New Beginnings New World Symphony (Number 9) Dvorak; “Tubular Bells” by Mike Oldfield. Flip chart and pens. Introduction Explain to the children that this assembly is to introduce the SEAL theme “New Beginnings”. Tell the children that as this is the start of a new school year they will be thinking about what it means to have a new start, and that over this half term, during their SEAL lessons in class, they will be thinking about the possibilities that exist within their new classes. Ask the children to listen to the following story. The New World The school was closed that dreary Monday, when the clouds looked as if they had picked a fight with the sun… and won. Zack opened his eyes, sleepy from the late night before and lazily got out of bed. “No school today! Yesss.” he thought – there was a training day, so he had the day to enjoy just however as he wished. He peered out through the curtains to be greeted by the dull grey of an autumn morning and felt disappointed. This wasn’t the weather for playing in the park, skateboarding, cycling or football. He’d probably be bored all day stuck in doors. “And I bet there’s nothing good on the television either.” He mumbled to himself. He took his time to get washed and dressed. He could hardly be bothered. What was the point if he wasn’t going anywhere. Begrudgingly he squeezed the toothpaste on to his brush and stood lazily in front of the mirror. Watching himself brushing his teeth he started to think that perhaps the day wouldn’t be as fun as he’d hoped. Eventually, clean and dressed, he dragged himself downstairs for some breakfast. As he slowly crunched through a soggy bowl of cereal the shrill sound of the phone ringing made him jump. It was Yasmin, and she sounded just as bored as he felt. The day would drag by, but at least they could do something together to relieve the boredom. The mist closed around them like a damp dark cape as they trudged along the road into town. As they passed the park the rain began to fall, gently at first, but then with more and more force. “We’ll be drenched!” shouted Zack. “Come on, quick, we can wait in here until it stops.” yelled Yasmin, grabbing Zack and diving into the entrance of the park’s museum. All was quiet inside – the sound of the rain and the traffic outside was completely muffled by the thick walls of this ancient building. They shuffled through the musty entrance area and into the first exhibition room. As they looked around the gloomy interior Zack spotted a light gently pulsing on a nearby exhibit. It was a large, black, metallic box with all manor of knobs and buttons on it. Zack edged forward with Yasmin following close behind. A door on the front appeared as if by magic. It swung eerily open. The two children looked at each other, took a deep breath, and stepped inside… CLANG! The door slammed shut behind them and they were plunged into darkness. The box began to shake and a faint whirring noise could be heard, increasing in intensity until it became a high pitched whine. Just as the children felt they could take no more, everything stopped… the whining noise…the shaking… and then… the door swung open revealing a surprising sight. Yasmin stepped nervously out and gazed around her. She could hardly believe her eyes. “Zack!” she called, “the museum’s gone!” a hint of fear perched on the edge of her voice. And as Zack surveyed the view he realized that somehow they had travelled, but whether it was through time or space neither of them could tell. “We seem to have come to a different sort of world, Yasmin, just look.” The new world seemed very familiar: the grass, the trees, the plants and animals were all very similar to the park they’d walked past earlier. The rain was missing, and everything was bathed in warm bright sunshine. But the people! They were definitely different somehow. “They’re all so happy.” Yasmin whispered. “Everyone’s friendly and smiling. Let’s find out why? What’s so different about this world?” Conclusion Ask the children to think about what could be so different to make everyone in this new world so happy. Record some of the children’s suggestion on a flip chart. This might include: smiling; people saying nice things to each other; people being friendly; people helping each other. Explain that when Zack and Yasmin had found out the secrets of this new world, they returned home bringing the ideas with them. Ask the children if it would be possible to make our world like the new world that Zack and Jasmin had visited. Point out that we may not be able to change the whole world, but by doing more of the things on the list on the flip chart they can make the bit of the world in school like the new world. Tell the children to close their eyes and think of ways that they can make people happy. Encourage them to think about the different people they come across during the day: their family, friends, class mates, adults in school, members of the clubs they belong to and the local community. Explain that this is a chance for each of them to have a New Beginning by deciding to try to out some of the ideas discussed to make people happy. When they open their eyes, ask them to share a smile with the people either side of them. Remind the children that this term’s SEAL theme is all about New Beginnings and that in their classes they will be developing the idea of a new world and a new school. Tell them that you will looking forward to hearing about what they have learnt and finding out the things they want to make the school a good place to be in at the final assembly, when their ideas will help to cover the bare tree with leaves.