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A Recipe for Success

An assembly for the new school year

by Alan M. Barker

Suitable for Whole School (Pri)


To reflect upon the qualities and attitudes that help to make a successful and happy school community.

Preparation and materials


  1. Ask the children whether they have heard of the TV show, The Great British Bake Off. Ask them to explain what it is to those who have not heard of it.

    Observe that the show is very popular, especially the showstopper challenges, where contestants are set baking tasks using recipes to which they must often add their own special flavours. Many people are looking forward to the series that will be screened this autumn.

    Optional: show the images from The Great British Bake Off.

    Point out that when things go well for the contestants, the results are fantastically yummy. However, there are occasions when mistakes result in total disaster!

  2. Welcome everyone, not to a Bake Off, but to a new school year.

    Ask the children, How can this year be made successful and enjoyable? 

    Listen to a range of responses.

  3. Remind everyone of the need to help each other to achieve their best. What a challenge!
    Show the blank recipe sheet.

    Invite the school community to work together in creating a ‘recipe for success’.

  4. Build up the recipe for success by using suggestions from the children so that it looks something like the following example.

    Recipe for Success

    (Fill in the blanks with numbers.)

    --- children
    --- classes
    --- teachers
    --- teaching assistants

    Not forgetting:
    1 bursar
    --- catering staff
    1 site manager
    --- governors

    Here, you might welcome newcomers and enable everyone to appreciate the scope and diversity of your school community.

    Place them together in one school.

    Using encouragement as an example, invite the children to identify other qualities and values that will help to make a great school year.

    Responses might include hard work, perseverance, patience, friendship, care, respect, kindness, understanding, sharing, helpfulness, laughter, cheerfulness, praise and courtesy.

    Add these to the recipe template, following the example below.

    Add lots of encouragement, --- and ---, a pinch of ---, a sprinkling of --- and ---, a drop of --- and some ---.

    Mix together with --- and ---. With time, this recipe will make a great school year!

  5. Observe that this is a very special recipe for success. It will be important not to forget any of the ingredients.

Time for reflection

Point out that disappointed contestants will soon be leaving Bake Off, but this recipe will need everyone to play their part week by week and never to give up. In the success of a school, everyone is important and valuable.

Invite the children to reflect quietly upon their hopes for the new school year.

Pause to allow time for thought.

Use the prayer below, or your own school prayer if you prefer.

A School Prayer

This is our school,
Let peace live here.
Let the rooms be full of happiness.
Let love be all around:
Love of one another,
Love of all people,
Love of life and living.


Back in school again’ (Songs for Every Occasion, Out of the Ark Music)

Publication date: September 2019   (Vol.21 No.9)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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