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Hello to a new school year

To provide an assembly to welcome the new school year.

by Jan Edmunds

Suitable for Whole School (Pri)


To provide an assembly to welcome the new school year.

Preparation and materials

  • None needed but an OHP would help in sharing the poem.
  • Some teachers might like to dramatize the story. The poem could be presented by individual children or used for choral speaking.


  1. Begin by saying ‘Hello’. Draw attention to those children who reply with a smile and tell them how much better it makes you feel as you stand in front of them. Invite the children to listen to your story.
  2. Mr Hi

    Mr Hi had a little newsagent and sweet shop. Sadly he was a lonely, grumpy man. He was grumpy when he woke up in the morning, he was grumpy throughout the day and he even went to bed grumpy. Each day he stood in the doorway of his shop watching people go by. He could not understand why he had no customers.

    A little boy came in to buy an ice cream but when he saw Mr Hi’s grumpy face he was afraid to go in and he ran off. A man came in to buy a newspaper. Mr Hi did not smile or look as if he wanted to serve him so the man walked out and went to buy his paper elsewhere. A little girl wanted some sweets but before she asked for some she said to Mr Hi, ‘Why do you look so cross all the time?’ He glared at her and she was so frightened that she ran away from him.

    It began to rain so Mr Hi went to the door to fetch inside his newspaper stand. As he passed the open glass door he caught sight of a very grumpy-looking man. What a surprise he had when he realized that it was his own reflection! He stood looking at himself for a moment. Then his expression changed and he began to laugh. ‘No wonder people don’t come in to my shop,’ he said to himself.

    He liked the look of the other Mr Hi. He made funny faces to himself, which caused more hilarity and he laughed and laughed out loud. Several people outside heard him and came in to find out what was so amusing. ‘Hello,’ he said and smiled.

    Soon his customers were laughing with him and they too were making funny faces in the glass door. What a change! As people came through his door he smiled at them and made them feel welcome.

    The little shop became very popular with the local children and their parents. It was full of smiles and laughter and you could always be sure of a welcoming ‘Hello’.

    I wonder if this is why some people say ‘Hi’ instead of ‘Hello’?
  3. You might like to allow some time to discuss the story, then introduce the poem.

    by Jan Edmunds

    It’s always nice to say ‘hello’ accompanied by a smile.
    For when we’re greeting someone new it doesn’t take a while
    To show that we are friendly and put them at their ease,
    A pleasant face, a cheerful look, for sure is bound to please.
    It doesn’t cost a single thing to say the word ‘hello’,
    And show that we’re approachable wherever we may go.
    To everyone we say ‘hello’ as we begin this year.
    Be sure that school’s a happy place and we need have no fear.
    ‘Hello’, we say to one and all, for you are welcome here.

Time for reflection


We may not speak the same language. We may not have the same religion or come from the same background, but the word ‘hello’ accompanied by a smile is the universal language of friendship.


Even when you’re feeling low, there’s always time to say ‘hello’.

It helps put others at their ease, to say hello is sure to please.

We may speak in a different tongue but ‘hello’ is understood by everyone.


As we begin this new school year, help us to make new friends, to learn new things and enjoy our time in school together.



‘You can build a wall around you’ (Come and Praise, 91)

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