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Press the Reset Button

New year, new start

by Claire Law

Suitable for Whole School (Sec)


To reflect on restarting, resetting and beginning anew as we begin a new year.

Preparation and materials

  • You will need the PowerPoint slides that accompany this assembly (Press the Reset Button) and the means to display them.
  • Have available the YouTube video ‘IT Crowd – have you tried turning it off and on again?’ and the means to show it during the assembly. It is 2.04 minutes long and is available at:

    Note: from 0.44 minutes, there is unsuitable content, so please be sure to stop the video before this point.


  1. Show Slide 1.

    Ask the students (and staff!) whether they have ever been using a laptop or computer when all of a sudden, it has frozen, glitched or just not done what they want it to.

    Point out that when this happens, we might be tempted to ring for IT support!

  2. Show the first 30 seconds of the YouTube video ‘IT Crowd – have you tried turning it off and on again?’.

    Note: from 0.44 minutes, there is unsuitable content, so please be sure to stop the video before this point.

    Often, a quick solution to computer issues can be simply turning it off and on again. In other words, we press the restart button. Even just refreshing our browser window when we are on the Internet can often help to solve plenty of connection issues.

  3. At this time of year, there are plenty of people encouraging us to press the reset button on our lives. A new year can be a new start. Pressing the reset button is a metaphorical way of saying that we want to have a fresh start.

  4. Show Slide 2.

    Let’s think about this idea of reset and how we might go about achieving it.

  5. Ask the students whether they can think of some typical ways in which people try to press the reset button on their own lives in January.

    Suggestions will probably include the usual new year’s resolutions such as the following.

    - Giving up chocolate.
    - Cutting out snacks.
    - Starting an exercise routine.
    - Eating our five-a-day.
    - Getting into better sleep habits.

    Note: if answers from students are not forthcoming, suggest some of these ideas yourself.

  6. So, when we look to press our own reset button, it can involve starting to do something or stopping doing something. It might mean increasing something or reducing it. Pressing the reset button effectively commits us to making some sort of change in our thinking and our actions.

  7. Show Slide 3.

    For some of us, there are times when we particularly want to press the reset button on our lives. This might be when we realize that we’ve made a mistake, hurt someone or done something that we regret. If we don’t reset ourselves, we may find that we are bound up in guilt or regret about what happened. That doesn’t feel good at all, and tends to drag us further into negative thinking and feeling. Remembering that each day is a new day can help us to manage our feelings when we get it wrong.

  8. Show Slide 4. 

    Committing to pressing the reset button on our lives and treating each day as a new day might mean that we want to show that we are going to do things differently. We might want to apologize to someone we have hurt, or show through our actions that we wish to make amends.

    Pressing the reset button can give us the energy and motivation to put our desire for change into action through our words and behaviour.

  9. It is also important to mention that the Bible has a great deal to say on the subject. Although we don’t find the terminology of reset buttons in the Bible, it does talk a lot about fresh starts and new beginnings.

  10. One example is found in the Book of Deuteronomy, where the idea of a Year of Jubilee is laid out. Every 50 years, there was to be a Year of Jubilee when slaves were freed and debts were forgiven. People were given a fresh start. Even the land got a reset: for the Year of Jubilee, no crops were grown on the land, which rested the fields and enabled the soil’s nutrients to be restored.

  11. Show Slide 5.

    Christians believe that the Bible is clear that God gives us a fresh start - a reset button, as it were - when we turn from our wrongdoing and towards God. The Bible calls this idea ‘forgiveness’ and is clear that no matter what we have done, we can experience a reset.

    Christians believe that Jesus’ death on the cross means that they can be forgiven and provides them with a reset button. Jesus’ death was not the end, of course. He rose from the dead, which is probably the ultimate reset! Christians hope that they, too, will have life after death.

Time for reflection

Let’s pause to think about the ways in which we would like to experience a fresh start this year. 

You may wish to play some reflective music as you read out the following questions. An example is available at: (over three hours long)

During the reflection time after each question, ask the students, ‘What commitment do you wish to make to yourself?’

- Is there something that you would like to stop doing?

Pause to allow time for thought.

- Is there something that you want to do less of?

Pause to allow time for thought. 

- Is there something that you want to start doing?

Pause to allow time for thought.

- Is there something that you want to do more of?

Pause to allow time for thought.

Dear God,
There are times when we look forward to a fresh start, a new beginning, a reset,
Particularly when we have failed, messed up or hurt others.
Help us to remember that each day is a new day.
Help us to make amends so that we can find ways to start afresh.
We also call to mind that in the Bible, we read about forgiveness,
Your forgiveness of us.  
Thank you that no matter what we do, there is always the chance for a reset and a fresh start with you.
Help us to accept your forgiveness, to forgive others and also to forgive ourselves.

Publication date: January 2021   (Vol.23 No.1)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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