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Time Flies

Making the most of the moment

by Janice Ross

Suitable for Whole School (Sec)


To encourage us to appreciate the gift of time and to be aware of its passing.

Preparation and materials

  • You will need the PowerPoint slides that accompany this assembly (Time Flies) and the means to display them.


  1. Show Slide 1.

    Ask the students whether they have a favourite book. Ask them if they remember having a favourite book when they were younger.

    You may wish to ask some students to name the books.

  2. Point out that many young children ask for the same book again and again. Some of the students may remember catching their parents missing out words or flicking over a few pages at once to try to get through a book more quickly!

  3. Show Slides 2-9.

    For each slide, ask the students to raise their hand if they remember reading these books in the past.

  4. Point out that there are many great modern authors, but there are also lots of less contemporary authors whose books are still popular today. One of these is Enid Blyton. Although her books have needed updating to remove old-fashioned opinions and ideas, many of her stories, in particular adventure series such as The Famous Five and The Secret Seven, are still hugely popular.

  5. Show Slide 10.

    Ask the students to raise their hand if they have read any of The Famous Five books.

    Explain that the books are about a group of friends who have all sorts of adventures. Most of these take place in the school holidays, when the children have the time to go off wherever they want.

  6. Show Slide 11 and read out the quotation.

    Ask the students to consider the following questions. You may wish to ask them to discuss the answers with those seated near them.

    - The summer holidays weren’t that long ago; did it feel like they went quickly or slowly?
    - Is this term going quickly?
    - Does it seem like a long time since Christmas?
    - Does the next summer holiday seem a long way away?

  7. Many people speak of time flying, or of time going faster every year. Establish that it is usually older people who make these statements. However, point out that many younger people will speak about the day going very fast, especially if they are doing something enjoyable.

  8. Of course, it isnt scientifically possible for time to speed up, but it might seem like time is going faster for several reasons. For example, we could be enjoying ourselves, be very busy or be planning what we will do tomorrow or next week rather than enjoying the here and now.

  9. Show Slide 12 and read out the quotation.

    Explain that the saying means that we should take time to enjoy what is in front of us. We should notice the beauty around us and learn to appreciate every moment of every day.

    In fact, a study in 2012 suggested that appreciating meaningful things and people in our lives may play an even larger role in our overall happiness than previously thought.

  10. Sometimes, in school, the teacher may take a register. When he/she calls out the names, a possible response is ‘Present’. What does that word mean, though?

    Suggest that we can be present in body while our minds have wandered somewhere else. Living in the present means that our awareness is centred on the here and now. This helps us to enjoy each day, to focus on what and who is around us and to be in less of a hurry.

Time for reflection

Encourage the students to take a few minutes to reflect on what they have heard.

How can we make sure that we take time to ‘smell the roses?

Pause to allow time for thought.

How can we make sure that we are fully present, both in mind and body?

Pause to allow time for thought.

How can we use our time wisely?

Pause to allow time for thought.

What are our priorities? Do we need to decide to use our time in a different way?

Pause to allow time for thought.

Dear God,
Please help us to appreciate each day.
Please help us to enjoy the wonder of your creation.
Help us to be aware of all those we engage with in conversations.
Help us to be thoughtful.
Help us to take the time to consider what are the most important things in life.
Help us to have good priorities.

Publication date: October 2019   (Vol.21 No.10)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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