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Pause for Thought: Something New

Grasping opportunities

by Rebecca Parkinson

Suitable for Whole School (Pri)


To use the idea of crossing a bridge to help us to grasp opportunities during the new school year.

Preparation and materials

  • You will need the PowerPoint slides that accompany this assembly (Pause for Thought: Something New) 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.


  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Explain that at the start of a new school year, we know that there will be many opportunities and challenges ahead of us. Just like the bridges in the pictures, some opportunities seem very inviting and exciting; we can set off towards them with confidence. However, some bridges leave us feeling a bit frightened and unsure. Nevertheless, 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.

Time for reflection

At the start of a new school year, it’s good to stop and take some decisions about the year ahead.

- Maybe we could decide that we are going to try something completely new.
- Maybe we could decide that, even though we find a particular subject difficult, we are going to continue to try hard.
- Maybe we could decide that we are going to include new people in our friendship group.

Dear God,
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: (4.22 minutes long)

Publication date: September 2021   (Vol.23 No.9)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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