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Going for goals

To consider setting personal goals or aims and persevering to meet them.

by Alan Gordon

Suitable for Whole School (Pri)


To consider setting personal goals or aims and persevering to meet them.

Preparation and materials

  • You will need to display the initials of three sportspeople, plus the initials R t B (Robert the Bruce) and St P (St Paul). Set a small visual clue alongside each set of initials. This can be covered up in the first instance and revealed if the children have difficulty in identifying the initials. Ideally use an OHP, or alternatively use large cards or flip-chart pages (one per person).
  • Information in order to tell the legend about Bruce and the spider. See
  • Cards with the text of Philippians 3.13–14 broken up as follows: Forgetting / what is behind / and straining towards / what is ahead, / I press on / towards the goal. / Philippians chapter 3 / verses 13 and 14.


  1. Reveal the first set of letters. Explain that they are initials of a sportsperson’s name and ask for suggestions as to who it is. Repeat this for the other two sportspeople.

    Ask how the sportspeople get to be as good as they are. Establish natural ability, plus practice; lots of practice, hours and hours of training. Emphasize that they have a goal (to win gold at the Olympics, play in the Premiership, a place in the Ashes Test team, etc. depending on personalities chosen), and they practise to achieve this.
  2. Reveal the initials R t B and invite suggestions as to who this might be. Explain who Bruce was, and tell the story of the legend of Bruce and the spider: he was about to give up when he saw a spider which kept trying to build a web and swung persistently on a thread until it achieved its goal.
  3. Establish that Bruce had his goal or aim but that he had failed. He could have given up, just as any of the sportspeople who found it hard work training. He was inspired by the spider’s persistence to try and try again.

    Summarize: goals/aims; practice; persistence – keep on going.
  4. Reveal St P and invite suggestions as to who this stands for. Explain that Paul was a Christian leader whose goal was to tell everyone about Jesus. He faced many obstacles and difficulties. He was even put in prison, but that did not put him off, he kept on going towards his goal.

    Invite eight volunteers to each take a card and hold them for all to see, and arrange them so that the assembly can read the verse. Tell the children that this is something St Paul wrote and explains how he felt. Have everyone read the verse together.
  5. Optional, to add a game element and if you want the children to learn the verse: Invite a volunteer to remove one of the cards. The person who had been holding the card remains in place. Everyone recites the verse, including the text on the missing card. Repeat this process until all the cards have been removed. Finally repeat the verse twice without any cards. Thank volunteers and ask them to return to their seats.

    Summarize: goals/aims; practice; keep on going.

Time for reflection


Think about your aims.

Think about times when you need to keep going.

Who inspires you to keep on trying?

What are you determined to achieve today?



Think about the verse: ‘Forgetting what is behind and straining towards what is ahead, I press on towards the goal.’

Repeat the verse.

Pray using the verse.



‘One more step’ (Come and Praise, 47)

Publication date: March 2007   (Vol.9 No.3)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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