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The Importance of Saying 'Thank You'

An assembly in the ‘Hello, Scruff!’ series

by Revd Sylvia Burgoyne

Suitable for Reception / Key Stage 1


To consider how important it is to thank people for their kindness to us.

Preparation and materials

  • You will need a glove puppet or sock puppet of a donkey, called Scruff.
  • As the assembly begins, ensure that you already have Scruff the puppet on your hand.


1. Scruff waves to the children. Encourage them to say 'Hello Scruff!'
If this is the first time the children have met Scruff, you will need to use the following introduction.
Scruff lives on a farm with Lucy Jane, her mum, Mrs B, her dad, Farmer Brown, and her baby brother, Tom. Lucy Jane loves Scruff. She looks after him. She plays with him and she talks to him when she’s happy and when she’s sad. Scruff is her best friend!

2. Scruff was worried. Lucy Jane had gone off to school on Monday morning as usual, but Farmer Brown had brought her home again before lunchtime.

Has anyone any ideas why this might have happened?

Lucy Jane hadn’t seen Scruff looking over the gate of the field because Mrs B had come running out to the car and taken Lucy straight into the farmhouse.
Lucy Jane usually came to feed Scruff at teatime. Instead, Farmer Brown brought him in from the field and led him back to the stable. As he gave him his daily brush, he said: 'I'm afraid you’ll have to put up with me for a few days, Scruff. Lucy Jane has chicken pox and will have to stay indoors.'
Scruff was sad. He missed his friend Lucy Jane. He kept trotting across the farmyard and standing under her bedroom window.
‘Hee-haw! Hee-haw!’ he called, hoping that she could hear him.

Has anyone any idea what Scruff wanted to tell Lucy Jane?

On the third morning, Lucy Jane was looking out of the window when Scruff came along.
‘I’m covered in itchy spots, Scruff,’ Lucy Jane explained. ‘But I’m feeling a lot better now. Mum says I can come out to see you this afternoon if it’s sunny.’
Scruff was very happy. Lucy Jane sat at the picnic table and Scruff thought how funny she looked with spots all over her face, arms and legs.
‘They’re all over my tummy too, Scruff,’ said Lucy. ‘Mum says that I can’t go back to school until they all disappear. I’m infectious!'

Does anyone know what the word ‘infectious’ means? Can you think of any other infectious illnesses?

Suddenly, Lucy Jane laughed. ‘I don’t think you can catch chicken pox, Scruff!’ she said.
Scruff loved having Lucy Jane at home every day. The weather was warm and sunny and Mrs B gave her lots of different things to do to keep her busy as she sat outside in the sunshine with Scruff.

Can you think of anything that Lucy Jane might be doing?

When Mrs B had done all the jobs in the house and baby Tom was having a nap, she read Lucy Jane a story, or they played games like Snakes and Ladders whilst drinking glasses of cool juice. Scruff wanted to look after Lucy Jane too, so he took her for lots of rides around the farmyard and across the field to the river.
On Friday afternoon Mrs B finished reading a story and said: 'All your spots have gone now Lucy Jane. You’ll be able to go back to school on Monday.'
'Hoorah!' shouted Lucy Jane. 'I'll be able to play with my friends again! Thank you, Mum, for looking after me until I was well again. Thank you, Scruff, for being my best friend!'
 Lucy Jane gave Mum and Scruff a big hug. She was glad she had people who cared for her.

Take off Scruff.

3. Let’s listen to a story from the Bible about some people who forgot to say thank you even though Jesus did something very kind.

Ten men with leprosy came to see Jesus. Jesus’ friends quickly moved away from them. They didn’t want to catch this infectious illness.
However, Jesus spoke kindly to the men and said, ‘Go on your way, and you will soon be better.’
As the men walked along, they saw that their sore skin was healed! They couldn’t wait to go back home to their families again because they weren’t infectious anymore.
However, one of the men stopped, turned around and went back along the road to find Jesus. He wanted to say thank you.
Jesus was happy to see him, but very sad that the other nine men hadn’t come back to say thank you for making them well again.

Time for reflection

Can you think of any people that you would like to say thank you for?
Can you think of any other things that you would like to say thank you for?
Let’s remember to say thank you today!

Dear Lord,
Thank you for the people who care for us when we are sick.
Thank you for doctors, nurses, mums, dads, teachers, grandparents [a
sk the children to include their own suggestions here . . . ]
and for all the people who care for us.

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