Ethos Education

Paddington: Mr. Brown

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Assembly Objective:

  • Why are our parents requests and requirements sometimes frustrating? This assembly, suitable for commemorating Father’s Day, explores the Bible’s teaching that fathers (and mothers) have the responsibility of teaching and training their children.

Film:

  • Paddington (StudioCanal, 2014, certificate PG). Click here to buy the DVD online.

Bible:

Supporting Values Education:

  • The value of Individual Liberty is essential to the educational goal of developing pupils with ‘rational autonomy’. Families, like schools and the whole of society, function on the basis of certain rules set by adults. In a very simple way this assembly helps pupils begin to think about how to appropriately exercise their individual liberty within their home environment.

OPENING ACTIVITY

Parent Plus (story)

  • Ahead of the assembly, ask pupils to find out more about their parent’s lives by asking them one of the following questions.
  • What did you do before having children?
  • What do you do at work?
  • What do you do when I’m at school?
  • Apart from being a parent, what other roles do you have?
  • In the assembly, invite a few of them to share what they have learnt.

Father Job Spec (illustration)

  • Collectively, create a job description for a dad. List what sort of character traits would be useful, what kinds of skills he might need and which topics he’ll need to know a lot about.

FILM CLIP

  • Play the clip from Paddington (StudioCanal, 2014, certificate PG).
    • Start time: 40:46 (in chapter 6 of the DVD)
    • End time: 41:50
    • Clip length: 1 minute and 4 seconds
  • The clip begins with Mr. Brown shouting in the background. The first audible line comes from Paddington: ‘Things can be very different from how you imagined.’ It ends after Mrs. Bird says, ‘Give him a chance. He might just surprise you.’
    • If you cannot play the film clip, say:
      • ‘Judy and Jonathan Brown believe their father is boring and annoying. Mrs. Bird tells them that Mr. Brown was quite different before having children. He used to ride a motorbike and have long hair. He and Mrs. Brown used to be wild. But then they had Judy, and from the moment Mr. Brown stepped out of the hospital, he changed. He bought a safe, beige car. He became careful. Mrs. Bird explains that it was his love for his children that made him change.’

TALK

Download the Paddington Mr. Brown Assembly PowerPoint for use with this talk.

Scripted Talk

  • [PowerPoint slide 1]
    • Fathers are amazing people – just like mums. But, there are times when they can be a bit annoying. Do your parents ever tell you to do things you don’t want to do? Do they sometimes tell you to not do something you really want to do? Today we’re going to think about the reason behind this strange behaviour, and work out why dads do what they do.
    • Let’s watch a clip from Paddington and find out what Judy and Jonathan Brown think of their father.
    • Play the film clip from Paddington:
      • Start time: 40:46 (in chapter 6 of the DVD)
      • End time: 41:50
      • Clip length: 1 minute and 4 seconds
    • The clip begins with Mr. Brown shouting in the background. The first audible line comes from Paddington: ‘Things can be very different from how you imagined.’ It ends after Mrs. Bird says, ‘Give him a chance. He might just surprise you.’
    • If you cannot play the film clip, say ‘Judy and Jonathan Brown believe their father is boring and annoying. Mrs. Bird tells them that Mr. Brown was quite different before having children. He used to ride a motorbike and have long hair. He and Mrs. Brown used to be wild. But then they had Judy, and from the moment Mr. Brown stepped out of the hospital, he changed. He bought a safe, beige car. He became careful. Mrs. Bird explains that it was his love for his children that made him change.’
  • [PowerPoint slide 2]
    • What was Mr. Brown like before having children? [Take suggestions – wild, carefree.] What was he like after his first child was born? [Take suggestions – careful, boring.] What reason does Mrs. Bird give for the change? [Take suggestions – love, wanting to protect his kids.]
    • ‘Becoming a father does strange things to a man,’ says Mrs. Bird. In the Bible, there are some instructions for fathers which help us to understand what our dads are going through.
  • [PowerPoint slide 3]
    • ‘Fathers, do not make your children angry. But teach them the things children need to know, and tell them what they must not do. Teach them what Christ would teach them.’ (Ephesians 6:4)
    • According to this, a father should teach and train his children, so that they know what to do and what not to do. Sometimes this means explaining difficult ideas. Sometimes this means playing fun games. Sometimes it means giving rewards for good behaviour. Sometimes it means a telling off for bad behaviour.
  • [PowerPoint slide 4]
    • There’s a lot to it. It’s a big job! But, it gets even harder.
    • Most people would agree that Jesus Christ was one of the greatest teachers in human history. The verse says that fathers should teach their children what Christ would teach them. That’s a huge job!
    • With a job like that, it’s no wonder that there are times when dads get it wrong, and make their children angry for no good reason. But, remember what Mrs. Bird said, and think about how much they love you and have changed their lives to look after you.
  • [PowerPoint slide 5]
    • Of course, no parent is perfectly loving all of the time. The Bible also says that God is like a father. It talks about his ‘everlasting love’ and ‘unfailing kindness’ (Jeremiah 31:3). Christians believe that anyone who wants to have a relationship with God, can come to him like a child comes to his father. No matter whether we have a father here or not, or whether he is a good father or not, the Bible says that we can have a perfect father in God.
    • This week, when you feel like one of your parents is being a spoil sport and it’s making you angry, stop for a minute. Remember what Mrs. Bird said: ‘The point is, your father loves you very much. Give him a chance. He might just surprise you.’

