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The Best Year

Writing a letter to 'future me' as a way of assessing our aims for the coming year

by Hannah Knight

Suitable for Key Stage 2

Aims

To reflect upon and celebrate the past year and to make plans for the coming year.

Preparation and materials

  • PowerPoint presentation displaying images of pupils participating in events and activities in school during the previous year.
  • Optional: Video recording showing pupils describing the things that they enjoyed most and found the most difficult during the previous year, or have children prepared to carry this out during the assembly.
  • Optional: Paper and pens for the children to record a letter to ‘future me’ describing the new things they would like to do and learn in the coming year.

Assembly

1. Show the PowerPoint presentation of the pupils' involvement in events and activities in school during the previous year. Point out that during the year many successful events have happened and there are many things that the pupils should feel proud about. Go into detail about a few events that have taken place and explain how they have impacted/influenced the school.

Ask the children if they can think of other events in school that they particularly remember from the previous year.

2. Ask if anyone can remember any special world events that have happened in the previous year.

Listen to a range of answers.

Remind the children that every year is different from the previous one and this is what makes life so exciting. Imagine if every year was the same and how uninspiring that would be. We are all curious human beings and that is why it is important always to be ready to learn new things, meet new people and to have new experiences.

3. We are going to consider three statements that will help us think about and assess last year: I made a difference; I learnt new things; I grew as a person.

I made a difference
Put your hand up if you think you have done something this year that has made a positive difference to someone else.
Put both hands up if you think you could do more this year.

Making a difference for someone else is a great accomplishment, or thing to do. Many people say that putting a smile on someone else’s face will lead to you feeling happier yourself, just like the feeling you get when you give a present to your friend or a member of your family.
This year, let’s try to think of new and exciting ways in which we can make a difference - this is your chance to be creative, have lots of fun and help others.

4. I learnt new things
During the past year we have all learnt new things both inside and outside school. Learning like this expands our minds and prepares us for the future. Learning new skills is a great way to gain pride in our accomplishments, to make new friends, boost confidence and even discover a hidden talent that we hadn’t realized we possessed.
Some examples of new skills could include:
- learning to play an instrument
-
learning a new language
- learning how to cook
-
learning a sport or martial art
- learning how to fundraise for charity, and lots more 
The start of a new year is a good time to think about the new skills we would like to learn and to consider how we could achieve this.

5. I grew as a person
Each year, not only do we expand our minds and develop new skills, but we also grow as people. This doesn’t mean that we become taller (although many children will do this) - it means that we begin to understand ourselves better. We understand more about what makes us different from other people and what we like and dislike about ourselves.
We grow in many different ways, including:
-
becoming wiser when making decisions
- being more appreciative of the things we have
-
loving our new friends and family members
- becoming independent and even being brave about new situations
Take this time to think about how you have grown as a person in the previous year.

6. So far in this assembly we have discussed what we have achieved and learnt in the previous year. Now let’s consider how we want to make a difference, learn new things and grow as people in the coming year.

Suggest that the children write a letter beginning Dear future me . . . or make a list of the things they would like to achieve. Point out that sometimes it is good to have goals, but sometimes it is good just to take opportunities as they arise!

Time for reflection

Close your eyes and think about all we have to grateful for. Think about those who may not have the luxuries that we do, including a good education. Let us think about how we can help others to lead happy and fulfilling lives and how helping others can encourage kindness in our community and around the world.
Let’s pause to think about the coming year. Do we need to make any changes that will enable us to make a difference, learn new things and grow as people?

Prayer
Dear God,
Thank you for the past year and all that we have learnt and experienced.
Please help us in all we do this coming year.
Amen.

Song/music

Foo Fighters, 'Next Year'

Publication date: January 2016   (Vol.18 No.1)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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