Pause for Thought: A New Adventure
Moving to secondary school
by Alexandra Palmer (adapted)
Suitable for Whole School (Pri)
To prepare for the transition from Year 6 to secondary school and a return to school for all children in September.
Preparation and materials
- You will need the PowerPoint slides that accompany this assembly (A New Adventure) and the means to display them.
- You will also need to have the means available to play the video below. It is 5.12 minutes long, but if you wish to shorten it, show it from 1.50 minutes to the end.
- Ask the children if they have ever seen the film The Prince of Egypt.
Explain that the film looks at the life of Moses. In the Bible, the Book of Exodus tells the story of Moses leading the Israelites out of Egypt, where they had been slaves for many years.
- Explain that the following film clip shows the people just after they had found out that they were allowed to leave Egypt after being held as slaves for over 400 years.
Ask the children to watch all the different emotions in the clip so that they can describe them at the end.
- Show Slide 1.
Explain that the Israelites had waited over 400 years to escape from Egypt. Moses was an Israelite, but he had spent 40 years living with the pharaoh as a prince because he was found by the pharaoh’s daughter as a baby in the bulrushes. However, Moses ran away after he committed a crime. He spent 40 years living in the desert and worked as a shepherd before God sent him back to Egypt to set his people free. So, everyone had waited a long time for this new adventure to begin.
Explain that although the last few months have been different from what we expected, the Year 6 children will still be moving to secondary school in September. They have spent seven years at primary school, which probably feels like a long time. Other year groups may understand a little of what they feel because, due to the lockdown, it might feel like a long time since they were at school, too. All of the children, whether they are moving to secondary school or returning to school after lockdown, are beginning a new adventure.
- Show Slide 2.
Remind the children that as the Israelites were leaving Egypt, they would have been feeling various emotions. In the clip, the elderly lady in blue looked quite hesitant. She probably felt scared because she was experiencing something she’d only been able to dream about and didn’t know how to cope with the situation. However, the little girl took her hand and helped her on her way. Some of the children in the clip seemed to be happy and excited.
Explain that it is natural to feel a range of emotions when something new happens. Year 6 children might feel worried or scared because the school building is much bigger or they don’t know many people. Alternatively, they might feel really happy and confident because they’re ready to move on to new things. For all of the year groups returning to school after lockdown, there will be a range of emotions. Everyone will be experiencing a mixture of feelings.
- Show Slide 3.
When the Israelites started their trek to leave Egypt, they had to get used to living in a different way and learning new routines. All of them left their homes and had to get used to camping and moving from place to place. It would have taken them a while to get used to the different routines and lifestyle.
Explain that it will take a while to get used to the new routine of secondary school, or the new routine at primary schools with different rules due to coronavirus. However, it will be surprising how quickly everyone gets used to their new routines.
Point out the part of the film where a camel is eating his owner’s hair. Suggest that there will be lots of funny moments, so we will need a sense of humour to smile at some of the mistakes that we might make. There will also be some fun moments that will help everyone to settle in quickly.
- Show Slide 4.
Explain that as Moses left Egypt, there were many difficult moments. The best-known one is when the Egyptians decide that they had made a mistake in letting the Israelites go and set off to chase them. However, there were also some amazing moments, such as when God rescued them.
Point out that returning to school or starting a new one will have some difficult times and some amazing times, too. All of these experiences will make the adventure even more exciting.
Time for reflection
Show Slide 5.
Explain that when Moses led the Israelites out of Egypt, he had the support of his friends and family, including his wife, brother and sister.
Explain that we are not alone. Family, friends and teachers can all provide support, and it’s important to keep talking with them so that they can help.
Point out that Christians believe that God is with us wherever we go. They believe that God will help them in any situation and at any time. They believe that just as God helped and protected Moses, God is with them every day in both the difficult and the amazing moments.
You may wish to use the following prayer.
Thank you for the Year 6 children.
Please be with them as they leave this school and move on.
Please help them to keep hold of all their precious memories and friendships.
Please help them to make new friends and settle into their new school quickly.
Please be with them in both difficult and amazing times.
Please be close to all of us as we return to school.
Please help us to cope with the changes.
Please help us to be sensitive to others.
Please keep us safe.
‘One more step’, available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7PXV3dwaeNU (2.51 minutes long)
‘Count on me’ by Bruno Mars, available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yc6T9iY9SOU (3.17 minutes long)
‘School Top Leavers’ Songs Compilation’, available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kzzFjDSNXPk (3.15 minutes long)
- If lockdown has meant that your child is unable to be in school, you may like to explore some Year 6 transition activities together. Two activities that you could adapt to use at home are available at: https://youngminds.org.uk/resources/school-resources/find-your-feet-transitions-activity-for-year-6-pupils/