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Our weekly assembly and ‘Shine a Light’ blog

Our weekly assembly and ‘Shine a Light’ blog

Date: 18th May 2020 | By: national

We can all make a difference!


‘If you judge a book by its cover, you might miss out on an amazing story!’

I have chosen one of my favourites from ‘Aesop’s Fables’ for today’s assembly, ‘The Lion and the Mouse’. We are never too small to help or make a difference.

Sometimes judging people by how they look can affect relationships and even lose us friendships. Think about the hours you may have spent looking at the latest fashions, trends and ‘must haves!’. During the last few weeks of our assemblies we have had time to look at what really matters. What really matters is what is on the inside. We can try hard to change how we look on the outside but really, we should concentrate on qualities like kindness and helping others.

Beauty comes from within. The ‘Lion and The Mouse’ teaches us that the best things really do come in the smallest packages. In troubled times it might be the friends who you least expect that show you the greatest kindness.

When I needed a neighbour were you there?


Mrs Hart’s ‘Hooray for books hot picks!’

The 100 best children’s books! Includes the ultimate booklist to read before you’re 14. There is also a list of the nation’s Top 10 books in rank order. The BookTrust is the UK’s largest reading charity reaching 3.9 million children each year with books and resources to develop and support a lifelong love of reading. Their ‘HomeTime’ hub lets the whole family enjoy storytime with a free online sharing of stories and themed quizzes. You can even join the ‘Pyjamarama festival’ in the comfort of your favourite pyjamas! This is a really great site!

This week is ‘Mental Health Awareness’ week. Books can often provide a valuable vehicle for children to open up, discuss and share what is on their mind. It is important now more than ever to reassure and keep children calm about what they might be hearing and seeing.  This site recommends some super books such as:

  • ‘The Worrysaurus’ by Rachel Bright. This is a beautiful book to help with overanxious moments that children may have in everyday situations. It is beautifully told.
  • ‘My Monster and Me’ by the brilliant Nadiya Hussain looks at how children who may experience panic attacks can try to escape their worries.
  • ‘The Big Steps: I’m Not Sleepy’ in the Campbell Books series. Nighttime can be when a lot of people, young and old have some of their greatest worries. This is a great recommendation for both children and parents and offers tips, through story, for those who struggle with worrying at bedtime.

A real treat for fans of Harry Potter! Stars including Daniel Radcliffe, David Beckham, Eddie Redmayne and Stephen Fry are among those reading all seventeen chapters of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone/Sorcerer’s Stone! A fantastic time to revisit or introduce the world of Potter and the topical themes of family, friendship and courage. You can download and watch the book being read or you can listen to the audio version on Spotify/Spotify Kids.  Wizarding World is a fantastic website with a whole cauldron of bubbling and exciting activities for all ages to enjoy!


The British Library

We are fascinated with mini books! There is a beautiful story of the Bronte children who made miniature books for their toy soldiers to read. They carefully used embroidery thread to hand stitch brown paper, wallpaper and even leaves to make these adorable and creative tiny books nearly two hundred years ago.

This week the British library is calling on children to write their own ‘miniature books’ in lockdown. Children can share their homemade miniature books @BL_Learning using #DiscoveringChildrensBooks or email with their mini creations!   This project is backed by authors and illustrators including Jacqueline Wilson and Axel Scheffler who have created their own miniature books. have written a great step by step guide on making your own miniature book the size of a postage stamp!

Give it a go and your books could be displayed online in the ‘National Library of Miniature Books for the toy world’.

The British Library also offers services to help with specific resources and research giving specialist advice, the reference team provide an online ‘Quick Chat’ service for short research on areas such as ‘Rare books’, ‘Science’ ‘Music’ and ‘Humanities’.


‘The Nightingales’ Song.’

Liverpool Captain Jordan Henderson, Joe Root England Cricket skipper and West Ham star, Jack Wilshere are amongst a host of sports stars to support a new e-book to raise funds for ‘NHS Charities Together’. This is a beautifully illustrated book about a team of underdog birds turning their hand to football, cricket and rugby! This hopeful tale demonstrates to children that we really can get through anything if we work together as a team. The message is beautiful. The e-book can be purchased on Amazon £3.19 with all proceeds going to help the NHS.


We love the pictures of children reading that have been sent into Child of Wales! I am a great believer in the saying ‘a good reader makes a good writer’. The more children read, the more they are exposed to a rich and wide vocabulary. This assists in fictional writing such as stories and poems and non-fictional writing such as recipes and instructions.

I encourage you to read to your children. There is no age limit on when you should stop. A favourite, that all children who were taught by me in Year Six enjoyed is ‘Goodnight Mr Tom’ by Michelle Magorian.

This gripping and powerful story explores the life of an evacuee, William Beech in World War Two. There is an obvious thread of learning through History in this text. The life of an evacuee, air raid shelters and blackouts cannot be missed but there are deeper discussions and learning to be gained from this captivating story. Children can write diaries, compare life in the city to that of the country through descriptive settings and explore the unlikely friendship of both Mr Tom and William. ‘Don’t judge a book by its cover’ is a definite fit for Mr Tom.


Mrs Hart’s Recipe for Friendship

Ingredients: People of all different shapes, sizes and colour!

Method: Mix in a good handful of love,

Stir in some patience,

Sieve in lots of laughter,

Sprinkle in some kindness,

Bake in a warm heart forever.


‘I may only be one person, but I can be one person who makes a difference!’

Child of Wales celebrates ‘Random Acts of Kindness in our ‘Hello Monday’ assembly today. These kind-hearted souls have actively gone out and made a difference to others in the world. You do not have to be a famous celebrity to make a difference. Often, those who do good things, do them quietly. Being kind makes a difference to others and kindness spreads.

Being kind can also bring lots of happiness back to you, like a boomerang! A dear friend of mine, Becki McArthur is someone who makes a difference to everyone she meets. She has all of the qualities we have talked about. Becki shows great kindness, tolerance, patience, calmness and loyalty.

These are just a few qualities that make her a good and deeply kind person to be around. It is through Becki we were fortunate enough to help and support ‘The FAST’ Charity in Brasov, Romania. Taking children from Years five and six, including my own two children, was a life changing experience for us all.

Here we discovered new friends who live a completely different life to ours. The Roma community in Secele live with much discrimination and poverty. Visiting schools and soup kitchens, offering kindness and support through this charity gave us hope. You can have nothing in life but if you have happiness, you have everything. From those trips to help our friends in the Roma community, we all learnt valuable life lessons.


‘Never judge someone by the way he looks or a book by the way it’s covered; for inside those tattered pages, there’s a lot to be discovered.’


Mrs Hart, Adviser to Child of Wales.