Everyone Is a Winner
We all win and we all lose
by Manon Ceridwen Parry (revised, originally published in 2010)
Suitable for Key Stage 2
To reflect upon our experiences of winning and losing.
Preparation and materials
If possible, have available a medal, trophy or certificate that you have won at some point in your life. If this is not possible, ask another member of staff to have one ready to show.
You may wish to have certificates to give out to each child, which express the fact that he or she is a winner.
You will also need a candle for the ‘Time for reflection’ part of the assembly.
Begin by reflecting on a recent competitive experience in school life, such as the annual sports day, a match played by a school team or any other competition.
Explain that you have brought something with you that shows that you have been a winner. (This could be a sporting achievement, winning a poetry competition and so on.) Talk about how you are good at some things, but not so good at others. You may wish to share about a time when you were last in a race or failed a test.
Explain that life is about winning and losing. We are good at doing some things, but not so good at doing other things. We all have strengths and weaknesses in different areas of life.
Ask the children to share their experiences about how it feels both to win and to lose.
Explore what some of the children have achieved, such as medals and certificates. How did they feel? Nervous? Exhilarated? Pleased?
Explore how it feels not to win. Talk about how you once felt when you ‘lost’. Ask the children to name the emotions involved: disappointment, upset, embarrassment, a feeling that it’s not fair (but someone always has to lose).
Describe how in life, we are always winning at some things and losing at others. Explain that as the children grow older, they will apply for places at college, jobs or other things and not be accepted. Or they might really like another person and want to be with them, but the other person would rather go out with someone else. Sometimes, things will go well, and they will get the job or the college place that they want. Life is about sometimes winning, sometimes losing.
Explain that Christians believe that in one area of life, everyone can be a winner. They believe that God loves everyone very much.
Read out the Bible verse from John 3.16: ‘For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish, but may have eternal life.’
Emphasize that the Christian faith teaches that Jesus came for everyone (the whole world) and that God loves everyone. With God, there are no losers, just winners.
If you have made certificates for everyone, they can be distributed here.
Time for reflection
Light the candle.
Ask the children to think about how they feel about winning and losing.
What do they expect to win at, and where do they find things more difficult?
How can we support each other when things don’t turn out as we may have wanted?
Ask the children to think about the people who love them.
Remind the children of the Christian belief that God loves them. How does that make them feel?
Thank you that we are all winners with you.
We thank you that you love us all,
And have given us all different gifts and talents.
Help us not to be too sad when we lose,
But to remember all the good things that we have,
And everything that we are good at doing.
‘The best gift’ (Come and Praise, 59)