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Development - change for the better

To introduce the concept of development using simple terms and examples.

by Gordon Lamont

Suitable for Key Stage 1


To introduce the concept of development using simple terms and examples.

Preparation and materials

  • Everyday items for the quiz.

  • You will need a cuddly toy that you have named.
  • There is a very simple song, sung to the tune of ‘Frère Jacques’ (optional).


  1. Begin by saying that you have a very difficult quiz to start the assembly. Hold up a pencil and ask for ‘hands up’ for children to say what it is. Do the same with a piece of paper, a bag, a book and/or any other everyday objects.

    Admit that it wasn’t so difficult after all. Who thinks it’s easy to name things – to say what they’re called?
  2. As they’ve done so well, say that you’re going to make the next question a bit more difficult. Produce your cuddly toy and ask what it is. Agree that it is a toy dog/cat/fox, but what is it called – does anyone know?

    Tell the children the name you’ve given the toy (you could explain why if appropriate), and explain that some things have a special name, a name that you give them. Ask for examples such as their own toys and pets; include the children’s own names given them by their parents.
  3. Say that you have a special name for ‘9 March’ (replace with the date of your birthday). Can anyone guess why? You call it ‘My Birthday’. Take a few ‘My Birthday’ dates from the children.
  4. Talk about the name of the school – why is it called what it is?
  5. Now tell the children that you know of a school called ‘4th of April’. Can they guess why? Value all suggestions and then explain that it’s a school in Angola, which is a country in southern Africa – a long way away! It was named after the day that Angolans stopped fighting each other and made peace. This was such an important and happy day that everyone wants to remember it. Including the children of the 4th of April School.
  6. (Optional) You could teach this simple song to the tune of ‘Frère Jacques’:

    Fourth of April, fourth of April,
    Day of peace, day of peace.
    Remember fourth of April, remember fourth of April,
    Day of peace, day of peace.
  7. Finish by saying that you have one more word to think about. It’s a long word: ‘development’. It means things changing for the better. Explain that changing things for the better can work right the way around the world! Some of the money raised for the 4th of April School came from people in this country who wanted to help the children of Angola. Money like this is a kind of ‘magic money’ because once the people have the school they can do their own development – changing things for the better through learning.

Time for reflection


What does development mean? It means:

Change for the better … When a war ends … When children have a new school to go to … When hungry people can grow their own food …

What development will you see today? What changes will you make – a new friend, learn new things, play a new game?



Dear God,

We thank you for the 4th of April School,

named after the day when the war stopped in Angola.

Thank you for development – change for the better – wherever it happens.



‘When I needed a neighbour’ (Come and Praise, 65)

Publication date: January 2009   (Vol.11 No.1)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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