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Are You Behaving?

Behaviour matters

by Helen Gwynne-Kinsey

Suitable for Whole School (Sec)


To consider the need for appropriate behaviour.

Preparation and materials

  • You will need the PowerPoint slides that accompany this assembly (Are You Behaving?) and the means to display them.


  1. Explain that it would be great to think that everyone in the room loves coming to school. It would be great to think that everyone looks forward to coming back to school after a holiday. It would be great to think that we will all have the opportunity to enjoy learning in a pleasant environment where everyone shows respect, and where everyone is sensible at all times.

    However, these three things are unlikely to be true for all of us! Sometimes, students don’t enjoy school. If we were asked, several of us might say that we would rather be on holiday, and sometimes, it can be difficult to learn when some students decide to behave in inappropriate ways.

  2. Point out that there are many reasons why people behave in particular ways. We often learn our behaviour from those around us, whether they are family, friends or peers. In some cases, this can be a good thing. However, at other times, it can lead us into doing things that are unacceptable, and that we wouldn’t normally have considered.

  3. In our society, we have a system of laws so that we can deal with people appropriately if they have behaved badly. When people are found guilty of wrongdoing, they are punished.

    It’s the same in the school community. If a school is to function well, it needs a code of conduct that includes penalties for those who decide to ignore the rules. The penalties are intended to be constructive so that everyone can learn from their mistakes and change their behaviour for the better.

  4. In the Bible, in Luke 13.6-9, Jesus told a parable that illustrates this idea well. In the parable, there was a man who had a tree that did not bear fruit for three years. He told his gardener to cut down the tree because he thought that it was a waste of space. However, the gardener asked the man to give the tree one more year. The gardener promised that he would look after the tree carefully during that time to promote the growth of fruit.

  5. Explain that the parable indicates that people should be given a second chance. It suggests that people sometimes need a bit of extra help to grow and change, but they deserve the opportunity to change and correct their behaviour.

  6. Let’s consider the following advice on how we can change our behaviour or avoid inappropriate behaviour in the first place.

    Show Slides 1-5 and read out the text.

    - Slide 1. Let’s be honest. If we’re not happy with our behaviour, we should admit it to ourselves.
    - Slide 2. Let’s get to know our weaknesses so that we can work on improving them.
    Slide 3. We shouldn’t be afraid to ask for help from friends, family members or teachers.
    Slide 4. We should avoid mixing with people who’ve had a bad influence on us in the past.
    - Slide 5. Let’s learn from our mistakes so that we can take advantage of the second chance that is on offer to us.

Time for reflection

Ask the students, ‘How do we behave?’

Encourage the students to think carefully about how they behave today.

Ask the students, ‘How does our behaviour affect others?’

Encourage the students to try to understand the effect that their actions might have on those around them as well as on themselves.

Ask the students, ‘Does our behaviour help others or hinder them?’

Pause to allow time for thought.

Ask the students, ‘Do we listen to advice?’

Pause to allow time for thought.

Encourage the students to accept advice respectfully when it is given and realize that, as a school community, we aim to prepare each person for a successful life.

Dear God,
Thank you for our school.
Thank you for those who care for us and advise us on our life’s journey.
Please help us to think about the effect that our actions have on other people.
Help us to think of others before ourselves.


‘Getting on with life’ by Philippa Hanna, available at: (4.14 minutes long)

Publication date: October 2023   (Vol.25 No.10)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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