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What Is a Friend?

An assembly from the Culham St Gabriel archive

Suitable for Key Stage 1


To consider what it means to be a friend.

Preparation and materials

  • You will need a copy of Old Bear by Jane Hissey.

  • You will also need a volunteer to read the Bible passage, Luke 6.12-17.


  1. Ask the children to spend a quiet moment thinking about their friends. Ask them, ‘What is a friend?’

    Listen to a range of responses.

    Ask the children, What kind of person makes a good friend?’

    Listen to a range of responses.

  2. Read the story of Old Bear by Jane Hissey.

    At the end of the story, encourage the children to think about the characteristics that the main characters showed. Ask what it was about the things that they did that made it so clear that they were friends.

  3. Explain that friends are often groups of people who have things in common. In Old Bear, the toys all belong to the same child. The toys are fond of Old Bear and they all want to help him down from the attic.

    Ask the children to think about the things that they have in common with their friends. Explain that sometimes, our friends enjoy different things from those that we enjoy. Sometimes, it’s important to try new activities and experiences for the sake of our friends and sometimes, it’s good to let them go off with other people and carry out activities without us.

  4. Explain that sometimes, people can feel left out. Encourage the children to think about children who seem left out or on their own. Is there anything they could do to help them to share a common interest?

Time for reflection

Ask a volunteer to read Luke 6.12-17.

Point out that even Jesus needed friends around him.

Ask the children to think about their friends and why they like them so much. Ask them to think about what they could do to be a better friend. Encourage them to try to put this into practice during the coming week.

Dear Lord,
Thank you for my friends.
Thank you for their kindness, support, patience and company.
Help me to be a good friend to other people.
Help me to be kind and friendly to those who struggle to make friends.


I have seen the golden sunshine (Someones Singing, Lord, A&C Black, 2002 edition)

Follow-up ideas

  • The children could draw around their hands, and then give each finger a specific theme. For example, they could choose their favourite hobby, colour, food and game and the most important person in their life.

    Create a display with common links from the childrens work. Using lengths of coloured wool, draw lines from the childrens fingers to headings such as Our favourite colour is red, Our favourite food is chips and so on.

  • Think back to the list of ideas prompted by the question, What is a friend? Make a new list in class or during group work so that the children can extend their ideas.

  • Encourage the children to draw a picture of a friend and add words that are appropriate to that friend. Older children could be encouraged to draw a picture of themselves or to use a photograph and write down some of the characteristics that they have decided make a good friend.
Publication date: July 2021   (Vol.23 No.7)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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