How to use this site    About Us    Submissions    Feedback    Donate    Links - School Assemblies for every season for everyone

Decorative image - Primary

Email Twitter Facebook


Pause for Thought: Going Back in Time

The clocks go back on 31 October 2021

by Brian Radcliffe

Suitable for Whole School (Pri)


To consider the importance of living well in the present.

Preparation and materials

  • Optional: you may wish to think of a suitable personal example to share in the ‘Assembly’, Step 6.


  1. Ask the children to imagine that they can travel back in time.

    Ask them where they would like to go, what they would like to see, who they would like to meet and so on.

    Listen to a range of responses.

    Optional: you may wish to share with the children your own answer to the above question.

  2. Explain that in the early hours of Sunday 31 October, we will be able to turn back time because it will be the end of British Summer Time. The clocks go back, and we gain an extra hour. Most of us will probably spend it in bed, having a longer lie-in!

  3. Point out that sometimes, we might wish that we could turn back time because we regret a choice that we’ve made, something that we’ve said or an opportunity that we didn’t take. It could be that we wish to turn back time for as little as an hour. Maybe this morning, we’ve already argued with our mum or dad, or said something unkind to a friend!

  4. Of course, we can’t really turn back time, but we can do something about some of the choices or bad decisions that we make.

    Ask the children to discuss the following scenarios and work out how they might put them right (turn back time).

    - You had a big argument with your friend and ended up saying some horrible things to them. Now you haven’t spoken to each other for three days.
    - You really wanted to have a go at a new sport, but when the opportunity arose, you were too scared to say so. Now you regret your decision.

    Listen to a range of responses.

  5. Discuss the points that have been made. Go on to discuss the importance of owning up to the things that we get wrong, saying sorry and forgiving. Suggest that we can decide to summon the courage to have a go next time an opportunity presents itself.

  6. Optional: you may wish to share a personal example of a time when you regretted a choice, but used it as a learning tool so that you made a better choice next time.

Time for reflection

It is important to remember that no one makes good decisions all the time. Sometimes, we get things wrong and sometimes, we do things that we later regret. How we react and learn from our mistakes is what’s important. The main thing is to move forward. We can’t change the past, but we can put things in place that will hopefully help us to make better decisions in future.

Emphasize that when things go wrong, it is important to learn from our mistakes. We can always learn important lessons for the future.

Maybe we could learn some strategies for not saying something that we might regret if we are angry, such as counting to ten before we speak or walking away until we have calmed down.

Maybe we could ask a friend to encourage us to grasp a new opportunity next time one presents itself.

Maybe we could share with a teacher our regret at not taking the opportunity to join a particular team; they might be able to give us another chance!

Sometimes, though, it can feel impossible to put things right. In that case, it is always good to talk to someone about it. Remind the children about the systems that are in place in school where they can talk about problems.


‘You’ve got a friend in me’ from the film Toy Story, available at: (2.05 minutes long)

‘My way’ by Frank Sinatra, available at: (4.36 minutes long)

Publication date: October 2021   (Vol.23 No.10)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
Print this page