Our last project before lockdown was the St Nicolas School DiY Assembly. We look back at how the project began and how it was shaped by the children we worked with.

Back before the lockdown began, in March, which now feels a very long time ago, TrinityLearning visited St Nicolas School, Abingdon to help support a team of six 8/9-year-old (Year 4) children deliver an assembly to the whole school. The children had been trained through a series of TrinityLearning workshops.

Led by Taz Round, TrinityLearning’s Workshop Leader, the DiY Assembly workshops began with presentations  on two Bible stories, from which the children chose the Parable of the Mustard Seed, to fit with the assembly theme of patience. Working over six sessions the children first learned the story so they could tell it independently. They then thought about which part of the story referred to patience – and chose the phrase ‘after a while’. Thinking about this, and growing seeds, led to watching film clips of seeds growing (much faster than in real life!), from which the children developed a dance of plants slowly emerging from their seeds. 

The following week saw the team investigating examples of patience in their own lives by becoming roving reporters, interviewing each other for their patience examples. We talked about active patience – for example, when you have to work hard to learn something difficult – and passive patience – when you just have to wait for something to happen. Interestingly, most of the children’s examples seemed to apply a definition of patience as waiting for something while not being annoying to those around you. A valuable insight at the moment!

Finally, the group both applied and illustrated patience by creating short stop-frame movies of a drawing of a seed growing into a tree. Working in two teams, each team had to draw and photograph around 45 images to create around 20 seconds of film.

The final assembly was a credit to the team’s hard work throughout the project and hopefully left everyone with some useful thoughts and reflections on patience. Here is an excerpt of the group’s closing prayer:

Thank you for being patient.
Help us to be patient more often.
Sorry for when we have not been patient in the past.
Thank you for letting us have patience in our lives.
We will always love you in our hearts.