Like many vicars, I have several end of year Leavers' Assemblies and church services to do at this time of year, for various local schools. This year I've put together an assembly addressing the perennial change and transition themes, using the popular film Frozen. Several people have asked to see it, so here are my notes. Feel free to use/adapt locally as you see fit!
The version here is primarily intended for KS2 pupils, though I'll also be doing a simpler adaptation for KS1. As I did it here, it was for a church school whose pupils could be relied on to already know the parable of the building on rock and sand - that might need more explanation in some contexts.
Various different versions of this as used in practice also incorporated hymns (eg One More Step), and children reading poems and prayers.
1. Begin by playing 'For the First Time in Forever' (track 3 on soundtrack, youtube link here. )
I played this just up to the first chorus ('for the first time in forever'), and stopped it there just after Ana has sung 'Wow, I am so ready for this change!'.
2. I asked the children if 'Wow, I am so ready for this change!' was how they felt about moving on? After gathering responses, briefly discussed how we found some changes exciting, and some scary. There are lots of changes in the film Frozen - some good (like Elsa discovering how to control her powers), some bad (like the King and Queen dying). Most obviously, the weather changes dramatically when Elsa is scared and upset.
3. Jesus also told a story about the weather changing dramatically. Tell the story of the wise and foolish builders. So the Bible doesn't say that nothing bad will ever happen to us; storms will come in our lives, things will change in all sorts of ways, the important thing is whether we have strong foundations. When Jesus told that story, he said that if people had built their lives on what he taught, they would have strong foundations and would be sheltered and kept safe even in raging storms.
4. Ask the children what the film Frozen identifies as the most important foundation? I got the answer 'love' straight away the first time I tried this, but if not try asking what does Elsa come to realise is the key to controlling her gift? What does Ana need to save her? Then draw out that love is the thread that runs all through the film. It is because Ana has such a firm foundation in love for her sister that she keeps believing all through the story that Elsa is good, and can be saved and can work out how to save the country from the snow. Her love for Elsa means she saves her life rather than save herself, when she uses her last few seconds before freezing to save Elsa from Hans, rather than to run to Kristoff to try to save her own life. And then Elsa realises the power of love for herself, and is able to unfreeze Arundell and use her gift for everyone's enjoyment.
5. The Bible says that love is the most important foundation there is for life. Read (or paraphrase) 1 Corinthians 13 - if you have parents there for the end of term assembly you might refer to this being the best known and best loved passage in the Bible for weddings. Paul says that even faith in God is useless without love.
6. The best known song in Frozen is 'Let it Go'. (just mentioning this got a cheer!). When Elsa sings it, she is scared and fearful that now that people know who she really is, they will reject her. Because we know that God already knows everything about us, and loves us, we have a firm foundation for life. As we go through life, we can keep what is good about the past and leave behind what is not so good, and what we have grown out of as we go into the future. So in a moment we're going to sing Let it Go: and I invite you to clench your two hands in fists in front of you. Imagine that you are holding tight to everything that hasn't been so good about the past year. Maybe a time when someone said something mean to you. Maybe a time when you said or did something you're not very proud of. We'll keep the good from the year in our hearts, and take it with us into the future: but when we sing 'Let it Go', I invite you to fling out your arms and open your hands, and let go of all the things you want to leave behind from this year.
7. Sing 'Let it Go'! (track 5 on the soundtrack CD, or on youtube here.)
8. Conclude: So we have let go of anything we want to leave behind, and because we know God loves us and we have built firm foundations through our time in this school so far, we can embrace whatever the future holds with excitement, saying with Ana, 'Wow! I am so ready for this change!'.
(Play 'For the First time in Forever' again as they leave if you like).
(You could even include the snowman's song 'In Summer' in the middle if you want to make this longer, as an example of someone who has no idea what a longed-for change really means!)