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Held together

To help the children understand that caring for each other holds us together as a family in school.

by Janice Ross

Suitable for Whole School (Pri)


To help the children understand that caring for each other holds us together as a family in school.

Preparation and materials

  • You will need a variety of objects that are used to hold things together, such as elastic bands, paper clips, a stapler, clothes pegs, nuts and bolts, screws.
  • A bundle of letters, a few sheets of paper, a pair of socks.


  1. Show the children each ‘holding together’ object and ask what it might be used for. What do they all have in common? They are all used to hold things together. Ask the children to choose a suitable object to hold together each of the following – letters, papers, socks.
  2. Tell the children that our bodies are made up of many different things, such as bones, muscles, organs, fluids. Our skin is what holds all that together.
  3. Imagine if our bodies were held together with elastic bands instead. What might they be like? Imagine if our bodies were held together with nuts and bolts or screws instead. What might they be like?
  4. Explain that our school is like a body of people. We all live and work and eat and play together. What would be a good way to hold us together? Let's see if we can find out.

    Ask for 12 volunteers to form three groups, each with four children. Group 3 should consist of older children. Groups 1 and 2 will each need two more children to help fix them together. Group 3 need a teacher to fix them!

    Group 1: Let’s try some elastic bands. Have some fun 'tying' the group together.
    Group 2: Let’s try some clothes pegs. Peg this group’s clothes together.
    Group 3: Let’s try some screws. The teacher should appear with a large screwdriver and screws and pretend to want to screw through ears, knees, etc. (the more outrageous the better).
  5. Obviously none of these things can hold us together. Ask all the groups to now form a circle and join hands. Have some of the adults primed to join the circle and one or two random older children. Explain that it is caring for each other that joins us together. If you have a school badge and/or uniform mention that these show that you belong together. As you learn in school to live together, to work together, to eat together and to play together, we hope that we will learn to care for one another.

    If space permits invite the rest of the children assembled to come and join your circle.

    NOTE: You could replace or expand the concept of care with the idea of love, if this is appropriate for your school.

Time for reflection


What holds us together?

How can we make those bonds stronger?

What will you do today to care for others?



Dear God,
Love is the thing that can hold everything together.

Love can hold families together.

Love can hold neighbours together.

Love can hold communities together.

Love can hold nations together.

Love can hold our school together.

We would like our school to be a place where people feel loved and cared for.

Help us all to play our part in this.



‘Love is something’ (Come and Praise Beginning, 16)

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