Headings and Bullets

  • Annoying and boring? [PowerPoint slide 1]
    • Fathers are amazing – just like mums.
    • But, there are times when they can be annoying, telling what to do/not do.
    • Today we’re going to think about why dads do what they do.
  • Play the film clip from Paddington.
  • Mr. Brown [PowerPoint slide 2]
    • What was Mr. Brown like before having children?
    • What was he like after his first child was born?
    • What reason does Mrs. Bird give for the change?
    • ‘Becoming a father does strange things to a man’ (Mrs. Bird)
    • The Bible has some instructions for fathers which help us to understand what they’re going through.
  • Teacher and trainer [PowerPoint slide 3]
    • ‘Fathers, do not make your children angry. But teach them the things children need to know, and tell them what they must not do. Teach them what Christ would teach them’ (Ephesians 6:4)
    • According to this, a father should teach and train his children.
    • This involves lots of different things – some fun and some not so much.
    • According to the verse, fathers should teach like Jesus, who most believe was one of the greatest teachers in human history.
  • [PowerPoint slide 4]
    • Being a dad is a huge job, so it’s no wonder that dads sometimes get it wrong.
    • But, remember what Mrs. Bird said, and think about how much they love you.
  • Perfect? [PowerPoint slide 5]
    • No parent is perfectly loving all of the time.
    • The Bible says that God is like a father, with ‘everlasting love’ and ‘unfailing kindness’ (Jeremiah 31:3).
    • Christians believe that anyone can come to God like a child comes to his father.
    • Whether we have a father here or not, whether he is a good father or not, the Bible says that we can have a perfect father in God.
    • This week, when you feel like one of your parents is being a spoil sport and it’s making you angry, stop.
    • Remember what Mrs. Bird said: ‘The point is, your father loves you very much. Give him a chance. He might just surprise you’.

RESPOND

Reflection

  • Think back to a time when one of your parents really annoyed you. Perhaps they were telling you to do something or not to do something. Could love be the reason behind their strange behaviour?
  • Let’s think about our parents’ reasons for doing what they do, the next time they ask us to do something.

Prayer

  • I’m going to say a prayer now, and if you agree with what I’ve said, you can show God this by saying ‘Amen’ at the end – you can do that in your head if you want to.
  • Dear God, thank you for loving us like your own children. Please help us to understand how big your love for us really is. Thank you for giving us parents – thank you for their love, teaching and training. Please help us to understand how big their love for us is too. Amen.

YOU WILL NEED

  1. Paddington (StudioCanal, 2014, certificate PG). Click here to buy the DVD online.
  2. Interactive white board (or alternative means to write up a list) for the Father Job Spec opening activity.
  3. Paddington Mr. Brown Assembly PowerPoint.

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