Standing Assemblies

By Ronni Lamont

Suitable for KS2


To provide an opportunity to say goodbye and support those who are leaving school.

Preparation and materials
  • You will need a tug-of-war rope and some PE mats.
  • Optional music: 'Hello, Goodbye' by The Beatles.
  • Safety note: This assembly includes a tug-of-war match. We strongly recommend that you involve someone with a PE specialism who can organize this safely and demonstrate the correct stance, how to avoid rope burns, etc.. You might also like to practise with the participants beforehand.

  1. Ask the children who is leaving at the end of term. Get as many responses as possible, including teachers, children and support staff. Talk about where different people are going - the new schools, any who are moving house, staff who may be retiring and so on.

  2. Say that the children may be expecting you to say something about leaving and moving on in today's assembly but instead you'd like to talk about (dramatic pause!) a tug-of-war! Explain what a tug-of-war is, in case some don't know how it works. Show the rope and pick some volunteers to make up two teams. Set them up on the PE mats and begin the contest. Do this a few times - organizing cheering for the different teams, and picking other children to take part if there's time.

  3. Ask the teams to sit down and pick up one end of the rope. Ask if this is where the rope begins - or (picking up the other end) is this where the rope begins? Point out that the rope has a different start and end depending on where you are - it has both, but no one can say which is which.

  4. Now admit that you are actually talking about leaving and moving on. Just like the rope, some people here today are at the end of one thing, but also at the start of something new - both together in the same moment. It's a time of ending and beginning. Say that we can feel a bit strange at times like these, times of change. It can feel a bit like a tug-of-war inside us. We can feel a little sad, a little excited, nervous and happy all at the same time. Point out that this is quite normal at times like this. Listen to the music (if you have it) and use the reflection below to end the assembly.

Time for reflection

Something's coming to an end,
Time is passing by,
Another thing's just starting up,
We say 'Hello, Goodbye'.

Feelings pulling every way,
Saying 'Stay' and 'Go',
Some things change - some stay the same,
We say 'Goodbye, Hello'.

Dear God,
We think about all those who are leaving our school
to go to new schools, new places, and new lives.
Help them to change and grow
and thank you for all their time with us here at…


'Travel in, travel on' (Come and Praise, 42)