Friends and Friendship
Friends are important
by Hannah Knight (revised, originally published in 2013)
Suitable for Key Stage 3
To consider the importance of friendship and how we can learn to love our enemies.
Preparation and materials
- You will need the PowerPoint slides that accompany this assembly (Friends and Friendship) and the means to display them.
- You may wish to arrange for two students to read out the quotations on Slides 4 and 5 during the assembly.
- Optional: before the assembly, you may wish to ask some students to prepare a short passage about what friendship means to them and bring it along on the day.
- Show Slide 1.
Explain that today’s assembly is about friends and friendship.
- Show Slide 2.
Read out the definition on the slide: ‘Friends are people who you know well and who you like a lot, but who are usually not members of your family.’
Optional: if using, ask the students to read out their short passages about what friendship means to them.
- Explain that friendship can be found in many different forms and in many different places. We could have a friend who we have known since we were babies or who we regularly see on the bus. We may share a friendship with our brother or sister, or maybe with our pet.
- A friend is someone who we feel close to, who we can talk with when we are upset and have fun with when we are happy. A friend is someone who we can be honest with in conversations and someone we can trust to keep a secret.
- Having friends is one of the world’s greatest pleasures. Taking the time to get to know someone and nurture a lasting friendship can be difficult, but it is worth every bit of effort.
- With friendships, it is important to put ourselves in other people’s shoes. This ensures that we treat people in the same way as we would like to be treated.
- Here are some tips for being a good friend.
Show Slide 3.
– Be trustworthy and loyal. If a friend tells us something in confidence, we must keep that information to ourselves. Imagine how hurtful it would be if our friend spilled the beans about us to someone else in our friendship group.
– Listen! Sometimes, we are so concerned about getting our own thoughts and opinions across that we forget to listen to the other person. Being a good listener could make us stand out from other friends. It is also a great skill in general life and in the workplace.
– Be supportive. It is impossible to be selfless all the time, but we can try to think of others before ourselves more often. If our friend is struggling with a task, perhaps we could offer to lend a hand. Alternatively, if they are sad, why not organize a fun day out?
– Forgive. One of the noblest qualities that a friend can have is the ability to forgive. We all make mistakes and it is important that we value our friendship more than words that are spoken. This could also mean that people will be willing to forgive us when we make mistakes.
- When we are young, making friends might seem easy. A friendship can blossom simply from asking to borrow a classmate’s crayons, but as we grow up, our expectations change.
- Show Slide 4.
Read out the quotation on the slide, or ask a student to do so: ‘You can’t stay in your corner of the Forest waiting for others to come to you. You have to go to them sometimes.’
- Sometimes, we have to ignore the voice in our head that tells us to hide in the corner and instead, pluck up the courage to speak to new people. Remember, we can never have too many friends.
It’s also important not to be judgmental. Just because someone looks different or has different interests doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t approach them. In fact, doing so is a great way to learn new things!
- A couple of ways of making friends would be to join a club or start a new hobby. Engaging with people who have similar interests can be a great conversation starter.
Time for reflection
In the Bible, Jesus tells his followers to love their enemies. This may sound like a peculiar thing to do, but it does make sense. If we can be mature enough not to act in the same way as our enemies, who may use nasty comments or violence, we are already one step ahead.
Loving our enemies means that we are smart enough not to follow a bad example. Remember, people act in certain ways for a reason. Perhaps they have problems at home or are being bullied. It is our job to pray for these people and be the ones who set a good example.
Optional: show Slide 5 and read out the quotation on the slide, or ask a student to do so: ‘You have heard that it was said, “You shall love your neighbour and hate your enemy.” But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.’
Show Slide 6.
So, let’s remember these three key points:
– everyone deserves friendship
– we need to work hard to be a good friend
– we should learn to love our enemies
Thank you for our friends and for everything that they are.
Thank you for their gifts and talents, the kindness that they have shown us and the many things that they have given to others.
Please continue to guide us so that we will also be a good friend to others.
‘With a little help from my friends’ by The Beatles, available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0C58ttB2-Qg (2.44 minutes long)