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Crossing borders

To explore the idea that life moves on and there are milestones and borders to cross all the time.

by Penny Hollander

Suitable for Key Stage 2


To explore the idea that life moves on and there are milestones and borders to cross all the time.

Preparation and materials

  • You will need a passport/ID card.
  • Folded pieces of card with 'Passport' or 'ID' written on the front.
  • A bag or rucksack containing school books, reports, pens, pencils, certificates, trophies, photos.
  • Large card displaying Abram's personal details (see 5. below).
  • Bible reference: Genesis 12.


  1. Show the children the passport/ID card. Ask them when you need one of these. Explain that when you visit a different country you have to show who you are and sometimes why you’re crossing one country’s border into another. Relate to possible forthcoming holidays abroad if appropriate for your group. What does a passport or ID card tell other people about you?
  2. Ask for volunteers to come forward. Give them each a folded piece of card to represent their passports. Then ask for other volunteers to act as passport/customs officials. What do these officials do? Ask for responses from other children, e.g. look at the photo, to see if it matches the person; they ask: Why are you visiting this new place? What are you taking in your luggage? Get the volunteers to act out the scenario and then ask them to sit down again.
  3. Say that at this time of year we think about children leaving our school and crossing school borders. Year 6 (or older for Middle Schools) will be going to secondary school, but there may also be other children who are moving away from the school to another area and a new school. Ask year 6/leaving children how they feel about moving to a new school? Excited? Nervous? Mixture of different emotions? – looking forward to what’s new and different but also a bit of uncertainty of what lies ahead.

    What will they take with them? Bring out the bag/rucksack and ask what the children think is inside. Bring out the school reports, certificates, trophies, photographs – anything that represents a personal reminder of the events of the past few years in the school.
  4. Explain that when moving to a new place you take lots of the past with you but you also leave space for new things, new memories from the new place. It will be interesting to see what leaving children bring back when they come and visit the school.
  5. The Bible is full of stories about people leaving behind what is familiar and going to new places. One example is the story of Abraham leaving his home to go and live in a new land. What do Abraham’s travel details tell us about him? Hold up the large card with his details on. Ask individual children to read out the descriptions.

    Travel itinerary
    Name: Abram
    Status: married to Sarai
    Place of departure: Haran
    Destination: Canaan – the promised land
    Purpose of travel: To obey God and to find a new place to live for himself, his wife and his children
    Items for travel: All possessions gained in Haran
  6. The Bible story tells us that God promised that he would be with Abram. If you wish you can read Genesis12.1–3. He would protect Abram and be like a shield to him; in fact God changed Abram’s name to Abraham, as a sign of God being with him – the name Abraham meant that he would be the father of many nations (Genesis 17.1–8).

    Christians believe that just as God looked after Abraham all those centuries ago he still looks after each one of us today, wherever and whoever we are and at every point in our lives.

Time for reflection


Abraham left all he had known and set off for an unknown country, only knowing that God had promised he would be with him and protect him.

How must he have felt?

Possibly a little like you as you set off from what is familiar in primary school to a new life in secondary school.

It’s a time of looking forward with anticipation to the future, a new promised land, crossing that border, but also taking with you the memories of the past.



Thank you, God, for the promise you made that you will always be with us,

wherever and whoever we are.

For those who are leaving this school we ask especially that you will help them to settle into life in a new school.

We all look forward to the very near future, the summer holidays and all the relaxation that brings.

We ask that we all may be kept safe.



'One more step along the world I go' (Come and Praise, 47)

Publication date: July 2006   (Vol.8 No.7)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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