate physically. Alternatively, it may be that different people consider different things to be more precious. In the warmth and comfort of school, we may feel that the sparkly beads are more precious. However, if we lived in a country where food was scarce, we would consider the rice much more precious than a bead! The difference between them is less clear.

  3. Ask the children what they might use if they wanted to separate the sand from other objects. Hopefully, someone will suggest a sieve or colander.

  4. Give the children the sieve or colander and ask them to separate the items from the sand.

Time for reflection

Our lives can be a bit like the full tray. They contain plenty of wonderful things, but there are also things we come across that are not so good. We are often faced with difficult choices in our lives. Should we avoid getting into trouble or should we take something that isn’t ours because we want or need it? Should we join in with people who are being unkind? Should we tell the truth? Should we work hard? Should we be rude?

We have lots of decisions to make and we need to think about them carefully.

Christians believe that God is like a kind of sieve in their lives. By remembering his teaching in the Bible, by remembering his rules for how they should live their lives, Christians believe that God can help them to separate the good from the bad so that they can leave the bad things behind and fill their lives with good things such as love, peace, joy and kindness.

Dear God,
When we have difficult decisions to make, help us to consider others and choose well.
Help us to remember all the important lessons we have learnt in our lives.
Help us to live our lives with kindness and honesty.


‘When God made the garden of creation’ (Come and Praise, 16)

Publication date: April 2023   (Vol.25 No.4)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
Print this page