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History-Makers

Making the move to secondary school

by Alexandra Palmer

Suitable for Whole School (Pri)

Aims

To celebrate the achievements of the Year 6 children as they make the move to secondary school.

Preparation and materials

  • You will need the PowerPoint slides that accompany this assembly (History-Makers) and the means to display them.

  • Have available the CBBC Newsround video ‘A look back at Nelson Mandela’s life’ and the means to show it during the assembly. The video gives an easy-to-understand overview of apartheid and is 2.42 minutes long. It is available at: https://www.bbc.co.uk/newsround/25254295

  • Optional: you may wish to ask some Year 6 children to be prepared to share some of the things that they are looking forward to as they move to a new school.

Assembly

  1. Explain that the Year 6 children will soon be leaving school and moving on to secondary school. This can seem to be a daunting prospect, but it is also exciting, with lots of new things to experience ahead.

    Optional: ask the pre-arranged Year 6 children to come to the front to share what they are looking forward to as they make the transition to secondary school.

  2. Show Slide 1.

    Explain that this assembly is all about history-makers. Ask the children whether they recognize any of the people on the slide. If the children guess correctly, ask why the person is famous.

    Discuss each person on the slide, going along the top row from left to right and then the bottom row.

    - Henry VIII was King of England during Tudor times and had six wives.
    - Florence Nightingale was a nurse who helped wounded soldiers during the Crimean War. Her nickname was ‘the lady with the lamp’ and she was the founder of how nurses work today.
    - William Shakespeare is regarded as one of the greatest playwrights of all time. He wrote many famous plays, including Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet and Macbeth.
    - Barack Obama was the first African American president of the USA.
    - Queen Elizabeth II is Britains longest-reigning monarch.
    - Sir Tim Berners-Lee is the inventor of the World Wide Web. (Even adults in the hall may not get this one!)

  3. Point out that the title on the slide says ‘History-Makers’. Ask the children, ‘What is a history-maker?

    Listen to a range of responses.

  4. Show Slide 2 and read out the definition of a history-maker.

    The reason for the happy face and sad face emojis is to remind us that people can be good history-makers and bad ones. Explain that the next three slides show three history-makers and that you would like the children to name them and then vote to decide whether they were good history-makers or bad ones.

  5. Show Slide 3.

    Ask the children whether they recognize the person in the picture (Mother Teresa).

    Listen to a range of responses and then click to reveal the name.
     
    Vote to decide whether Mother Teresa was a good history-maker or a bad one by asking the children to put their thumbs up for good and thumbs down for bad.

    Click to reveal the happy face emoji.

  6. Show Slide 4.

    Mother Teresa became a nun in Ireland when she was 18 years old. (A nun is someone who gives up her belongings and lives in a special building called a convent so that she can learn about God.) After a while, Mother Teresa felt God call her to Calcutta, which is a city in India.

    Point to Calcutta on the map.

    After the Second World War, Mother Teresa started caring for the poorest and sickest people in one part of Calcutta. By the time she died, her charity had helped very poor people in many countries around the world.

  7. Show Slide 5.

    Ask the children whether they recognize the person in the picture (Adolf Hitler).

    Listen to a range of responses and then click to reveal the name.
     
    Vote to decide whether Adolf Hitler was a good history-maker or a bad one by asking the children to put their thumbs up for good and thumbs down for bad.

    Click to reveal the sad face emoji.

    Explain that unfortunately, Adolf Hitler made history before and during the Second World War due to his orders involving the invasion of other countries and actions against people who were different from him.

  8. Show Slide 6.

    Ask the children whether they recognize the person in the picture (Nelson Mandela).

    Listen to a range of responses and then click to reveal the name.
     
    Vote to decide whether Nelson Mandela was a good history-maker or a bad one by asking the children to put their thumbs up for good and thumbs down for bad.

    Click to reveal the happy face emoji.

    Tell the children that Nelson Mandela was the first black president of South Africa. Unfortunately, before he became president, South Africa was a difficult place to live for many people. This video from CBBCs Newsround will explain more.

    Show the video ‘A look back at Nelson Mandela’s life’.

  9. Before Nelson Mandela went to prison, he wanted all black and white people to be treated fairly and equally. He was right in his hopes for South Africa, but sometimes the campaigns for this became violent and he ended up in prison.

    When he was released from prison 27 years later, he deliberately made a choice to forgive all of the people who had put him in prison and treated him badly while he was locked away. He did this because he knew that it was the right thing to do and he wanted to set an example to all South Africans that forgiveness was the only way in which black and white people were going to be able to live peacefully together in the same place.

Time for reflection

Ask the children, How do you think you become a history-maker?

Listen to a range of responses.

Show Slide 7 and read out the words.

Pointing at the picture of the cross, explain to the children that Mother Teresa and Nelson Mandela had something in common – they were both Christians. They believed that it was good to show God’s love in their work.

Mother Teresa loved the poorest people in Calcutta when they were ignored by many rich people. Nelson Mandela showed love and forgiveness to people who had treated him, his family, his friends and black people unfairly in South Africa.

They both wanted to demonstrate the love and forgiveness that God has for everyone in the world.

Ask the children, ‘Can we become history-makers?

Listen to a range of responses.

Show Slide 8.

Read out the quotation on the slide: ‘Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love.’

Remind the children of the importance of doing small things with love. Point out that as the Year 6 children move on to secondary school, they may not be remembered for doing big things – they may never become famous. However, they can make a big difference with all the little things they do every day.

Encourage the children to think about something that they are good at and then to try their best to develop their skills and talents so that they can use them to make a difference in the world.

Emphasize that they can all be history-makers for a person whom they help or encourage.

Prayer
Dear God,
Thank you that we can come together in our school today and celebrate the time that the Year 6 children have spent at our school.
Thank you for all of the people who have helped us along our journey so far.
Thank you for all of the skills and talents that we have.
Please help us to use our skills and talents to help our family, friends and others in the right way.
Please help us all to make a difference in the lives of the people whom we meet.
Please help us to remember: ‘Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love.’
Amen.

Song/music

‘One more step’ (Come and Praise, 47)

Publication date: July 2019   (Vol.21 No.7)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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