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Overcoming Difficulties

An assembly from the Culham St Gabriel archive

Suitable for Whole School (Pri)


To consider how we can deal with difficulties that we encounter.

Preparation and materials

  • You will need an old copy of the Yellow Pages or any thick magazine.


  1. Show the children the copy of the Yellow Pages (you may need to explain what it is!) or the thick magazine.

    Invite volunteers to see if they can tear the book in half. When the volunteers fail to do so, ask if everyone thinks it is impossible. Show the children that you cannot complete the task either.

  2. Ask for ideas as to how it might be possible to tear the book.

    Listen to a range of responses.

  3. Demonstrate that, although the pages of the book cannot be ripped in one go, they could be ripped one page at a time. It would take a while, but eventually, the whole book could be ripped in half.

  4. Explain that sometimes, the problems and difficulties that we face can seem very big. However, if we deal with them a little bit at a time, we can get through them. Sometimes, problems appear so big that there seems to be no way round them. However, if we think about taking small steps, we can make progress.

  5. Ask the children if they remember learning to swim or ride a bike. For some children, learning these skills will have been very difficult. However, by taking small steps such as using a float or wearing armbands, or having a grown-up hold on to the bike seat, the difficulties are gradually overcome, little by little.

Time for reflection

Ask the children to be silent and think about something that they are finding difficult at the moment. Remind them that this could be achieving something such as learning to swim, ride a bike, read or remember their times tables. However, it could also be a difficulty that they are facing within their family or among their friends. After a short time, lead into the prayer.

Dear God,
When we find things difficult, please help us to keep going.
Thank you for all the people who help us to take small steps to overcome our problems.
Please help us to be there for other people who are facing difficulties today.


‘One more step’ (Come and Praise, 47)

Follow-up ideas

Art and design. Use footprint shapes to construct pictures such as the petals of large flowers.

Write some step-by-step instructions to perform a simple task such as making a cup of tea.

Geography. Explore giving directions and map work.

Publication date: May 2020   (Vol.22 No.5)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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