Tolerance of Those of Different Faiths and Beliefs School Assembly (A British Values School Assembly)
Click here to download the accompanying assembly Powerpoint
How many different faiths can you name?
Example answers: Buddhism, Sikhism, Islam, Hinduism, Christianity
Do all faiths have the same beliefs?
Within the Hoodoo Forest grew the most gigantic, towering trees. It would take one hundred children stood hand in hand to be able to give these prehistoric trunks a hug. And the trees were even taller than they were wide. The spongy, brown bark supported layer after layer of sprouting lush branches. Each branch of the tree was home to a different type of marvellous mysterious insect. It was a paradise for any budding biologist.
Kelowna buzzed amongst the bark, her large eyes darted from side to side, she always seemed to be moving in one way or another. Her hairy pink feet gripped the mossy trunk as she explored the drooping lichens that sprouted from the branches like the wispy beard of an old wizards chin. At lunch time, the whole branch of creatures came together to eat. The squeaking noise was the signal, a sound much like a high pitched squeak of a dog’s toy. The air filled with the enquiring squeaking of insect after insect. As the message spread, more and more insects gathered at the point where the branch and trunk joined. Eagerly, Kelowna approached the meeting place in anticipation of her lunch. Her stomach rumbled and she imagined the wondrous feast that awaited. But Kelowna would have to wait a little longer than she expected for this meal...
Why do you think that Kelowna’s dinner will be delayed?
Example answers: It got burnt, the branch snaps, it is too crowded.
Floating in the wind, she spotted the golden feather, she could not believe her eyes. Why was it not safe in its place deep within the tree trunk? Kelowna buzzed forward to grab the glistening feather. As she reached a gust of wind caught the feather and it wafted off into a turbulent spin. Kelowna let out a loud squeak and alerted the attention of the other branch dwellers. Beeping and squeaking, buzzing and chirping, and clicking and singing the insects erupted into argument. Why was the feather not guarded? How could they have been so careless? The golden feather was the most prized object in the whole of Kelowna’s world. Her people believed that it came from the golden nutcracker, the bird that had planted the seed that their tree, and indeed their whole world, had grown from.
“Someone must retrieve it immediately,” clicked Kelowna’s mother, Okanga. Needing no encouragement Kelowna buzzed into the air. “I will go,” she declared. “There is no time for arguing, I saw the feather drift up there,” she pointed at the branch high above their heads. “If I go now, I can stop it before it blows further away.” And so without further deliberation Kelowna found herself buzzing through the vibrant leaves up to the branch above.
This was a big deal, branch dwellers just didn’t explore outside of their own safe, familiar leafy branch. Kelowna had not stopped to think about what she might find. What she did find was more different than she had ever expected. The leaves on the branch above were orange, a firey orange not like the bright green foliage of her home land. Standing amongst the flickering leaves was a gigantic, slender insect with three beady eyes. Although there were three eyes, they were not so different from her own. She saw them and they saw her! Waving in the creatures many claws was the glistening, golden feather. There were many more three eyed insects gathered around the creature. “ The golden dove has gifted us with another of its feathers” decreed the strange insect. “The dove that gives us the sun, that makes our mighty tree grow,” he continued.
Kelowna furiously buzzed from side to side, the feather was from the golden nut cracker, it wasn’t from a dove! What was this insect chirping on about. She just couldn’t help herself, she really cared about the feather and before she knew what she was doing Kelowna was shouting at the top of her voice. “It’s a nutcracker feather you buffoon, it didn’t come from a golden dove!” The branch fell silent, and then she noticed the eyes! Hundreds of angry red eyes all staring at her. “How dare you,” shouted a voice from amongst the crowd. Here, here agreed a hundred furious voices. Kelowna’s antennae’s began to flash red with embarrassment, she felt slightly sick and noticed that her wings were beginning to shake.
Why do all of the three eyed creatures feel angry?
Example answer: Kelowna is not being tolerant of their beliefs.
The fiery leaves around began to rustle, there was a mighty gust and the feather whirled into the air. Following the feather, Kelowna darted into the sky and up high amongst the magenta leaves. The grumbling and ranting below began to fade and Kelowna emerged through the thick sea of leaves. She popped out on the beautiful pale bark of the branch above. The branch was smooth and gnarled like that of a piece of drift wood washed up on a lonely beach. Panting for her breath, she caught a glimpse of the golden feather disappearing between the layers of the smooth bark. Kelowna fearlessly followed the feather. Carefully, she pulled open the layers of the bark and squeezed inside. She bounced onto the cushion like surface below and there sticking out of the strangest sucker that you can imagine was the golden feather. At the end of the sucker was an even stranger creature. Imagine a snail with a sucker for a nose and a sequin for a shell and you will have small idea of the sight that met Kelowna’s eyes. Letting out a muffled squawk the creature’s sucker began to trumpet. The bark squelched as the suckers of creature after creature emerged from the branch. “The lightning bird feather has returned, the bird that brought the lightning strike that struck our branch giving us the crevasse that we now call home,” squawked a suckered face. Kelowna knew it was a bad idea but she just couldn’t help herself “It’s a nutcracker feather, and it’s ours, you are wrong” she bellowed. The bark began to rumble with the complaints of furious shelled creatures. “It is the lightning bird’s feather,” argued a voice from within the bark.
What could Kelowna do differently?
Example answer: She could respect the beliefs of others and not tell them that their beliefs are wrong.
The crevasse became hot and noisy as the creatures ranted and shouted, and Kelowna felt awful. Disturbed by the heat the feather began to wave. A gust of air caught the feather and it wisped out of the bark crevasse and into the open air beyond the branch. Kelowna darted for the gap in the bark and with a squeeze and a pop she found herself tumbling after the feather. The branch shook with angry voices.
High above the golden feather floated. Kelowna stretched forth reaching for the feather but it gusted up through the tar black foliage. The leaves above dripped like a poisonous oil spill. It was dark up there, very dark. The air smelt heavy like petrol. In the darkness the golden feather glistened. Tiny light after tiny began to glow. A hundred flickering noses emerged from the darkness. The glowing noses of the koodoo bug. Amongst the flickering noses the feather finally settled. “It is the feather of the glow eagle,” came a voice from the shadows. “The eagle that first brought us high up to our home on this branch.” Of course Kelowna did not agree with this. She took a breath and paused. She had seen that everyone she had met had their own strong beliefs about the feather. Not respecting the beliefs of the other creatures had worked out horribly on the other branches and further more she felt terrible about it all. Kelowna decided that everyone had the right to their own beliefs. She did not have to change her own beliefs about the feather, but she did need to be more tolerant about the beliefs and views of others.
Should Kelowna have to keep her own beliefs quiet?
Example answer: No, everyone has a right to their beliefs and to be treated respectfully. The beliefs of others should be respected.
And so politely and gently Kelowna began to explain to the Koodoo bugs about her journey to retrieve the feather. Kelowna continued to tell the bugs of the importance of the feather to the creatures of her branch. The koodoo bugs did not agree with Kelowna’s story about the origins of the feather and so their following actions came as a great surprise to her. Despite their differing beliefs the bugs stopped and listened. They made it clear that they did not agree but they could see what the feather meant to Kelowna. And that is how Kelowna found herself tightly clutching the golden feather, buzzing proudly back towards her branch.
All of the creatures of the tree had their own beliefs about the feather and Kelowna had learned to be more tolerant and respectful of the beliefs of others.
Click here for a printable version of the assembly script.