No One Is an Island
We need one another
by Helen Redfern (revised, originally published in 2010)
Suitable for Key Stage 2
To encourage us to think about how much we need relationships with other people.
Preparation and materials
You will need a magazine, a heart shape (maybe you could use a heart-shaped cushion?), a small mat to represent an island (a green towel is ideal), a book, a TV remote control and some chocolate.
Optional: you may wish to play the song, ‘Everybody in love’ by JLS in the ‘Assembly’, Step 2, in which case you will also need the means to do so. It is 3.17 minutes long and is available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tSryWcRD_tw
This assembly is all about relationships.
Show the gossip magazine.
When we say ‘relationships’, I wonder how many of us think of the kind of relationships we see in magazines like this one: who is in love with who, who is going out with who, who is getting married to who, who is not in love any more. It’s easy to think that relationships are all about LOVE.
Show the heart shape.
Ask if any of the children remember the song ‘Everybody in love’ by JLS. If it is available, you may wish to play part of this song.
Well, to the relief of most of you here, this assembly is not about romantic love (throw away the heart shape), it’s not about the love often found in magazines (throw away the gossip magazine) and it’s not even about the love that is often sung about (close down the JLS video).
At the start of the word ‘relationship’ is the word ‘relate’. We relate to many people every day – people we talk to, people we smile at and people we could not live without.
But maybe you know someone who does not want to relate to other people, someone who says that they do not need anyone else. Or maybe you think that you don’t need other people.
Place the small mat on the floor and stand on it.
Say something like, ‘Look, this is my space and I want you all to keep away! I don’t need anyone and I certainly don’t need you. I’ve got a good book, the TV remote and some chocolate – what more could I need? I can look after myself. I can keep myself to myself. Relationships are nothing but trouble.’
Over 400 years ago, a poet named John Donne wrote these words: ‘No man is an island entire of itself’. Think about how true these words are. No man is an island. No woman is an island. No boy is an island. No girl is an island. No one can survive without other people.
Put down the items, step off the mat, fold up the mat and put it away.
We all need other people. We are all in relationships with other people.
Can you think of people you relate to on a daily basis? Who do you talk to? Who do you need?
Listen to a range of responses. These may include family, friends, pets, teachers, bus drivers and shopkeepers.
In reality, we each have many relationships.
Time for reflection
Relationships are precious. We need to take care of them.
Think about the relationships that you have. Take a moment to be thankful for them and to think about how you treat the people that you have a relationship with.
Listen to the words of this prayer and make them your own if you would like to.
We thank you for all the relationships we have:
Our friends and family, our teachers and helpers,
Our pets, our neighbours and our coaches and instructors.
Help us to remember that relationships are precious.
Help us to take care of them.
‘The family of Man’ (Come and Praise, 69)
‘We’re all in this together’ from High School Musical