An assembly from the Culham St Gabriel archive
Suitable for Whole School (Sec) - Church Schools
To consider the importance of being ourselves.
Preparation and materials
- You will need a ‘treasure box’ that contains a collection of personal items belonging to one person, such as a book, scarf and photographs. The items should give clues as to who owns them.
- You will also need one or two readers for the poem in the ‘Time for reflection’ part of the assembly.
- Have available the second movement of Symphony No. 9 (the New World Symphony) by Dvořák, and the means to play it at the end of the assembly. A version of it is available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m2qCHLx_4qA (10.57 minutes long)
- I have a treasure box here containing items that belong to a particular person. I’m going to show you the items and I want you to guess who they belong to. If you don’t know, guess what kind of person would own these things.
Show the items in the treasure box one at a time.
Is the person male/female, old/young, happy/sad or rich/poor?
- There are some things that we can determine about people from their possessions, but there are many things about their characters that we cannot.
- Think about what you would put in a box to describe yourself to someone else.
- What would you put in to describe your character?
- What would you put in to describe how you are feeling?
- What could you put in to describe your talents? Could you put in a drawing of an ear to show that you are a good listener, for example?
- Now have a think about what your friends and family might put into a box to identify you. Would your two boxes be the same?
Think about how well you know yourself. Are you honest about what you are really like?
Time for reflection
Ask the prearranged student(s) to read the following poem.
When you get what you want
In your struggle for self
And the world makes you king for a day,
Just go to the mirror and look at yourself
And see what that man has to say.
For it isn’t your father or mother or wife,
Whose judgement upon you you must pass;
The fellow whose verdict
Counts most in your life
Is the one staring back from the glass.
You may fool the whole world
Down the pathway of years,
And get pats on the back as you pass;
But your final reward
Will be heartache and tears,
If you’ve cheated the man in the glass.
(Anonymous, in Janet Glover’s Rainbows Through Clouds, published by Lady Glover in aid of the Rainbow Trust, 1997)
The second movement of Symphony No. 9 (the New World Symphony) by Dvořák, available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m2qCHLx_4qA