Back-to-school planning for primary classes

Nicola Davison
17th August 2018
Primary school teacher planning back-to-school activities for her KS1 and KS2 classes

Get the academic year off to a fine start with these introductory lessons and activity ideas

Displays? Done. Seating plan? Sorted. Books? Labelled. Your classroom might be organised and ready to go, but can the same be said for your planning?

If not, never fear! We’ve selected some of the top introductory lessons and activities to help you to discover more about your new class and the way they work together.

KS1 resources

Get to know a bit more about your students’ likes and dislikes by getting them to design their own shield, all of which can be used to create a display. For engaging back-to-school activities, use this colourful workpack to learn more about your new class.

Explore what it’s like to be singled out on your first day of school with this collection of literacy and numeracy activities based on the book, Chrysanthemum. Or for something a bit more active, try this first-day treasure hunt, which requires pupils work in pairs to familiarise themselves with their new classroom and find useful learning objects, such as scissors and whiteboards.

Develop children's speaking and listening skills with this Circle Time activity pack, by giving them the opportunity to share their thoughts and feelings in a safe environment. Alternatively, allow pupils to think about what they can do to make the school year great with this themed craft exercise.

This is me shield activity

This PDF file contains three different shields for the children to design as part of your back to school or transition activities. The shields are divided into four sections for children to draw pictures to tell people more about themselves. Maybe they could include their hobbies, favourite food, what books they like to read, favourite sport, favourite subject at school, or what they would like to be when they grow up. There is also space for their name in a scroll at the bottom.

For more Outstanding Resources for Outstanding Teachers, please visit my website
By Helen Rachel Crossley

Key Stage 1/KS1 Back to School Pack

A fantastic time-saving and engaging pack of resources for the first week back. Perfect for getting to know your new class. The pack includes a comprehensive power-point which guides the teacher through over 15 activities which have been designed to be fun and stimulating for all pupils of varying abilities.
Activities include:
-a classmate summer scavenger hunt
-designing app icons which reflect your personality and interests
-summer selfies drawing activity
-design your own emojis
-My learning promise writing activity
-first week back diary entry
-acrostic poem
-design your perfect teacher AND MORE!!
By littledude2011

First week back activities - Chrysathemum

Using the book Chrysathemum which is a fantasic book to read the first week back, I have compiled a list of actvities that I have tried and have yet to try. The children love the story and there are so many things you can do with it. The book is American so you probably will have to purchase it from Amazon - I haven’t seen it in England.

By Loz12

First day treasure hunt

A simple picture sheet of things children may use in the classroom. I use this on the first day and children work in pairs to find each of the objects. We then talk about where they found them, how to look after them and when we might need to use them.
By sarahc50

September Circle Time Activity Pack for EYFS/KS1 (Back to School Themed)

Resource Title
September Circle Time Activity Pack

Age/Year Group
Early Years and Key Stage 1

Total Pages in download
❤ 116

File Type

Resource Content
Circle Time is a vital component in the EYFS and early Key Stage One. When children have opportunities to share their thoughts and ideas in a safe, encouraging environment, they begin to learn that they are valued, capable, and important members of the group. Circle Time is a time to reflect on things learnt, discuss new ideas and to practice listening and speaking skills.

This pack will enable you to have lengthy discussions during September's Circle Time. Included are over 80 slides, printables and games.

You can extend many of these activities and questions further.

The pack covers Literacy, Maths, PSHE and Understanding the World.

❂ 1 September Calendar with Numbers
❂ Pack is Back to School Themed
❂ Back to School Themed Games (one by association of colour/snap and the other by number)
❂ One full set of alphabet flashcards (pencils with lowercase alphabet-now includes digraphs and blends)
❂ One full set of numbers flashcards for circle time counting (back to school themed)
❂ September Topic Words
❂ 1 Topic Word Mat
❂ One full set of September Circle Time Rules
❂ This Circle Time Activity Pack also contains my Classroom Rules Pack

Check the preview!

This pack and all other monthly circle time packs are available as a bundle in my shop!

Reviews and feedback are appreciated, I value all but as we tell our students, try to be constructive!

Printing Tip: This educational resource has been designed for printing on A4 size paper. If you are printing on a different size, select ‘shrink’ or ‘print to fit page’ (or similar option) in order for the contents to fit correctly.

Purchase of this resource entitles YOU, the buyer, the right to reproduce the pages for personal and classroom use ONLY.
Duplication for other classes, an entire school or for commercial use is strictly prohibited without written permission from Polly Puddleduck. Minor editing is allowed but only for personal use.
The document remains under the copyright of Polly Puddleduck even when edited. Posting this item in whole or part on the Internet in any form is strictly prohibited and a violation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA).
Polly Puddleduck ©2017

You can find other related resources in my shop!
By PollyPuddleduck

Back to School 2018

Popular resource! This Recipe for a Great School Year pack (including full lesson Powerpoint and all templates) makes a fun back to school project and creates items for a classroom display to put up for the new school year.

