When working as a Teacher or Teaching Assistant (TA) within education jobs, you will need to come up with innovative and creative ways to mark important dates within the school year. These key dates can be a single day or an entire week of events and are an ideal way to expand pupils learning and encourage teamwork and fun.
The Autumn Term
The Autumn term commences at the beginning of September and ends before Christmas and there’s so much to get involved in. From the Race for Life to the Stride Forward programme, from volunteering and acts of kindness to recycling to road safety, these activities could be shared via an assembly, virtual class, workshops, classes, decorations, and safe and inclusive group activities. Whether you are raising money, donating your time, walking, running or riding, there is something for everyone.
Please follow the latest government guidelines in regard to social distancing when planning any kind of event or activity. For advice on the governments COVID-19 safety guidelines, click here.
This event is intended to encourage pupils to become interested in reading for pleasure and develop a routine to read regularly. Challenge your class to swap half an hour of watching TV for reading a book for a whole week. Using this book genre list, encourage pupils to choose a book from a genre they wouldn’t normally read. Or why not help your class to create a Classroom Reading Corner that will promote reading and inspire others to fall in love with books. This display pack is full of ideas, posters and banners to get your class reading.
One in six 5-16-year olds has a mental health disorder. Encouraging young people to discuss and understand mental health can enable them to live happy and healthy lives. Stem 4 are looking for schools and colleges to register in their 2021 Stride Forward programme. Designed to put young voices and the front and centre of mental health discussions, this programme includes free resources and ideas.
Every child loves Roald Dahl stories, so why not celebrate their favourite characters and stories and encourage them to laugh out loud while reading more. You can throw your own classroom Roald Dahl Story Day Party with the help of this downloadable pack. Fancy dress, themed food, reading out-loud competitions, a class quiz and make your own party hat, there is so much inspiration to be had from one of the world’s best known storytellers.
Children today are part of a confident Digital Generation, having grown up with the internet. To promote coding knowledge in your school, try using Scratch with your pupils and set fun challenges, such as creating an interactive story, game or animation using easy to learn coding.
Intended to recognise the valuable contribution that Teaching Assistants (TA) make to supporting the education of school children. Work with your pupils to make thank you cards or design banners and posters to acknowledge the 244,000 TAs working in schools across the UK.
It’s imperative that young people learn about the Climate Crisis, but more importantly that they learn how to help combat climate change in a proactive and positive way. The Recycle More website offers lots of ideas and activities on how to understand recycling, organise a litter pick or make a musical instrument from recycled materials. The goal is to motivate everyone into recycling more.
This weeklong event is aimed at teaching pupils the true value of trees in tackling climate change. The Tree Council provides a guide to collecting, identifying, geminating and planting seeds to grow more trees.
This national event celebrates the huge benefits of cycling to school and helps to promote an active lifestyle and wellbeing to your pupils. Run in conjunction with the Bikeability Trust, there are a range of free resources available, including posters, daily activities and a bike safety guide. See the Sustrans website for up-to-date information.
Explore black heritage and culture with your class and help them to dig deeper, look closer and think bigger. There are a series of short films from the BBC covering black history and achievements, divided into two categories suitable for Primary and Secondary pupils.
Walking to school increases fitness levels, raises children’s knowledge of their local area, reduces traffic pollution and pick-up/drop-off congestion at the school gates. Join the Five-Day Walking challenge or Happy Shoes Day, with these online resources from Living Streets.
The theme for the 2021 Anti-Bullying Alliance month is One Kind Word. The free resources for Primary and Secondary schools are available here. These include lesson and assembly plans, posters, activities and short films.
This day is to celebrate individual acts of kindness and teach children why being kind is so important. Your pupils can each make a small individual pledge of kindness, or as a whole class you can make a larger pledge to show a combined act of kindness. You could make gift baskets for a local hospice, bake cookies for school volunteers or host your own Kindness Awards Day. Click here for more ideas from Kindness UK.
This event aims to inspire schools and communities to take action on road safety. This year’s theme is “Road Safety Heroes”, so why not set a class challenge to design an outfit for a road safety superhero or invent a machine that will make everyone safer on the roads. When you sign up online, you will receive a free action pack full of ideas.
Top tips to bring these key dates to life in your School
There are so many different events and initiatives that your school can plan throughout the Autumn term. Hopefully you will find a perfect theme for your lessons from the suggestions listed above.
Why not form a collaboration with local businesses, charities, hospices, retirement homes, emergency services or council? Contact them directly to propose cross incentives and to create closer ties with the schools local community.
- Ask for an item donation instead of money to keep these events free and help out families who may be experiencing financial difficulties.
- If school trips prove difficult to organise, try a virtual tour online or organise a video call with an expert.
- Maximise the experience for the whole school by splitting the workload between classes.
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