Ready to Help!
An assembly in the ‘Hello, Scruff!’ series
by Revd Sylvia Burgoyne
Suitable for Reception / Key Stage 1
To consider the importance of being kind to others, even when they hurt us.
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 is the fourth in a series of ‘Hello, Scruff!’ assemblies about the life of Joseph. The previous assemblies in the series are:
- ‘He Makes Me Mad!’, available at: http://www.assemblies.org.uk/pri/2705/he-makes-me-mad
- ‘A Bad Choice!’, available at: http://www.assemblies.org.uk/pri/2899/a-bad-choice
- ‘It Wasn’t Me!’, available at: http://www.assemblies.org.uk/pri/2918/it-wasnt-me
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!
Scruff was waiting nervously.
The previous day, Lucy Jane had been very sad. Her friend, Sarah, had spilt crisps all over the computer desk, and had blamed Lucy Jane. Lucy Jane had been in trouble with the teacher, even though it was very unfair.
That morning, Lucy Jane had still been unhappy when she went to the stable to brush Scruff and give him his breakfast.
‘I don’t want to go to school, Scruff,’ she had said sadly.
Scruff had neighed quietly, as if to say, ‘Don’t worry, everything will be alright.’
Now, it was teatime and Lucy Jane would soon come to tell him about her day.
Scruff heard Lucy Jane’s footsteps coming across the yard and soon, she appeared round the corner. She ran over to Scruff and gave him a hug.
‘I’ve so much to tell you, Scruff!’ she said, stroking his fur.
‘I was on my way to school when I heard a crash and a loud scream. I ran round the corner to see what had happened. Sarah was lying on the pavement, crying. She’d fallen off her bicycle, and her knee was bleeding.’
Ask the children what they would have done in that situation.
‘At first,’ Lucy Jane continued, ‘I thought: it serves her right! But then I couldn’t just leave her there, even though I was cross with her. So, I picked up Sarah’s bike and wheeled it while she limped along beside me. She cried all the way to school.’
Ask the children to guess what happened next.
‘Then guess what happened, Scruff?’ Lucy Jane asked.
Scruff put his head on one side as if he were thinking.
‘As we went through the school gates, Sarah stopped and told me she was sorry for getting me into trouble yesterday. She said that she was going to tell the teacher what had really happened. So, when we got into school, while the teacher put a plaster on her knee, she told the truth. And now she can’t use the computer for the rest of the week although the teacher said she was proud of her for telling the truth.’
‘Hee haw, hee haw!’ said Scruff enthusiastically.
‘And even better than that,’ Lucy Jane continued, ‘the teacher stood in front of the whole class and said I was a good example, and now me and Sarah are best friends again!’
Lucy Jane smiled.
‘So,’ she sighed happily, ‘it all seems to have worked out OK in the end. Anyway, Scruff, let’s go for a ride before tea!’
‘Hee haw, hee haw!’ said Scruff, happy because Lucy Jane was happy.
Take off Scruff.
Ask the following questions.
- Have you ever been blamed for something that you didn’t do? Did it all work out in the end?
- Why do you think the teacher called Lucy Jane a good example?
Listen to a range of responses.
You may wish to recap the story of Joseph in the previous assemblies in this series about the life of Joseph.
Let’s continue with the story from the Bible about the boy called Joseph.
Joseph was thrown into prison because his boss, Potiphar, was angry with him. There were two other men in prison at the same time. One was a baker and the other was a cup-bearer (someone who poured out the wine and tasted it before the king drank it). Both of these men had upset the pharaoh and ended up in prison wondering if they would ever be free.
One night, the men had a dream. The cup-bearer dreamt about a vine with three branches. Clusters of grapes grew and ripened on the vine, and the cup-bearer was able to pick the grapes and squeeze them into a glass for Pharaoh to drink.
The baker dreamt that he was carrying three baskets of bread on his head. The top basket was full of food for Pharaoh, but the birds flew down and began eating it.
Both of the men were worried about the dreams because they thought that they contained a message about what would happen to them in the future. They asked Joseph what he thought.
Joseph explained that the three branches in the cup-bearer’s dream were meant to be three days. He said that in three days’ time, Pharaoh would set the cup-bearer free and he would get his old job back and be safe and happy. Joseph asked the cup-bearer to remember him when he returned to the palace and to ask Pharaoh to set him free because he had done nothing wrong.
Joseph went on to explain that the baker would not be so lucky. Pharaoh would remain angry with him and the baker would not return to the palace.
Everything that Joseph said would happen came true. Unfortunately, the cup-bearer forgot about Joseph immediately and Joseph was left in prison.
Poor Joseph: life seemed to be one, long nightmare!
Time for reflection
Both Lucy Jane and Joseph were blamed and punished for something they hadn’t done. However, that didn’t stop them from giving help to those who needed it.
Ask the children if they can think of other examples where someone has continued to love and help, even when they have been treated unfairly.
Help us to be ready to give a helping hand, even to someone who has been unkind to us.
Help us to be willing to forgive.
Help us not to hold grudges.