A Good Friend Is . . .
An assembly from the Culham St Gabriel archive
Suitable for Whole School (Pri) - Church Schools
To consider the qualities of a good friend.
Preparation and materials
You will need to familiarize yourself with the story that is used during the assembly.
Have you ever felt nervous about something? Maybe you were taking an exam, acting in a school show or worried about joining a new club.
Listen to a range of responses.
I want to tell you a story about a young man called Danny. As I tell the story, I want you to think about how you might have felt if you were in the same position.
Danny was feeling nervous. He was wondering if anyone would speak to him, whether people would be nice to him and whether he would make any friends. He had a funny feeling in his tummy: it was a mixture of feeling a bit excited, a bit scared and a bit lonely. He didn’t usually want his big sister to take him to school, because he thought he was old enough to go by himself. But today, he was glad that she was there.
You see, Danny was starting a new school. His mum had changed her job, which meant that the family had had to move to another town miles away from where he was born. Danny didn't mind moving because they had got a new house and he had a big bedroom all to himself. He was able to spread out all his toys and books, and his mum had painted the walls of his room bright red - his favourite colour!
However, this morning was scary. Danny had to leave his lovely new bedroom and all his toys and books and go to his new school where he didn't know anybody. As he walked past the school railings, he stopped to look at the new school. It looked very different from the one he had just left - his new school was a tall, brick building with a huge playground. All the children were running around with their friends while they waited for the bell to ring for the beginning of the day.
‘Come on, Danny!’ his sister complained, starting to get impatient. ‘Stop hanging around! You're going to make us late. The head teacher is waiting to see you.’
Danny’s sister took hold of his arm and led him through the school gates and into the playground. Danny felt very frightened . . .
Ask the question, 'I wonder, what do you think happened next?'
Listen to a range of answers.
Explore possible scenarios, encouraging the children to imagine how the characters in the story would feel in each scenario. In particular, think about the impact other children could have had upon Danny. Discuss the actions that different children could have taken. Ask the children to decide if Danny had a good day or an unhappy day at school.
Time for reflection
Ask the question, 'How do you behave when someone new arrives at this school?'
If there have been recent new arrivals at the school, you may like to ask them how they felt and what made them feel especially welcome.
It is important that we all make the effort to welcome new people. However, there may also be children who have been in the school for a long time, but still feel left out or lonely. Let’s all make an effort to watch out for these children and encourage them to become our friends.
Thank you, God, for all our friends.
Thank you for the fun and laughter we share together.
Please help our friendships to always be open to the needs of others.
Help us to be generous and thoughtful in all we do together.
'When I needed a neighbour' (Come and Praise, 65)
Think about the qualities of a good friend. Create an acrostic based on the letters of FRIENDS, illustrating some of the qualities that you have identified.
Through drama or role play, explore the scenario of a new arrival in school.