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Slow cycling

To talk about life as a journey, complete with all the changes that a journey brings.

by Oliver Harrison

Suitable for Key Stage 2

Aims

To talk about life as a journey, complete with all the changes that a journey brings.

Preparation and materials

  • You will need a bicycle (check with the school that you can ride it in the hall). A helmet is also good as it sets the right example.
  • If possible, keep the bike out of view until you need it. This adds an element of surprise and keeps the children’s attention during the first part of the assembly.

Assembly

  1. Talk about change. Ask for examples of change. Ask how the children feel about change (excited, frightened). Talk about how it is unavoidable and inescapable: we can’t not change (e.g. you can’t stay in the same class at the same school for ever!). Talk about this a bit if you need to.
  2. Now say that a friend of yours has been in a bike race, but one with a difference: he had to ride as slowly as possible. The last one to cross the finishing line was the winner. This is hard because bicycles only stay upright when they are moving – go too slow and you fall over! In the slow race you are not allowed to put your feet down, and you have to go along a marked-out lane and stay within the lines.
  3. Get the bike out. Take it to one side of the hall and ask a teacher to time you as you go across the front as slowly as possible. Do this two or three times if you can and find your slowest time.
  4. Talk again about life as a journey, and life being full of change. We are like a bike: we can’t stand still, we have to keep going.
  5. But the good news is that we have friends and family who journey with us. People who believe in God believe that God is with us on our journey and through all our changes.

    We also have people at school who journey with us: new teachers to take us through the year, lunchtime staff and other adults who work at school. Some adults are still friends with the people that they went to school with – sometimes many, many years ago!
  6. But the trick is, like with the slow bike, to make the most of every single moment – because you’ll never get that moment again.

Time for reflection

Reflection

Ask the children to close their eyes, and think about the people who are really important in their lives.

Be thankful for all the times you have spent with these people.

Perhaps you’ve been away during the summer to visit family. Be thankful for those people and those times too.

Think about this year’s journey, through a new year at school. Think of all you hope for, and the things that you find more difficult.

And let’s be thankful for our new teachers, and new friends.

Prayer

Thank you for all the people who make our lives so good.

As we travel through this year, may we find new friends, and value old friends.

Amen.

Publication date: September 2008   (Vol.10 No.9)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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