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Pause for Thought: Donít Give Up!

Staying strong during tough times

by Helen Gwynne-Kinsey

Suitable for Key Stage 2


To help us to understand the importance of keeping going.

Preparation and materials

  • None required.


  1. The past year has been different from what everyone expected. (You may wish to ask the children for some examples of changes that they’ve experienced over the past year.)

    Everyone has faced some difficult and challenging times since the beginning of 2020. People were suddenly faced with obstacles and problems that we could never have imagined. However, it is to our credit that we have been able to face the challenges and show that we’ve got what it takes.

  2. Ask the children whether they know what ‘got what it takes’ means.

    Explain that if a person has got what it takes, it means that they have displayed the correct skills and mindset required to meet certain challenges. It also suggests that a person has the characteristic of perseverance.

    Ask the children what the word ‘perseverance’ means.

    Explain that it means the ability to keep going with continued effort and determination in spite of the obstacles that have confronted us.

  3. Perseverance is a feature that is valued highly in many of the world’s religions.

    - Islam teaches that when a person is challenged and responds with perseverance, their faith and character become stronger.
    - In Judaism, we find it said that perseverance is rooted in hope, and that hope is rooted in the belief that things will get better.
    - In Buddhism, we find the concept of the ‘good friend’: this is someone who has empathy with us, cares for us and offers us support in times when the ability to persevere slips away from us and we are in danger of giving up.

Time for reflection

Ask the children to reflect upon the following Bible verse: ‘Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the Lord.’ (Psalm 31.24)

Tell the children that you are going to read out some statements and you would like them to reflect on the words.

- Think about a time when you have overcome a difficult challenge or problem.

Pause to allow time for thought.

- Be proud of your achievement.

Pause to allow time for thought.

- Think about those around you who have given you their support during difficult times.

Pause to allow time for thought.

- Be thankful for those in your support network.

Pause to allow time for thought.

- Recognize the times when you have been the ‘good friend’ who has provided support to others.

Pause to allow time for thought.

- Never forget that if you are struggling, be sure to ask for help. We, as a caring school community, are here to support you when you need it most.

Pause to allow time for thought.

Dear God,
Please help us to be able to persevere when things are tough.
Please help us to realize that we don’t need to do things on our own.
Please help us to be willing to ask for help.
Thank you for all the people who support and care for us.
Please help us to look for opportunities to help others.


‘The climb’ by Miley Cyrus, available at: (3.48 minutes long)

Publication date: May 2021   (Vol.23 No.5)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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