Keeping the Rules
An assembly in the ‘Hello, Scruff!’ series
by Revd Sylvia Burgoyne
Suitable for Reception / Key Stage 1 - Church Schools
To consider the importance of following rules.
Preparation and materials
You will need a glove puppet or sock puppet of a donkey, called Scruff.
As the assembly begins, ensure that you already have Scruff the puppet on your hand.
This assembly follows on well from the ‘Special Jobs’ assembly, which tells the story of the birth of John. It is available at: http://www.assemblies.org.uk/pri/2427/special-jobs
Scruff waves to the children. Encourage them to say, ‘Hello Scruff!’
If this is the first time the children have met Scruff, you will need to use the following introduction.
Scruff lives on a farm with Lucy Jane, her mum, Mrs B, her dad, Farmer Brown, and her baby brother, Tom. Lucy Jane loves Scruff. She looks after him. She plays with him and she talks to him – when she’s happy and when she’s sad. Scruff is her best friend.
It was a warm, sunny afternoon, and Lucy Jane and her friends were going on a mystery walk around the farm with Scruff. Lucy Jane and Scruff had watched Farmer Brown leave the farmyard early in the morning, carrying lots of signposts. Now they were all ready to go and look for them. They ran across the farmyard to where they could see the first sign. The sign read, ‘Go across the field. Keep to the path.’
Ask the children why they think the sign told Lucy Jane and her friends to stay on the path.
‘That’s so that we don’t scratch our legs on the thistles,’ Lucy Jane explained.
The next sign was not far from a big gate. This sign said, ‘Climb over the stile.’
Ask the children if they always do as they are told. Ask them why they think that it is good to follow instructions.
‘That’s because there’s always lots of mud in the gateway, where the cows stand,’ explained Lucy Jane.
Soon, the children and Scruff arrived at the orchard. The sign told them to go and sit under the big oak tree. ‘Oh, good!’ said Rebecca. ‘I’m ready for a rest!’
‘Follow me!’ said Lucy Jane. ‘I know where the tree is.’
The children’s eyes lit up when they saw what was waiting for them under the branches of the tree. There was a picnic rug with a big jug of juice, cups and a plate of biscuits.
Ask the children what their favourite drinks are. Ask them what kind of biscuit they would most like to have seen under the tree.
‘Oh, good!’ shouted Lucy Jane happily. ‘Mum’s bought us Jammie Dodgers. They’re my favourite!’
All of the children sat on the rug under the tree while they had their snack. ‘Where now?’ asked Inca.
‘I can see a sign over there,’ said Bryony, and she ran over to see what it said. The sign said, ‘Follow the red arrows.’ The arrows led them a twisty way through the wood, and across another field.
‘There are lots of boggy bits around here,’ said Inca. ‘That’s why we had to follow the arrows. I think we’re heading for the river. Come on!’
Everyone ran down the grassy slope. At the bottom, they found another sign, which said, ‘Go across the river on the stepping stones one by one . . . and you will find a surprise!’
All the children crossed the river safely.
Ask the children if they can guess what the surprise was.
Suddenly, Lucy Jane’s mum and dad appeared out of the trees. ‘Have you had fun following the signs?’ asked Farmer Brown.
‘Oh, yes!’ everyone shouted.
‘Thanks, Dad. It’s been great!’ said Lucy Jane, giving him a big hug. ‘Nobody got scratched by the thistles, or fell in the mud . . . except Scruff. He couldn’t climb over the stile, so he splashed through the mud in the gateway. Then, he couldn’t cross over on the stepping stones either, so at least he’s had a wash in the river!’
‘Hee-haw! Hee-haw!’ said Scruff very loudly, walking up to Lucy Jane. Everyone laughed!
‘Are you ready for the surprise?’ asked Mrs B.
‘Yes, please!’ shouted everyone.
‘Hee-haw! Hee-haw!’ added Scruff.
‘Then follow me,’ said Mrs B.
She led the children and Scruff up through the trees to a grassy patch, where they saw a delicious picnic ready for them to enjoy. ‘Hee-haw! Hee-haw!’ said Scruff excitedly, when he saw an enormous plate of carrots just for him!
Take off Scruff.
There is a story in the Bible about a man called John, the son of Zechariah and Elizabeth. (Optional: for the story of the birth of John, see the ‘Special Jobs’ assembly, available at: http://www.assemblies.org.uk/pri/2427/special-jobs.) When John had grown up, he went to live in a desert place, wondering what special work God wanted him to do. One day, God told John to go and tell the people to get ready to welcome his Son, so John went to the river Jordan. Many came to stare at this wild-looking man with his long hair, beard and rough-haired coat. This is what he told them. ‘You have not always obeyed God’s instructions. He wants you to say that you are sorry. So come and be washed clean in the river.’
Many people asked John, ‘Who are you?’
When John was asked this, he replied, ‘I am only God’s messenger. Someone much greater than me is coming soon. You must get ready to follow him.’
When John said this, he was speaking about Jesus.
Soon after, Jesus was ready! He knew that it was time to leave his home in Nazareth and begin his important work for God. The first thing he did was to go to the river Jordan, where John baptized him. As Jesus came up out of the water, a dove flew down and rested on him. Jesus knew that God was pleased with him.
Time for reflection
Ask the children to think about the following question.
- Why do we need to follow rules at home, in school, on the road and so on?
Listen to a range of responses.
Help us to see the importance of rules.
Help us to realize that rules are there to keep us safe and happy.
Please help us to make good choices about how we behave and what we do every day.
‘One more step’ (Come and Praise, 47)