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Courage

To reflect on situations that require courage.

by Janice Ross

Suitable for Key Stage 3

Aims

To reflect on situations that require courage.

Preparation and materials

  • Image of the £5 Churchill coin, see www.royalmint.com.
  • Quote on whiteboard: ‘Be daring, be first, be different, be just’, Dame Anita Roddick.
  • Four students.

Assembly

  1. What do you think of when the word ‘courage’ is mentioned? Who do you think of when the word ‘courage’ is mentioned?

    The word may conjure up images of our troops fighting in Afghanistan, or of athletes in the Paralympics, or of poverty-stricken refugee mothers caring for their babies, or of a recent 16-year-old round-the-world yachtswoman trusting that she would somehow be rescued in the stormy seas of the Southern Ocean.
  2. Show picture of the Churchill coin. Explain that this special coin has been minted to pay tribute to one of our nation’s greatest leaders, a man who was required to have great courage.

    2010 marks the 65th anniversary of VE Day and the 70th anniversary of Sir Winston Churchill’s becoming our Prime Minister. As Prime Minister when our nation was at war, he had to make many desperate decisions, had to go on air and tell the nation of the deaths of thousands of young men and women and had to watch night after night as our main cities were bombed by the Luftwaffe.

    Our new Prime Minister, David Cameron, has a very different but also difficult task ahead of him, which is to see our country through a time of recession. He too will need much courage to make difficult decisions regarding changes in our national spending which will make him very unpopular with many.
  3. Overlying the image of Churchill there is  a quote from Anita Roddick who founded The Body Shop:

    ‘Be daring, be first, be different, be just.’

    Anita Roddick was a British businesswoman, a human-rights activist and an environment campaigner. Her quote was chosen because it highlights the courage and qualities needed to be successful, whether in business or in government.
  4. This £5 coin also bears the London 2012 logo, incorporating the five Olympic rings, and represents the courage and national spirit that our athletes will draw on as they prepare to take part in the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Those of you who are sportspeople will have an idea of the determination, perseverance and courage which that goal will demand in the days ahead.
  5. Look at the quote by Anita Roddick again. I want to show you some examples of everyday courage that you might come across in school.

    Four pupils to represent ‘daring’, ‘first’, ‘different’, ‘just’.

    Pupil 1: I am going to try for the first eleven. I know I might not be chosen but I’ll give it a go anyway.

    Pupil 2: I much prefer to listen to classical music. Mozart is my favourite.

    Pupil 3: I don’t want to go out and get drunk. We are under age for a start, and I know that alcohol is not good for me.

    Pupil 4: I know that ...…….. is being bullied because of his beliefs. That’s not fair. I need to stand up for him and do something about it. These situations happen every day round our school. Sometimes you will have to find courage to be different and to stand alone. At other times your courage will motivate others to think again.

Time for reflection

Which of these four qualities do you need to be at this point in time, at this stage in your life?
Do you need to be daring? Do you need to be first? Do you need to be different? Do you need to be just?

Prayer

Dear God
Give us courage to do what is right.
Give us courage to stand alone if necessary.
Bless those in authority over our nation today who need courage.
We ask especially that you would give our new Prime Minister, David Cameron, and his government wisdom to lead this nation with justice and integrity.
Amen.

Publication date: September 2010   (Vol.12 No.9)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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