A super first week back activity!

The aim of this fun back to school activity is to help your new class think about what will make the next school year a successful one.
Pupils will create a recipe for a great school year (the writing activity is included in the Powerpoint lesson provided) and then they can use the templates to turn it into a fabulous back to school craft, perfect for display!

This resource includes:
- A full lesson powerpoint including discussion points and a differentiated writing activity.
- A teacher instruction pack
- A template pack for making the back to school chef craft

This is an easy, fun activity perfect for the primary classrooms and can be easily adapted for different age groups.

Please note that due to terms of use in the images used, the Powerpoint file is not editable.

By KS2History

KS2 resources

Encourage pupils to fill in a questionnaire about themselves, before seeking out others who share similar hobbies or tastes in this original scavenger hunt activity. Or why not find out how well they work together by splitting them into mixed ability groups to solve this maths-themed codebreaker?

At the beginning of the year, it is important to set expectations for your class. These taskcards help get your students involved in creating classroom and playground rules through discussion and teamwork. You can also encourage children to be more independent in their learning by trying this back-to-school bundle that includes reflective activities and games.

Continue to build positive relationships among pupils with this selection of icebreaker games. Or, why not incorporate all of these activities into a whole week of curriculum-themed getting-to-know-you lessons? From art and maths to literacy and languages, these challenges and projects are ideal for promoting teamwork.

Back to school Scavenger Hunt

Students complete the questions on the first sheet about themselves. They use the second worksheet to find other students in the class who have the same details in common with them.
By kate todd

Autumn term - First day back - Maths activity

Planned for Year 4 but could easily be adapted. Children are organised in mixed ability teams to collect clues, solve basic calculations and use the answers to break a coded message. All helpful for a teacher to observe work patterns and behaviours of a new class. Let me know how it goes. [Calculations and names can be changed]. Just noticed that there is one mistake, yikes! You need to change the clues so that Q4 is Double 8, (not double 16). The activity worked well with my new class. Very interesting...
By travellersintime

New Class Super School Rules

This resource will be useful for Upper KS1 and KS2 on Transition Days or the start of the year.
It is recommended that the children work with a partner as there are a series of discussion Taskcards.
Included in this 20 page resource:-
Taskcards for talking and listening on noise, behaviour, bullying, happiness, why rules are needed.
Creative writing in pairs make up list of rules for a) Classroom b) Playground
4 word walls for laminating and display
Design two posters a) Classroom Rules b) Playground Rules
By teachercellar

Back to school Bundle – Holiday Activities and Learning Reflections

A great resource to give learners at the start of any term, not just at the beginning of the year!

The resource includes 4 worksheets for students to use to reflect on learning and goal progress. The pack also included 5 fun worksheets for students to use when reflecting on their holidays and 2 fun back to school worksheets for students to complete.

-Comparing and Reflecting on Progress
-Reflecting Rubric
-Learning Reflection
-Classroom Reflection
-Holiday Tweets and Texts
-Holiday Snapshot
-2 truths and 1 lie
-Holiday memories
-Back to school Bingo
-Word scramble
-Back to school word search
-Teacher Notes and Answers

This resource has been thoroughly designed so no extra prep or specialised ability is needed! It can help form a first day back lesson when students receive their most recent results back.
Can be easily adapted to suit other lessons you may have already planned.

This lesson should be accessible to Years 4- 8 or KS2 and lower KS3, however the reflection worksheets are accessible to Year 6-10 or KS3 and GCSE students.

Both packs are available individually @ and

Please rate if you enjoyed!
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By engagingresources

30 Back to School Ice Breakers

Want a way to break the ice with your students during those first few weeks of school?
These 30 FUN, TEAM-BUILDING and NO-PREP ice breakers will have your students getting to know each other whilst feeling more confident and comfortable in their surroundings. Start school the right way by building a positive learning environment.

Black and white version also included.
By InspireTeachers

Back to School - New Term - 'Getting to know you' activities

This is planning I created a few years ago to use with a year 5 class. We were asked to take the whole first week of term with our new classes to perform ‘getting to know you’ activities

Take a look at the plan. It worked really well - it was a great week! I’ve also added the pictures we used for the wartime artwork.
The kids throughly enjoyed this activity - they looked at the wartime poster and adapted them for school e.g keep calm and carry on working! These posters stayed up in class all year long.

Activities are easily adapted for KS1 - KS2 pupils, and parts of this could be taken and used at KS3 in PSHE, Tutor time, Art or History.

By Miss Steer

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