This assembly aims to help pupils recognise and appreciate the significance of every day. It draws on events that occurred on a specific date in history, illustrating how the still impact upon our lives today. This assembly focuses on the specific date 6th March, but school leaders may like to use the basic concept and alter it for use on other days of the year

Summary

To recognise the importance of every single day in our lives

Resources

You will need 7 Readers

Engagement

Reader 1: On March 6th, 1475, Michelangelo was born. If you go to Florence, in Italy you can see many of the greatest works of this master sculptor and artist. You may have seen pictures of his enormous statue of the Old Testament King, David.

In 1508, he began the frescoes on the Sistine Chapel in Rome, and that took him 12 years.

Reader 2: On March 6th, 1836, The Alamo fort in the United States fell to the Mexican forces after a 12-day battle. Davy Crockett was among those who died.

Reader 3: On March 6th, 1890, a keen bird watcher released 60 pairs of starlings in New York’s Central Park. The starling has now become one of America’s worst pests.

Reader 4: On March 6th, 1899, a Chemist called Felix Hoffman patented the most used pain-relief drug in the world, the aspirin.

Reader 5: On March 6th 1930, Clarence Birdseye, a native of Massachusetts, marketed the first frozen foods.

Reader 6: On March 6th 1987, The ‘Herald of Free Enterprise’ ferry capsized while leaving Zeebrugge Harbour in Holland. The car bay deck had not been properly closed, and the ferry was swamped and sank rapidly. 193 passengers died.

Reader 7: On March 6th 2008, on approximately every second of the day, a person will die. Slightly more people will be born. That figure remains constant, more or less the same every day

Reflection

Leader: What a difference a day makes! Let’s just reflect on those comments we’ve just heard:

Reader 1: Can you imagine life without visual arts all around you? Paintings, graffitti, statues. Gallery shows, paintings on the fridge that your kid sister did at school. Michaelangelo contributed to the beauty of the world in a very real way. You have also contributed. And what about music, film, theatre? We get so much pleasure from the Arts that go on being created all the time.

Reader 2: The Battle of the Alamo reflects the fact that every second of every day, there’s a war going on somewhere. That’s not good news. You may not hear about it via our media, but check; some present day wars have been going on for decades.

Reader 3: Starlings were in decline in this country recently. Not so in the USA! But mink were brought here by fur traders, and they’re now destroying some of our native populations of small mammals, just as grey squirels have taken over from our native reds.

Reader 4: Life without Aspirin? Aspirin is used by many people with heart conditions, as well as for the occasional headache. We might moan about the drugs companies, but the difference that modern medicine brings to us is immeasurable.

Reader 5: Life without frozen foods? Pass the ice cream! Even ‘Pizza Express’ relies on frozen pizza dough. The genius of frozen food is that it has virtually the same food value as fresh- so those frozen peas are just as good for you.

Reader 6: The disaster that was the sinking of the ‘Herald of Free Enterprise’ left this country deeply shocked. These were people just going on holiday, or travelling for work- and it could have been avoided so easily. Such accidents are rare, but remember how you react when a plane crashes, or there’s a serious car crash or rail accident? Modern transport systems are wonderfully safe most of the time, but accidents, tragically, do happen.

Reader 7: And, while we’ve been talking, about 120 people have died, and 140 have been born.
What a difference a day makes!

Leader: I didn’t choose a special day. I chose any day. ‘Google’ a date into your computer, and up comes an amazing list of what happened on that date through the years. Every day has a similar list of events, many of which changed the world for good, some of which reflect the pain and the difficulty that most people live with- hunger, no clean water, war, injustice.

Response

Leader: In the Gospel of Luke, Jesus says;
‘Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten in God’s sight. But even the hairs on your head are all counted… you are of more value than many sparrows.’ (Luke 12 v 6& 7)

We’ve been thinking about how, every day, people are born and die. Accidents happen. Fantastic discoveries are made. There’s almost something relentless in the way that humanity keeps developing and changing. We are the most amazingly creative species on the planet, and every day we prove that.

But you might also be thinking about the relentless way in which the population is born, and dies. There is an endless turnover of life; today may be your birthday, and it might also be the anniversary of the death of someone that you cared about. ‘Life goes on’ is a heartless saying.

But, in that reading from the Gospel, Jesus is saying that God cares about, and knows about, everything that is happening on the planet. That’s a big thought, stay with it!

And this school also holds to the intrisic value of everyone within it’s walls: students, teachers, dinner staff, caretakers, administrators, everyone. No matter who you are, how clever, how good at sports, how funny, how articulate, each one of us is held to be of intrinisic value. Worth far more than a couple of sparrows, much as we might like sparrows!

Our actions show how much we value people in the way that we treat them, in and outside of school. If we aim to treat other people in the way that we’d like them to treat us, then we’re acknowledging the value that we all have.

Today is *** (insert today’s date) Let’s make sure that we all make today count − so that if I were to Google the date in a few years time, maybe a few of you might be mentioned. But, more importantly, perhaps it may be remembered as a very good day in the history of the world.

You might like to use these words as a prayer

Take today and make it good Good for the world, for this school, for me

And help me, as I help to make it better

Amen

Find out more
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This e-bulletin issue was first published in March 2008

About the author: Ronni Lamont

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