Staff music video/dance
School staff across the country have been providing amusement and entertainment for children during lockdown with video compilations of them singing, dancing, lip-syncing and dressing up. Why not do one of these for your leavers and upload it to a sharing platform for pupils to watch?
Make a music video
Choose one of the songs from the Leavers’ playlist or any other song in the Sing Up At Home area and ask pupils to learn it using the tracks online. Make a live audio recording with pupils in school either singing along to the backing track if you’ve enough pupils to do so, or along with the performance track to boost the number of voices. If you have a video whizz on the staff team or budget to pay for professional video editing services, you could also have children at home video record themselves singing along to the backing track, mixing the audio and compiling all the videos into one home and school choir.
Alternatively compile a series of photos using video editing software* e.g. of pupils, school staff, the school building and grounds, the school lunches, the school gardens and any school pets, school sign etc. Organise the photos into a timeline and add the audio track of the recording to accompany the photo montage.
* Windows Movie Maker or iMovie are both free and there are user tutorials online.
Create a virtual leavers’ celebration
Ask year 6 pupils to choose something to share with their class. It could be:
- A talk about their favourite thing about their primary school
- A poem they have written about going to a new school
- An artwork highlighting their happy memories, or of their friends
- A favourite song, or a school song
Each should make a short video of themselves talking, reading, singing, dancing, acting etc (you might want to cap it at 2 minutes length).
Additionally, record video messages from teachers, the Head and other school staff.
Using an app like iMovie import the videos and make a compilation. If you also host a virtual assembly, you can play it during the event.
Why not consider a virtual assembly so that all pupils are able to connect in some way. Using a video conferencing app e.g. Zoom, the format might look a little like this:
Open: Play Today my life begins by Bruno Mars or Proud by M People over a montage of leavers’ photos that show how much they’ve grown and changed over the years. You could slip a few funny teacher snaps in too! This helps show the passage of time. The photo montage can be shared on the video call and can also be emailed to pupils as a keepsake.
Share: Ask a selection of children (in school and at home) to share their memories of school life, funny stories from the classroom or a message/poem of thanks to a friend or teacher. See pupil activities above.
Sing: Maintaining social distancing, you could sing one of the leaver’s songs, the school anthem or favourite song of that particular year group, with those at home joining in too (muted).
Watch: Either live, or in a montage video, staff share their favourite moments and challenges over the year. This could also be the cue for a surprise performance/pre-recorded video (ideas above).
Listen: Ask the Headteacher to share some words of wisdom or advice for the future, along with their best memories of that year group. They could read out the school motto, a poem, such as Let No One Steal Your Dreams by Paul Cookson or a Gaelic/Irish blessing like May the road rise to meet you.
End:Finish by asking all pupils to hold up pieces of paper/whiteboards with what they want to be when they grow up, written on it. Take a picture, then make a class collage with all the leavers and their life goals on it.