Grasping new opportunities
by Rebecca Parkinson
Suitable for Whole School (Pri)
To use the idea of crossing a bridge to help us to grasp new opportunities despite our fears.
Preparation and materials
- You will need the PowerPoint slides that accompany this assembly (Crossing Bridges) and the means to display them.
- You will also need a balancing beam or something to make one with, such as a skipping rope or a strip of paper.
- Place the balancing beam, rope or strip of paper on the floor.
Ask for volunteers to walk along it, keeping their balance. Ask the rest of the children to analyse how the volunteers walk along the beam. For example, they may have their arms out, be walking slowly or quickly, be looking ahead and so on.
- Explain that you are going to show the children some bridges. Some are famous and some are known for their beautiful design.
Show Slides 1-4.
Discuss the different designs with the children. You may like to have a vote as to which is their favourite design.
- Explain that you are now going to show some other bridges and you want to know how the children would feel about walking across them.
Stop after each picture to listen to the reactions of a few of the children.
Show Slides 5-9.
- Explain that, in life, there are emotional and mental ‘bridges’ that we need to cross to move on from one stage in our lives to another. These may include moving house, moving into a new class or coping with changes such as those we have experienced over the last few months. Sometimes, these bridges can seem exciting ones to cross, but sometimes, we can feel frightened by them. No matter how we feel, crossing the bridge is essential if we want to move to the other side and experience all the things that are in store for us there.
- Discuss some of the changes that the children have faced recently. Explain that these can feel like both exciting and frightening experiences. However, there are people to help us cross the bridges and, once we have moved on, we will find that things often seem even better on the other side.
Time for reflection
Take time to consider those children who are new to the school, moving to other places to live or simply moving up into other classes.
Discuss the changes that have taken place in school since lockdown. Ask the children to consider how we can make it easier for one another to cross the bridges that we are facing. Ask the children to decide to help each other in any way they can so that the transition is easier for everyone.
Thank you for those around us and for the difference that we can make to each other’s lives.
Many things have changed for all of us during this year.
Please help us to help one another in any way we can.
Please help us to be sensitive and kind.
Thank you that you are always with us wherever we go.
‘When you believe’ from the film The Prince of Egypt, available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gur8ccqrQ9c (4.22 minutes long)
- Ask the children to design some bridges by using various materials. You may like to ask them to write down on labels some of the difficulties that they are facing. They could stick these labels on their bridges, alongside labels suggesting who might help them as they cross their ‘bridges’.
- You might like to ask the children to draw around their hands on pieces of paper, cut them out and write things that they are worried about on the palms of the hands. The paper hands could then be used to make a bridge as part of a display.