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Having Courage

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

by Janice Ross (revised, originally published in 2009)

Suitable for Key Stage 3


To reflect upon situations that require courage.

Preparation and materials


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

    The word may conjure up images of troops fighting, athletes in the Paralympics or poverty-stricken refugees caring for their babies. Maybe for us, courage conjures up something different. Maybe we know in our own lives that we are facing a situation that requires courage right now.

  2. Ask the students whether they know who features on a £5 note.

    Listen to a range of responses.

  3. Show the images of the £5 note.

    Explain that one side has an image of the Queen and the other side has an image of Winston Churchill.

  4. Point out that Winston Churchill is considered to be one of our nation’s greatest leaders, a man who was required to have great courage.

    Some students may have seen the film Darkest Hour.

    Winston Churchill became prime minister during the Second World War. During this time, he had to make many important decisions, go on air and tell the nation of the deaths of thousands of young men and women, and watch night after night as our main cities were bombed.

  5. In recent months, our prime minister, Theresa May, has had to face many difficult times as she tried to work out how to proceed with Brexit. People may not agree with everything that she’s done and every decision that shes made, but few would deny her courage. As prime minister, certain decisions can make someone very unpopular.

  6. Show the image of the 2010 commemorative £5 coin.

    This is a commemorative £5 coin from 2010. That year marked the sixty-fifth anniversary of VE Day and the seventieth anniversary of Winston Churchill becoming prime minister. The coin also features the London 2012 logo, which incorporates the Olympic rings. The coin represented the courage and national spirit that the athletes would draw on as they prepared for and took part in the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

  7. Point out the words on the coin. These words are a quotation from Dame Anita Roddick: ‘Be daring, be first, be different, be just.’

  8. Anita Roddick was a British businesswoman, human-rights activist and environmental campaigner. She founded the Body Shop in 1976.

    Show the images of Anita Roddick and a Body Shop shopfront.

    Her quotation was chosen for the 2010 commemorative £5 coin because it highlights the courage and qualities that are needed to be successful, whether in business or in government.

Time for reflection

Reread the quotation by Anita Roddick: ‘Be daring, be first, be different, be just.’

Explain that four students are going to read out some examples of courage from normal school life. Each student represents the words ‘daring’, ‘first’, ‘different’ and ‘just’.

Student 1: Im going to try for the first 11. I know I might not be chosen, but I’ll give it a go anyway.

Student 2: I much prefer listening to classical music. Mozart is my favourite.

Student 3: I don’t want to go out and get drunk. Were underage for a start, and I know that alcohol is bad for me.

Student 4: I know that my mate 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 could happen on any day at our school. Sometimes, we will have to find the courage to be different and to stand alone. Sometimes, our courage will motivate others to think again.

Which of these four qualities do you need to have right now?

Pause to allow time for thought.

Do you need to be daring? Do you need to be first? Do you need to be different? Do you need to be just?

Pause to allow time for thought.

Dear God,
Give us the courage to do what is right.
Give us the courage to stand alone if necessary.
Encourage today those in positions of authority in our nation who need courage.
We ask you especially to give our prime minister and the government the wisdom to lead our nation with justice and integrity.

Publication date: August 2020   (Vol.22 No.8)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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