Rapid Response:
Rapid response assemblies are provided on the site when there is an event in the news, good or bad, that touches children's lives, so we can offer you a way to acknowledge it in your collective worship.


By Gordon Lamont

Suitable for KS2



To remind the school of the tragedy. To mark it as something of concern to all. To consider appropriate responses.

Preparation and materials


Be aware of any children who might have relatives in the affected areas or who could know someone directly affected by the tragedy.

You will need two readers for the meditation – either staff or pupils.

Note that this is an emerging news story so please check any facts with a reputable source such as bbc.co.uk/news.

  1. Talk about the earthquake and ask the children what they know of it. Ask for instances of what individuals were doing when they first heard and how they reacted – what did they feel? NOTE: This personal recollection section may be inappropriate – see the note about relatives and friends above.

  2. Recap on the basic facts:

    A powerful earthquake occurred in a place called Kashmir, at the point where India, Pakistan and Afghanistan meet. (It might be wise to avoid going into too much detail of the area because of the complications of Indian-controlled Kashmir and Pakistan-controlled Kashmir but you could show the area on a map or globe.)

    The movement of rocks and lava deep below the earth’s surface caused the ground to shake violently.

    This kind of event does not happen in our part of the world.

    Many buildings, roads and bridges collapsed, killing thousands of people. No one knows for sure how many at the moment.

    Many people from lots of countries are helping in the rescue effort. The UK was one of the first countries to send aid, workers and equipment.

    The suffering continues with many people homeless. Children have lost parents, and many families have lost loved ones.

  3. Point out that many people living in the UK have family and friends in the affected regions, so we need to think of those people, our fellow Britons, as well as those in the affected areas. Ask the children to close their eyes and think about the following words. They can be read by the assembly leader and another teacher or by two older pupils. Teach the response, ‘We think of them’, to follow the words ‘Think of them’.

    One: Think of all the people who lost their family, their friends, their homes. Think of them.

    All: We think of them.

    Two: Think of the workers, helping to rescue people, working all day and all night, coming from many different countries to help. Think of them.

    All: We think of them.

    One: Think of the survivors who feel frightened and lost. Think of them.

    All: We think of them.

    Two: Think of people all over the world sending money, offering to help, saying prayers. Think of them.

    All: We think of them.

    One: Think of people in this country who have relatives and friends in the earthquake area.

    All: We think of them.

    Two: Think of people, just like us, wondering if we can help – wondering, ‘What can I do?’ Think of them.

    All: We think of them.

  4. Ask the children to open their eyes and ask for suggestion of how we can help. Tie these in to any local initiatives, whether concerned with raising money or writing to orphaned children. One practical step would be for the children to write to a local newspaper expressing their concern and asking for suggestions about how they and other local children could help.

  5. End with a reminder that earthquakes like this do not happen in our part of the world. We can be happy about this but perhaps it should make us keener to help those less fortunate.

Suggested song


‘When I needed a neighbour’ (Come and Praise, 65)





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