As the school year comes to a close and the summer holiday approaches, keeping the attention of your pupils can prove a challenge. They’re often tired from a long year of learning and are excited about all the things they have planned for the summer.
The key to ensuring your pupils keep learning and growing in these last weeks of the year is to take a more “fun” approach to your learning activities. Of course, we try to make lessons fun and engaging year-round, but the activities on the list we’ve got for you below are creative and don’t require quite as much concentration to get the most out of.
These engaging activities will not only keep your students entertained but also reinforce the concepts they’ve learned throughout the year, create lasting memories, and show pupils just how far they’ve come.
15 Fun End-of-Year Activities for Primary School Classrooms
1. Maths Games with a Twist
Our “Get the Buzz” games will allow you to assess maths skills while keeping things light and fun. We also offer pupil checklists you can use to identify areas needing more coverage before the end of term. These games will help you keep pupils engaged with maths and continue developing their skills right up until the summer holidays.
2. Watch Educational Videos
As attention spans start to wane, consider incorporating educational videos into your lesson plans more often. Videos can be an engaging way to continue learning and expose students to new ideas or reinforce existing concepts. Teachers love the educational videos from Learning Mole as the animations cover a whole range of topics - from geography to life skills - in a fun and accessible manner.
3. Write Letters to Their Future Secondary Schools
Encourage Year 6 students to write letters to their future secondary schools, introducing themselves and sharing their aspirations, concerns, and interests. This activity is great for both helping pupils understand how to structure a formal letter and preparing pupils for the year ahead as they approach secondary school. Looking at an example English lesson on writing letters to secondary school is a great starting point for structuring this activity.
4. Scrapbook Year-in-Review
Get your pupils to create a scrapbook (or poster) showcasing their favourite memories, lessons, and achievements from the year (or their entire time at primary school if they are in Year 6). This activity promotes creativity and provides students with a tangible keepsake to remember this year in their lives. The final piece will also likely be popular with parents, allowing them to reflect on their child's year at school.
5. End-of-Year Quiz
Organise an end-of-year quiz with questions covering a variety of topics from all the subjects you’ve covered this year. You can do this quiz individually or get pupils into small teams. If you can, present the quiz like a gameshow, giving children a buzzer to “buzz” in to answer a question (you don’t need buttons, they can use their voices!). To help spark question ideas, browsing primary school assessments can be really useful. From here, you can pull out and adapt questions for your class' big quiz.
6. Movie Day
Host a movie day in the classroom, allowing students to make their own movie tickets and popcorn boxes. Choose an educational or inspirational film related to a topic you’ve covered during the year. After the movie, pupils can write a review to further their understanding and English skills. You can use this free film review template to help pupils structure their reviews.
7. Wildlife Bingo
Take advantage of sunny days by organising a wildlife bingo game. Head outside with your pupils and challenge them to spot as many types of local wildlife as possible. This activity promotes observation skills, teamwork, and an appreciation for nature, while also just being plain fun!
8. Educational School Trip
If you can, wrap up the school year with a memorable trip that reinforces the students' learning in subjects like science or history. Choose a location that connects to a topic you've covered throughout the year, allowing students to make real-life connections to their learning.
9. End-of-Year Classmate Bingo
Create a bingo card with descriptions such as “walks to school,” “is the youngest in the class,” or “has a three-letter name” and ask pupils to go around the classroom and find classmates who fit each description. This activity encourages interaction, develops social skills, and helps pupils connect with one another. To remove all the prep, this free 'getting to know you' Bingo card can be quickly printed and you're good to go!
10. Classroom Talent Show
Organise a classroom talent show, allowing students to showcase their unique skills and interests. This event encourages self-expression, builds confidence, and helps students appreciate the diverse talents of their classmates. To ensure no one feels left out, provide some fun props pupils can use in groups to put on a short show or simply be silly. Encourage students to be brave and to be a beginner at new things, even when people are watching.
If you want to level the playing field and take this lesson of trying new things further, make the talent show exclusively for a brand-new skill. Ask pupils to find another pupil who’s good at something to teach them how to do it or ask them to give something new a try. If you take this activity outside, you’ll have more room for students to try new things.
11. Time Capsule Project
Have students create a time capsule with items or letters representing their current interests, achievements, and predictions for the future. Seal the capsule and store it until a predetermined date, such as the end of primary or secondary school, to revisit the memories and see how much they have grown. Resources like this 'All About Me' lesson and worksheet are great for this activity. Pupils can fill out the worksheet and then reflect on it at the end of the selected time period.
12. Collaborative Art Project
Work together as a class to create a large-scale art piece representing their time together. This project encourages teamwork and creativity and leaves students with a beautiful visual reminder of their shared experiences.
13. Classroom Olympics
Organise a series of fun, games, and activities for your students, such as relay races, obstacle courses, or team challenges. This event encourages physical activity, teamwork, and friendly competition while giving students an opportunity to burn off some energy.
14. Cultural Appreciation Day
Host a cultural appreciation day, where students learn about different countries and cultures. Encourage students to research what life is like for children in those countries, try food from those cultures, and listen to music by artists from those cultures.
Organise a classroom read-a-thon, setting aside a day or a portion of the day for a week for pupils to read books. Create a “book bingo” card or a “book challenges checklist” where you give children challenges they should try to meet with the books they read. Some ideas for challenges for your checklist or bingo card can include:
- A book your parent read as a child
- A book with an animal on the cover
- A book by an author with your name
- A book with a green cover
- A book published in the year you were born
If you're stuck on which popular children's books to choose, we have over 100 book-based English units on Pango which are perfect for adding to the checklist. This activity promotes a love of reading and creates a calm, focused atmosphere. To encourage children to reflect on the books they've read, you can ask them to write short book reviews. Templates like this free book review template are great for keeping reviews structured.
These end-of-year activities will ensure your pupils stay engaged and continue learning right up until the end of term. Better still, many of these activities also create lasting memories they can take with them as they move to a new class or school. Our extensive resource library can help you see the year out with excitement and make the upcoming year easier than ever when it comes to lesson planning, so make sure you explore Pango's resource library today.