Time for Spring!
The spring equinox is on 20 March 2020
by Rebecca Parkinson
Suitable for Key Stage 3
To consider the start of spring and the meaning of the spring equinox.
Preparation and materials
- You will need the PowerPoint slides that accompany this assembly (Time for Spring!) and the means to display them.
- You may wish to have available ‘Spring’ from The Four Seasons by Vivaldi and the means to play it at the end of the assembly. It is available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l-dYNttdgl0 (9.59 minutes long)
- Click through the slides and then leave the slide show playing throughout the assembly.
Point out that the slides show different images of spring. We all like to see the sun come out again, the baby animals playing in the fields and the beautiful array of plants that burst into life. All of these are signs that spring is here; the weather should be getting warmer and the days longer.
- Ask the students whether they know when spring officially starts.
Explain that there isn’t one correct answer to this question: politicians, meteorologists, scientists and historians have all debated different dates to use.
Many people regard 1 March as the first day of spring. They say that December, January and February mark out winter; March, April and May are the spring months; June, July and August mark out summer; and September, October and November are the autumn months.
Other people argue that spring begins on 20 or 21 March. This day is sometimes called the ‘spring equinox’ or ‘vernal equinox’. The word ‘vernal’ comes from the Latin for ‘spring’. An equinox happens twice a year, once in spring and once in autumn. It refers to a period when the earth’s axis is not tilted either towards or away from the sun, which means that daytime and night-time last the same length of time.
- Although there are arguments as to exactly when the seasons begin and end, one thing is certain: year after year, the seasons come and go. Even when weather patterns change, the seasons still continue. The days begin to get longer and warmer. Daffodils appear to brighten up the dullness; new lambs begin to leap around in the fields. We know for certain that at some point, spring will turn into summer, then autumn and then winter.
- Point out that the seasons of the year are mentioned at the very start of the Bible. Genesis 8.22 states, ‘As long as the earth endures, seedtime (spring) and harvest (autumn), cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night will never cease.’ God promises that the seasons are with us to stay.
Time for reflection
Ask the students to think briefly about which season is their favourite.
- Is it spring, with all the new life springing up?
- Perhaps it’s summer, with its long days that make it fun to be outside and go on holiday?
- Is it autumn, with the beautiful colours on the trees and the crunch of the leaves as we walk through them?
- Perhaps it’s winter, when the days get shorter and the excitement of Christmas fills the air?
Maybe we enjoy all of the seasons with the changes that come with them.
Let’s never take this amazing world for granted. Instead, let’s always take care of it and remember to be thankful.
Thank you for the beauty of the world in which we live.
Thank you for the changes that we see going on around us all the time.
Thank you that just now we can see buds and blossom appearing on the trees.
Help us to keep our eyes open so that we notice the world and help us not to take beautiful things for granted.
Help us to be active in protecting this world.
‘Spring’ from The Four Seasons by Vivaldi. It is available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l-dYNttdgl0 (9.59 minutes long)