How to use this site    About Us    Submissions    Feedback    Donate    Links - School Assemblies for every season for everyone

Decorative image - Primary

Email Twitter Facebook


Old and New

The past and the future

by Hilary Karen

Suitable for Whole School (Pri)


To consider the importance of the past when looking at the future.

Preparation and materials

  • You will need various old and new items, including clothes, school books, personal items and general-interest books, including a Bible (or selection of Bibles).

  • You will also need some synonyms for old and new written on pieces of paper for children to hold up.

    - For ‘new’, examples include ‘recent’, ‘fresh’, ‘brand new’, ‘contemporary’, ‘current’, ‘original’, ‘unfamiliar’, ‘cutting edge’, ‘latest’, ‘newfangled’, ‘now’, ‘topical’, ‘unknown’, ‘untouched’, ‘untried’ and ‘up to date’.
    - For old, examples include antiquated, common, existing, familiar, outdated, out of date, past, regular, usual and worn.


  1. Ask the children if they can think of any words that mean ‘old’ or ‘new’.

    Listen to a range of responses.

  2. Invite some children to the front to hold up the words listed above. Explain the words and encourage the children to think about how they might use these words or when they might hear them.

  3. Show the selection of old and new clothes.

    Discuss how the children feel when they get new clothes. Perhaps some of them received clothes for Christmas, or maybe some of them have new school uniforms.

  4. Show the selection of old and new school books.

    What are the features of each?

    Point out that the old ones contain lots of interesting experiences and learning. The new ones provide a chance to improve on last year: they are fresh and clean, ready for new learning.

  5. Show the selection of old and new personal items.

    Explain why the items are so special to you.

  6. Show the selection of old and new general-interest books.

    Compare the promise of the new, unread books with the comfort of the old books that have clearly been loved and brought enjoyment.

  7. Show the Bible (or selection of Bibles).

    Explain that the Bible is a very old book, but Christians believe that its contents are still as important today as when they were first written. Explain that historians have evidence dating back to 1,000 BC of the first writings in the Old Testament. Of course, the words were not written on paper because paper had not yet been developed. Instead, the first words written by the scholars, who claim to have been told what to write by God, were scratched onto stone tablets.

    Christians believe that the Bible is full of wisdom that not only teaches them about God, but also helps to make the world a better place. Christians believe that, although the Bible is very old, it can always teach them something new.

  8. Historians have evidence dating back a long way for other ancient writings that go to form religious books that are still used today. For example:

    - the Veda, the sacred scriptures of Hinduism, have been dated as far back as 1,000 to 500 BC
    - the Bhagavad Gita, part of a Hindu epic poem, has been dated as far back as 200 BC to 200 AD
    - the Qur’an, the holy book of Islam, has been dated as far back as 650 AD

Time for reflection

Ask the children to close their eyes as they think about the following questions.

- Can you picture yourself last term in your class?
Can you see how you are behaving?
Can you see how you are working?
Can you see yourself with your friends and everyone else?

Pause to allow time for thought.

Then, ask the children the next set of questions.

- Can you see yourself in this new year?
- H
ow are you behaving?
How are you working?
How are you with your friends and everyone else?
What are you taking with you from the old and what are you going to create that is new?

Dear God,
We thank you for everything that we have learnt in 2017.
Please help us in 2018.
Please help us to build on the old and create a new and exciting future for ourselves and for all.


‘One more step’ (Come and Praise, 47)

Publication date: January 2018   (Vol.20 No.1)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
Print this page