Five ways to bring alumni back to school

Recognising what your school’s alumni have achieved is a great way to celebrate public education in your community and provide your current students with inspiring mentors and role models.

During Education Week, invite your school’s exemplary alumni back to the classroom to share how their years of public schooling set them up for success.

A school visit from an ex-student can facilitate thoughts that “they once came to this school and look what they’ve achieved … I can do it too!”

Suggested activities

Alumni mentor event

Alumni are invited to speak to groups of 6-8 students for 10-15 mins about their career, share tips for success and advice for students on how to improve their resilience and employability:

  • Students can ask questions.
  • After the allocated time the students rotate to the next mentor.
  • Students form small groups and reflect on their learning and share group reflections with the larger group.
  • This would be suitable for primary and secondary.

Alumni as a special guest

Invite an ex-student to address the school assembly during Education Week. You could ask them to reflect on how the school gave them the belief they could succeed.

They could also reflect on their best memories of school, the opportunities they passed on that they wished they hadn’t and words of advice to their school-age self.

Primary school research project

This can be used as a Year 6 transition idea:

  • Ask Year 6 students to interview an ex-student who is now in high school.
  • Students could ask them to highlight what they like most about high school, for example
    • the hardest things to get used to
    • their tips for making the most of high school life etc.

Hall of fame

Consider showcasing ‘celebrity’ alumni:

  • Got a local business or political leader that went to your school?
  • A star athlete or entertainer?
  • A rockstar research scientist?

Create a hall of fame for Education Week to inspire students with their stories.

Social media

Use your school social media channels to reach out to alumni and invite them to send their details to the school.

Consider creating an alumni co-ordinator position within the school to start a database of alumni that you can use for future events.

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