Nothing to Fear
An assembly for use around the time of Halloween
by Rachel Noyce
Suitable for Whole School (Pri)
To consider how we can help to turn a world that is often scary into a kinder place, filled with hope.
Preparation and materials
- You will need the PowerPoint slides that accompany this assembly (Nothing to Fear) and the means to display them.
- You will also need to print out Slides 1 to 4 and have the means to display these to form a leader board. You will be asking the children to vote on how scary they find the things displayed on the slides: spiders, Darth Vader, snakes and Lord Voldemort. Ideally, ask another member of staff to display this list on a board or wall as the children vote, with the scariest at the top and the least scary at the bottom.
- Show Slide 1.
Ask the children if they like spiders. Ask whether any of them are scared of spiders. Why?
Invite the children to rate how scary spiders are. You could ask for a show of hands, use a thumbs-up/thumbs-down approach or suggest a ‘scream-o-meter’, where they scream loudly or quietly, depending on how scary they find them.
Stick the printout of spiders at the appropriate point on the leader board.
- Show Slide 2.
Ask the children if they know who this is. Does he look scary? Why might some people think he is scary?
Repeat the rating process to decide whether Darth Vader is more or less scary than spiders.
Stick the printout of Darth Vader above or below the printout of spiders on the leader board.
- Repeat this process with Slides 3 and 4 until you have rated them from most scary to least scary.
- Explain that we have been thinking about some of the things that we might find scary because Halloween is coming up. It is celebrated on 31 October and is a time of year when there are lots of scary things about.
- Show Slide 5.
Making a jack-o’-lantern is a long-standing Halloween tradition. In times gone by, people would put them outside their door on the night of 31 October to ward off any evil spirits that might come their way. The lantern was meant to drive away the things that scared the people who were living in the houses. Today, many people carve lanterns for fun and display them in their windows or gardens.
- If we’re honest, all of us have things that we find scary. For some of us, the things that other people find scary might cause us no fear at all. For example, some people have a fear of heights, whereas others don’t find heights frightening at all. Some people love clowns, whereas others find them really scary. The truth is that scary things come in all shapes and sizes. Many of the things that fill us with fear are nothing like spiders or snakes or people dressed up as Darth Vader.
- Many of us may feel scared at the thought of being left-out or rejected by other people. We might feel scared when we are set a challenge that we feel is too hard for us. We might feel scared when we listen to the news. The daily reports of disasters, tragic events and damage to the environment might fill us with fear for our safety and that of others.
When it comes to these kinds of things, a pumpkin with a scary face on it isn’t much help!
- Show Slide 6.
The Bible has another suggestion as to how fear can be driven away: with love. John, the man who wrote this verse, was one of Jesus’ disciples. Christians believe that the ‘perfect love’ that John was talking about is God’s love. John knew that whatever he might go through, and however he might feel, God loved him and was with him – and because of this, he never needed to be afraid. Christians believe that this is true for us today. They believe that God loves us and is with us, so we don’t need to be afraid.
- However, it is not just God’s love that has a powerful effect. Our own love has the power to make the world a less scary, more hopeful place.
- Nobody needs to fear being left-out when we build a community that welcomes everybody.
- Nobody needs to fear being asked to do something that they can’t manage when we build a community that helps each other out.
- In the wider world, our love and care can feed the hungry, give shelter to the homeless, welcome people looking for safety and restore the environment.
Remind the children that we are all responsible for making the school a place where no one feels afraid. (You may wish to talk about any charities that you sponsor or support as a school here.)
- Show Slide 7.
A few years ago, the Christian charity World Vision started encouraging people to carve hearts on their pumpkins instead of a scary face. This is a fantastic reminder that love – people being kind and caring – can overcome so many of the things that make us afraid. Fear and darkness can be beaten by love and light.
Time for reflection
Leave Slide 7 on display.
Invite the children to look at it, reflecting on the words ‘Perfect love drives out all fear’.
Ask the children the following questions.
- Can you think of a time when somebody’s kindness to you stopped you from feeling afraid?
- Can you think about some situations where somebody might be feeling scared right now?
- Is there anything you could do that might help them?
You may wish to suggest that children make a ‘love-pumpkin’ and bring it into school.
Thank you that you are always with us.
Thank you that you are always loving and always good.
Thank you that you are bigger than all the things in this world that can make us afraid.
Show us how we can help to make this world a more loving, kinder and safer place by the things that we say and do, in our school and in our communities.
‘Our God is a great big God’, available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eSTfM8M2Md8 (2.52 minutes long)