Winners and Losers
An assembly from the Culham St Gabriel archive
Suitable for Whole School (Pri) - Church Schools
To reflect on the theme of winning and losing.
Preparation and materials
You will need three fish shapes cut from tissue paper and three pieces of card. You will also need to mark a start line and a finish line.
You will need to be familiar with some recent, well-known sporting events such as Euro 2016, Wimbledon, the Olympic Games and so on.
Optional: you may wish to present three medals (these can be made out of paper) for first, second and third place.
Begin by reminding the children about the great sporting events that have been enjoyed during the summer. Ask the children if they can name any of the sporting events and remind them of any from your list in the ‘Preparation and materials’ section – don’t forget to include your school’s sports day in the list of events!
Ask for three volunteers to take part in a ‘flap the fish’ competition. Explain that the volunteers have to use the card to waft the fish from the start line to the finish line. After the game, stage an awards ceremony, awarding a ‘medal’ or sticker for first, second and third place.
Ask the children if they can describe what happens during award ceremonies at sporting competitions such as the Olympic Games.
Ask questions such as the following.
- Where do the athletes stand?
- Why do they stand on the podiums?
- Are all of the podiums the same height?
- Who presents the medals?
Explain that the winners’ podium is one of the ways in which athletes are recognized for what they have achieved. To win a medal takes years of training. It involves getting up very early in the morning, exercising or practising very hard, only eating the right type of food and perhaps even being away from family and friends for long periods of time. If an athlete wins a medal at a huge tournament, it means that, out of all of the countries taking part, the athlete is in the top three in their sport. This makes medal winners people who are worth looking up to. That’s why they get to stand on the winners’ podium at an awards ceremony.
Explain that, even though we may look up to people on a podium, we should never look down on people as if they were less important than we are. Looking down on people means thinking that you are much better than they are. Looking down on other people is very wrong.
Time for reflection
In the Bible, Jesus warned people many times against looking down on others. Here is a story from the Bible (Luke 18.10-14) that Jesus told.
Once, there were two men who went up to the temple to pray. The first man stood alone, away from the second man, and this is what he prayed. ‘Thank you that I’m not like other men, especially that man over there. He does lots of things that you say are wrong, whereas I go without food twice a week and give a tenth of what I earn to charity. Thank you for making me so good.’
But the other man prayed a very different prayer. Not daring to lift up his eyes to heaven, he prayed, ‘God, I have done many wrong things in my life. Please forgive me.’
‘And do you know,’ said Jesus, ‘only one of these men went home with his prayer answered.’
Ask the children which man Jesus is referring to. Remind them that looking down on others is never a good thing to do.
Help us to become people whom others will look up to.
Please help us in everything that we do today.
Most of all, please help us to see the importance of other people.
Help us never to look down on others, but always to remember that everyone is special to you.
‘Come on and celebrate!' (Complete Mission Praise (Marshall Pickering), 99, 2000 edition)