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Getting Off to a Good Start

Making a good start is important

by Rebecca Parkinson (revised, originally published in 2010)

Suitable for Whole School (Sec)


To use breakfast as an example of getting off to a good start as the new year begins.

Preparation and materials


  1. Show the images of different breakfasts.

    Tell the students that you are going to show them the pictures again and you would like them to cheer for the breakfasts that they would most like to eat in the mornings. (You may prefer a show of hands rather than cheering.)

  2. Point out that, although many students have cheered for their favourite breakfast, it is likely that many will not have eaten breakfast before coming to school. There are several reasons for this.

    You may like to ask the students to suggest some reasons.

    For example:
    –  they got up too late to get breakfast
    –  there was no food in the house because no one had had the chance to go shopping
    –  they are on a diet
    –  they don’t like eating first thing in the morning

  3. Doctors tell us that there are several good reasons why breakfast is important.

    – It kicks off the body’s metabolism so that the body works better. (Apparently, this is a help to dieters, rather than a hindrance!)
    – People who have not eaten breakfast find that they lack concentration as the morning progresses.
    – People who have not eaten breakfast tend to be moodier and argue more.

  4. Breakfast is important because a good start to the day helps us throughout the day. A good start is also important at other times.

    – In a sprint race, it’s essential for the athletes to set off quickly from their starting blocks if they want a chance of winning.
    – In an exam, it’s important to start well and not daydream for the first half hour, otherwise you won’t have time to finish.
    – When you leave school and go for a job interview, it will be important to come across well at the start of the interview because interviewers are hugely influenced by first impressions.
    – In a new job, it’s important to make a good impression at the start rather than coming across as lazy.

  5. Likewise, at the start of a new year in school, it’s important to start well. Time goes quickly and it’s important to make the most of every moment and grasp every opportunity that you are given. That way, you can get the most out of (and give the most to) every chance that comes your way.

  6. A verse in the Bible talks about God’s love for us as being ‘new every morning’. As we start a new year, we have a chance for a fresh start. Let’s choose to use this year wisely and make a good start, and then continue with the same attitude throughout the year.

Time for reflection

There is a saying, ‘Today is the first day of the rest of your life.’ Pause for a moment and think about how you want to spend this year.

Do you want to waste it?
Or do you want to make the most of all the opportunities that are before you?

Pause for thought.

- Are you going to follow people who will lead you away from doing what you know to be best?
- Or are you going to stand up for yourself and make the most of your life?

Pause for thought.

During the course of this year, let’s all think about what would be the right thing to do and determine to take the best path in every situation.

Pause for thought.

Dear God,
Thank you for all the opportunities that we will have during this year.
Please help us to make the most of every opportunity given to us.
Please help this year to be a year that we can look back on with pride and a sense of fulfilment.


‘Morning has broken’ (Come and Praise, 1)

Publication date: January 2017   (Vol.19 No.1)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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