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Events for school leavers

The end of the school year inevitably means saying 'Cheerio' to a group of pupils, but how are you planning to mark the occasion?

Leavers' BBQ (and family rounders match)

Clare Barnes, PTA Secretary, West Witney Primary school, West Witney, Oxfordshire (309 pupils): 'Every year, our school organises a barbecue for all Year 6 pupils, the parents and teachers. Normally this includes a game of rounders where the children are up against parents and teachers. This is something that is organised by the school (the PTA gives our leavers a professionally printed yearbook, which includes each child's school photo from Early Years - if we have it!). The event isn't organised to make a profit, rather so the school can wish the leavers a fond farewell. The rounders game is held on the school field one evening during the last week of the school term. Our Headteacher's husband runs the barbecue and the Year 6 teachers pitch in, which creates a nice atmosphere for the children. The event is run so that the parents and children arrive at school for around 6pm. The Head and Year 6 teachers set up a rounders game on the school field, and those who want to take part in a game are welcomed into the adults vs children match! After the game we have a barbecue, which includes burgers and hotdogs. For the final part of the evening, the children are encouraged to bring water pistols and we have a big water fight finale! I think they have been lucky the last few years, we've always had a lovely warm summer evening.'

Graduoke gift

Emma Evans, PTA Chair, Stewart Fleming Primary School, London (480 pupils): 'We wanted something unique - after some research, we came across TDH Media, which produces a personal pop video filmed at school with the children singing along to a track. This sounded like just the novel idea we were looking for! The cost was approximately £10 per child - with a total fee of £565, which included the filming and a DVD for each child. This was slightly above our budget but it was worth the cost and the kids loved filming it. We were so impressed with the finished product! It was very simple. We just picked a song and then spent a day recording it at the end of term. The school actually allowed us to premiere the video in the school hall after the Year 6 production. In fact, many of the parents cried! This year is my first year as Chair and I'm going to discuss leavers' gifts with the school council and see what the Year 6 children want to do this year, but I think the Graduoke is going to be a popular choice!'

Price is £10 per DVD per child for two classes. For more information, visit

Here are some ideas from our PTA+ Facebook friends...

Helen Heaton: 'We have teamed up with a local restaurant to organise an evening meal with a set menu, and the children will be getting dressed up. We are also planning for the children to put together a DVD of their school memories, with photos from Reception onwards. This will be presented to them in their leavers' assembly.'

Jemma Orange: 'So far we have done a glitz and glam disco with a buffet, autograph books, a pool party with a Hawaiian theme, a BBQ, and a masquerade ball where pupils made their own masks!'

Jo Roche: 'We bought cheap certificate frames and got parents to submit a picture of their first day at school and a current one in uniform. These were printed on one A4 sheet together with a group photo with all the children's names. We only charged £5 per head and had a party on the playing field with music, hot dogs, candy floss, nail painting and some organised games.'

Dionne Doyne: 'We have held a ball, had a Year 6 sleepover in the school hall with DVDs and a midnight feast. A garden party, we bought some very cheap wigs, sunglasses and feather boas, etc and made them some large picture frames where we photo-boothed them! All were very much enjoyed.'

Snjezana Cormack: 'Leavers disco with the theme... My daughters year had a celebrity theme, so they all came in dress like famous people and we had a red carpet…'

Nicola Tidball: 'Historically our PTFA have funded leavers gifts and hold an end of year disco for the whole school as a farewell. The Year 6 children and their parents organise a year 6 only event... Anything from bowling to a house party.'

Clare Flack: 'Disco and sit down dinner with a theme that the children choose.'

Andy Marczak: 'Year 6 host their own show, and we do the bar and ice creams in the interval. They also have a leavers party, just for the kids, and last year we were lucky that Domino's donated half the food.'

Clare Goldsack: 'A leavers' disco at the end of term, and we also give out t-shirts wth all the pupils' signatures printed on them.'

Jenny Pestaille Collom: 'We always hold a family party open to the whole school, where everyone can say farewell to Year 6. We also make a presentation for them, which always goes down well.'

Susan Hopkins: 'I organised a Roald Dahl themed party and managed to buy Wonka Bars online. I also gave out Wonka Bar invites that looed like golden tickets. You might also be able to get edible sweets on rice paper that you could use as lickable wallpaper - although for hygiene purposes, you would have to give everyone their own strip!'

Julie Caines: 'We used to organise a Year 6 leavers' party as a thank-you for supporting our events over the years. We provided a disco, hotdogs and ice-creams, drinks and glow-sticks. We took photos and printed them out for the children for free.'

Yearbooks Direct LB

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