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Making the Most of Time

by Janice Ross

Suitable for Key Stage 3


To consider how to make the most of summer holiday time.

Preparation and materials

  • You will need a pie chart, to be completed during the assembly.
  • Create an image of the following quote from the ‘Fitness’ option in the dropdown menu for the ‘Live well’ tab on the NHS’ website (at: and have the means to display it during the assembly:

    If exercise were a pill, it would be one of the most cost-effective drugs ever invented.
  • Also have available some fat quarters (squares of fabric used in quilting), though this is optional.
  • Review the information given on the benefit to prisoners of learning to quilt given on Fine Cell Work’s website, at: You might like to show some of the images from the website during the assembly (check copyright).
  • Either choose a summery tune or have available ‘In the summertime’ by Mungo Jerry and the means available to play it at the end of the assembly.


1. Consider the length of the summer holidays.

The average summer holiday is 6 weeks, 42 days, 1008 hours, including weekends.

The recommended amount of sleep needed by teenagers is approximately 9 hours per night, which, if you multiply it by the 42 days of the summer holiday, is 378 hours of sleep.

Time spent eating is approximately 1 and a half hours per day, which, times 42, is 63 hours.

Fill in the pie chart, showing the hours spent sleeping and eating.

That leaves 567 hours.

2. Some of you probalby have ‘Saturday’ jobs, which might take up another 48 hours.

Add these to the pie chart.

Some of you may have holiday jobs, which might take up the same hours as school. Even in the worst-case scenario, though, you will still have many hours of free time. Even so, have you ever felt like the school holidays go by in a flash?

3. Summer is a great time to stop and evaluate whether or not what we are doing in our spare time is helpful.

Think about when you use your free time well.

Think about when you lose or waste time – perhaps watching too much TV or spending lots of time on the computer or your mobile phone.

Think about how you manage homework, assignments, exam preparation and so on when you’re at school.

Maybe we could apply these kinds of organizational skills – setting goals and so on – so that we make the best use of our holiday time.

4. Summer, with its good weather and long hours of daylight, is the perfect time to get outside and exercise.

Show the image of the NHS quote.

This doesn’t need to be hours of football or tennis – even a 20-minute walk can do us good. If you don’t feel like exercising, simply sit outside in the fresh air. It’s a very cheap way to feel good!

Let’s look again at our pie chart. How many hours shall we set aside for exercise?

5. There are still hours left. How about hobbies?

Summer is the season of art and craft fairs all over the country, where people showcase their creativity, from painting to woodworking to pottery to needlework  . . .  

These hobbies are enjoyed by both sexes. Consider the number of male chefs, male fashion and jewellery designers.

Name some.

Consider the benefits of hobbies:

– enrich our perspective on life

– give us a point of connection with other people

– a way of relieving stress, which might be useful as we grow older if that is not a problem now

– build self-esteem

– give us something interesting to talk about.

6. You could buy some fat quarters. No, this is not a new type of fast food!

Show the fat quarters used in quilting, if you have some. Either way, explain the art of quilting.

Research from Glasgow University has shown that quilting ’improves your health in ways that even exercise can’t manage.’

Another interesting fact: prisoners in Brixton, Wandsworth and other prisons have been helped by taking up quilting.

Show some of the images from Fine Cell Work’s website, if using. 

Time for reflection

How will we spend all the extra hours of our summer holidays?

Remember that they will go in a flash unless we plan and organize our time to make the most of them.


Dear God,
Each new day you give us is a day of infinite possibilities.
Help us to be aware of how to use every day in a way that enriches our lives and the lives of others.


Your chosen summery tune or ‘In the summertime’ by Mungo Jerry

Publication date: July 2015   (Vol.17 No.7)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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