My brilliant assembly - You've got a friend

Don't panic if you are asked to take an assembly at short notice. This is my favourite in-an-instant assembly. It's about friendships and doesn't need much preparation. All you need are cards with the word "friend" written on in different languages for pupils in the audience to hold. Can they guess what the words mean?

I try to show the cards that bear little resemblance to the English word at first, such as mik (Albanian), ven (Danish), megobari (Georgian), cara (Irish) and tomodachi (Japanese). If pupils still haven't got it then I start to give them words that might help them guess.

I use the interactive whiteboard to talk about the different parts of a recipe that make a friendship and might ask pupils to turn to the person next to them and ask: "What are the qualities of a good friend?" and "Who has been a good friend to you recently and why?"

I write responses on a flip chart and explain that the qualities a good friend should have are the ingredients that go into a friendship. I then read a friendship recipe:

Fold two hands together

And express a dash of sorrow

Marinate it overnight

And work on it tomorrow

Chop one grudge into tiny pieces

Add several cups of love

Dredge with a large sized smile

Mix with the ingredients above

Dissolve the hate within you

By doing a good deed

Cut in and help your friend

If they should be in need

Stir in laughter, love, and kindness

From the heart it has to come

Toss with genuine forgiveness

And give your neighbour some

The amount of people served

Will depend on you

It can serve the whole wide world

If you really want it to.

Author unknown

Another possible reading is Aesop's fable The Hare With Many Friends. Ask the children what they think the moral of the fable is.

I remind pupils that a smile really is a "friendship token" and how we all feel much better when we have one. We then give each other a smile.

We've given out our own Hand of Friendship award during this assembly. These are awards given to children who are spotted being great friends by those on playground duty. Pupils can also nominate other children for this award.

I use one of the stories from Seal (Social and Emotional Aspects of Learning), from the getting on and falling out unit about friendship tokens.

You could use the following music: "You've Got a Friend" by James Taylor or "Bridge Over Troubled Water" by Simon and Garfunkel.

I first used this assembly during Anti-Bullying Week when I was looking for something positive and have also encouraged classes to write friendship recipes for a display in the school entrance hall.

Help, I don't have enough time to prepare

For more friendship assemblies visit the resources area of The TES website,

Karen Garner teaches at Shirley Warren Primary School in Southampton.

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