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Changing seasons: an assembly for leavers

To help children see change as an important and necessary part of life.

by The Revd Sophie Jelley

Suitable for Whole School (Pri)

Aims

To help children see change as an important and necessary part of life.

Preparation and materials

  • You will need four bags, each with a season written on the front (Winter, Spring, Summer, Autumn).
  • A box full of items relating to each of the seasons – could be an assortment of clothes, things relating to particular festivals, different foods, etc.
  • A Bible to read Ecclesiastes 3.1–8. You may need to edit some phrases, e.g. 'a time for killing', 'a time for making love', 'a time for hate', depending on your personal faith position, age of children and how much explanation you wish to give.
  • You may choose instead or in addition to sing or play a recording of the song, ‘Turn! Turn! Turn! To everything there is a season’. Lyrics can be found at http://www.stlyrics.com/lyrics/forrestgump/turnturnturntoeverythingthereisaseason.htm
    or 'To everything, turn turn turn' in Come and Praise, number 113.

Assembly

  1. Talk about the fact that this is a special assembly today because changes are about to happen for all the children. Some are saying goodbye to the school and moving to a new school, some are moving to a different year group and teacher, etc.); there may also be changes in your local school context to mention, like staff leaving or retiring.
  2. Explain that change is a very important part of life and Christians believe that God made the world so that it changes every day. Some things die, some things are born. In the UK the weather changes from day to day, and also the seasons change through the year. We also change as we grow day by day. Different things are suitable for us at different stages – for example, at the age of seven we’re not likely to enjoy reading the same story books as we did when we were four; or we need more challenging toys as we grow older, e.g. simple Duplo compared with more complicated Lego.
  3. Ask for four volunteers to help us think more about change. Give each child a bag showing a different season. Explain that the big box is full of different things for each season, all jumbled up. They need to select the right things for their season and put them in their bag. For instance, a Santa hat would go in winter, strawberries in summer. Give them a fixed time to do this – 30 seconds or a minute depending on how many things there are in the box.

    As you show what’s been put in each bag, explain that all these things belong in their particular season. It may be interesting to note that some things are less seasonal these days, for example you can buy strawberries all year round, but they still belong in summer because they grow naturally in that season. If there are older people present (teachers/parents/grandparents), you could ask them if they remember food being more seasonal than it is now.
  4. Christians and people of other faiths believe that the way things happen is no accident. God meant there to be a special order to the world and things happen at the right time. That’s the way God made it.

    In the Old Testament of the Bible there is a passage that talks about this. Read Ecclesiastes 3.1–8. Be positive about the changes that the children face, e.g. it’s good to look forward to the lovely swimming pool at your new school (or whatever relates to your context), but acknowledge that it can be hard to leave things behind. Christians believe that God knows that change is good for us and that this is a special time for us to learn and grow.

Time for reflection

Reflection

Close your eyes and think about the school year that is finishing.

What has been especially good?

Is there anything you would like to do better next year?

What are you looking forward to in the holidays?

And what are you looking forward to in the new school year?

Prayer

Dear God,

Thank you for the world of change and development that we live in,

for seasons and growth, for new opportunities.

Thank you for all the past times that we remember with happiness.

Thank you for the time that the children who are leaving have spent at this school,

for all that they have learned and the ways they have grown.

Be with them as they go to their new schools.

Please help each one of us as we go through changes in our lives.

May we face change positively as a chance to learn and grow.

Amen.

Song/music

'To everything, turn turn turn' (Come and Praise, 113)

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