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A Child’s Resolutions

Hopes and dreams for the future

by Jan Edmunds (revised, originally published in 2009)

Suitable for Whole School (Pri)


To encourage us to discuss our hopes and dreams for the future and how we can achieve them.

Preparation and materials

  • No preparation is necessary for this assembly although you may wish to display the poem in the ‘Assembly’, Step 2, and ask the children to join in with the reading of it. Alternatively, you may wish to prearrange for four children to read the four verses of the poem.


  1. Remind the children that January marks the beginning of a new year. For many, this means making resolutions. People usually make resolutions because they want to improve themselves.

    Ask the children if they have made any resolutions or know someone who has.

    Listen to a range of responses.

  2. Explain to the children that they are going to listen to a poem about a boy called Matthew. Matthew is a boy, but the poem could be about any boy or girl in the room. Matthew often found himself in trouble, so he decided that he ought to make some New Year’s resolutions.

    Ask the children to listen to the poem and see if they can spot the ways in which Matthew feels that he ought to try to improve. Ask them to think about whether any of Matthew’s resolutions could also apply to them.

    Matthew’s resolutions
    It’s a new year, it’s a new day.
    I resolve to be better in every way.
    I’ll try to work harder at lessons in school.
    I’ll try to remember to keep every rule.

    I’ll try to be friendly with all whom I meet,
    With a smile on my face for the people I greet.
    I’ll try to be tactful in the things that I say,
    So I’m kind and considerate with my friends when at play.

    Learning to share, when to give, when to take.
    Thinking of others when actions I take.
    I resolve not to argue when Mum calls me in
    Or when Dad tells me off for making a din.

    I hope I can manage to keep to my word,
    Not to tell tales or spread rumours I’ve heard.
    As this new year begins, I will play my part,
    And try very hard to make a new start.

Time for reflection

Discuss the ways in which Matthew feels he can improve. How many things has he decided he will try to do? Go through each example, explaining if necessary.

Ask the children to think about things that they would like to do better at this year. Maybe they would like to write better, get into the football team or do well in spelling tests. However, make it very clear that the whole world would be a better place if all of us were simply kinder, friendlier, gentler and more loving!

Dear God,
Please help us to work hard this year.
Please help us to learn a lot.
More importantly, help us to grow as people.
Help us always to see the importance of being kind, fair, patient and loving.


‘Heavenly Father’ (Come and Praise, 62)

Publication date: January 2017   (Vol.19 No.1)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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