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Saying sorry - a way to begin again.

To help children reflect on the place of saying sorry in their everyday lives.

by Jill Fuller

Suitable for Key Stage 2


To help children reflect on the place of saying sorry in their everyday lives.

Preparation and materials

  • Prepare a child to read Matthew 18.21-22.
  • CD/cassette of 'Sorry' by Elton John.
  • It would help to have some anecdotes of times in the leader's life when it was hard to say sorry or hard to forgive.


  1. Ask the children if they have ever had an argument with a friend and 'fallen out'. Invite individuals to share how they felt. Were they sad? Did they feel unfairly treated? Ask if they have any good ideas of how to put things right after an argument and share these ideas together.

  2. Discuss whether it helps if the other person says 'sorry'. How does it help? Explore the idea of forgiveness, i.e. when someone says sorry, the situation is dealt with and is over. It will not be a problem between you again.

  3. Suggest that sometimes it is hard to say sorry ourselves because we want to think we are completely right. We want to remain the one with power and in control.

  4. Remind the children that Jesus taught about the importance of being ready to forgive when someone says sorry. Ask the child to read Matthew 18.21-22. (This version is from the Good News Bible.)

    'Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, "Lord, if my brother keeps on sinning against me, how many times do I have to forgive him? Seven times?" "No, not seven times," answered Jesus, "but seventy times seven."'

    Talk about whether Jesus really meant we had to count 70 times 7 or whether he meant we always had to be ready to forgive?

    Ask the children if they can think of a time in Jesus' life when he forgave people even though it must have been hard for him to do so. Read Luke 23.32-34.

    'Two other men, both of them criminals, were also led out to be put to death with Jesus. When they came to the place called "The Skull", they crucified Jesus there, and the two criminals, one on his right and the other on his left. Jesus said, "Forgive them, Father! They don't know what they are doing."'

  5. To round off, talk about how saying sorry and being forgiven gives us a chance to start again. You may like to listen to the Elton John Music to conclude.

Time for reflection

Ask the children to make a habit at night-time of thinking back over their day to see if there is anyone to whom they should say sorry.

Allow time for them to think if there is something they need to say sorry for today.

Say together words from The Lord's Prayer:

Forgive us our sins
As we forgive those who sin against us.



'Our Father' (Come and Praise, 51)

Curriculum links

  • English: Write a diary entry for a day when you have had an argument, and describe how it was resolved.
  • RE: Look at the practice of Confession in Christian Churches. Read the parable of the unforgiving servant in Matthew 21.1-35.
  • PSHE: Discuss the saying, 'Never let the sun go down on your anger'. Do pupils think this is good advice?


Scriptures quoted from the Good News Bible published by The Bible Societies/HarperCollins Publishers Ltd UK © American Bible Society, 1966, 1971, 1976, 1992.

Publication date: June 2001   (Vol.3 No.6)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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