When working in education jobs, whether you work as a Primary School Teaching Assistant (TA), a Secondary School Teacher or a Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) Learning Support Assistant (LSA), you will always need to find original ways to make learning fun and interesting for your pupils.
The Spring Term
For most public schools in England, the spring term runs from Tuesday 4 January until Friday 1 April 2022, with the spring half term from Monday 14 until Friday 18 February 2022. We recommend that you check the exact dates with your school, as term dates can differ based on geographical area.
The spring term starts with the return to school after the Christmas break and runs up until the Easter Holidays, so there are plenty of interesting topical events to inspire your classes.
You can encourage reading with a Harry Potter Book Night or Shakespeare Week, highlight the environmental plight with Global Recycling Day or International Polar Bear Day and inspire compassion and empathy through the Random Acts of Kindness Day or Children’s Mental Health Week.
Whether you choose a key day or a week-long event, here are some great ideas to encourage learning, initiate fun and reinforce teamwork.
When planning any event, excursion, or if you invite a guest into the school, extra safety precautions should be made in alignment with the government’s coronavirus safety advice to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and keep your pupils and other teaching staff safe and healthy.
Celebrate the birthdate of Scottish poet Robert Burns. Bring Celtic culture to life with pupils tasked with writing their own story in a medieval style, have fun whilst learning by creating verses that incorporate traditional Scottish words such as ‘ferlie’ and ‘kittle’, or ask your class to design their own tartan pattern. Click here for more ideas on how to bring this celebration to life.
This year, the world’s most famous wizard celebrates 25 years since the first book was published with the theme ‘Magical Journeys’. Inspire your pupils to read by introducing them to the wonderful world of Hogwarts and encourage them to write about their own magical journey. For more magical motivation, register your details on the Bloomsbury web page and receive an event kit containing activities for all ages.
Teach your class about the history of the Winter Olympics and all it has done to promote unity and solidarity across the world. Arouse your pupils’ interest in China, its people, food, language, and traditions, before setting a quiz to test their learning.
The effects of the pandemic were felt across the globe and positive mental health became a very relevant and important topic to cover in your classroom. This year’s theme of ‘Growing Together’ will encourage your pupils to consider how they have grown and adapted throughout these challenging times. For free primary and secondary school fundraising ideas, posters, assembly guides, activities, and tips, visit the Place2Be’s resource page.
This year’s event is aimed at making kindness the norm at home. Promote respect, caring, integrity, inclusivity, and compassion in your pupils by asking them to carry out random acts of kindness at home and watch the ripple effect of making others smile. Download the Kindness at Home Guide from the Kindness Organisation for more ideas.
This day was created to promote the plight of the Arctic. Learn more about climate warming threats by tuning in to live educational broadcasts, create a 3D educational classroom display board, plan a fundraiser event with a polar bear theme, or watch BBC Teach Life in the Polar Regions to learn more about these magnificent creatures.
The plight of our environment is an important topic to the next generation of eco-minded warriors. Engage your pupils by designing an infographic, organise a litter pick in conjunction with your local community and encourage them to find out more about innovative recycling practices and processes with current recycling heroes.
This annual Hindu celebration is held over two days to celebrate the victory of good over evil with a riot of colourful powder paint. Ask your pupils to create a drawing in colour that represents this chaotic celebration, set a photography competition to capture joy through colour and light, or use this celebration as a springboard for your class to investigate Indian culture, religion, and food.
Enrich your pupils’ understanding of the works of Shakespeare with this week of workshops, storytelling, and performances. Bring Elizabethan and Jacobean history alive with the life story of The Bard. For free teaching resources, competition ideas, poetry inspiration and much more, visit the Shakespeare Week Teachers Resources page.
Top tips to bring these key dates to life in your school
Hopefully you will find the prefect event week or awareness day from our suggestions above to inspire your class and encourage their learning.
Don’t forget to ask for input and support from local firms, care home residents, your librarian, or an expert on the topic you want to bring to life. Cross incentives, whole school projects and community involvement can create closer ties and build bonds.
- Set clear learning objectives before planning your event.
- Get visual, think about materials, props, and videos that will bring the topic to life.
- Ask for item donations as classroom visual aids or for raffle prizes when fundraising.
- Make transforming your classroom a fun team activity with the aid of your pupils.
- Enlist help from parents, guardians, and volunteers with planned events or outings.
- Inform parents in advance if they need to be involved, for example making costumes or providing resources.
- Involve the local community where possible.
There are plenty more celebrations, awareness days, and event weeks that take place in the spring term that you could add to this list, for example Chinese New Year, World Sleep Day, or International Lego Day. Why not ask your pupils to suggest a topic they would like to mark or celebrate?
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