Events for school leavers
What kind of celebration is your PTA organising for the
Year 6 leavers this summer? If you need ideas for events, look no
Leavers' BBQ (and family rounders match)
A barbecue or a picnic is a great way to get the children and
their families together. Remember that your some of your leavers'
parents are saying goodbye to the school too. Use the school field,
and ask parents to bring picnic blankets or camping chairs. If
attendees bring their own alcohol, you won't need a licence. Throw
in a rounders or football match to bring the community together one
last time. Parents and teachers versus children is the perfect
recipe for some friendly competition!
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, parents and
teachers. Normally this includes a game of rounders where the
children are up against parents and teachers. The PTA also gives
our leavers a professionally printed yearbook, which includes each
child's school photo right from Early Years - if we have it!. The
barbecue isn't organised to make a profit, it's just 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 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.'
Dance the night away
A disco or mini-prom is a great opportunity for leavers to
celebrate with their friends. Provide a special VIP area (complete
with bouncer!) at your regular end-of-year disco to make Year 6s
feel special. Create a chill-out space with a pop-up gazebo, fairy
lights and beanbags. You could even add a theme - how about red
carpet or masquerade ball? Set up a photo booth with some fun
props, using an instant camera so you don't have to worry about
holding images of children.
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
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!'
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!'
Snjezana Cormack: 'Leavers disco with the
theme... My daughter's year had a celebrity theme, so they all came
in dress like famous people and we had a red carpet…'
What could be more exciting than a sleepover in the school hall?
Get pupils to bring their own sleeping bags and pillows. Set up
some games with prizes, then cool off with some tasty treats.
Pupils could pitch in with memories about their time at the school
as the perfect bedtime story. You will need the relevant ratio of
DBS-checked supervising adults to children. Or how about a family
campout on the school field, with parents responsible for their own
children? Read our step-by-step campover guide at pta.co.uk/events.
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 tdhmedia.co.uk/graduoke.
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.'
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
Dionne Doyne: '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.'
Clare Flack: 'Disco and sit down dinner
with a theme that the children choose.'
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