Nowadays, their big last day of term treat is probably being allowed to use their phones in class, so they can sit there Snapchatting one another.
Being an old, old man, I struggle to imagine what it would've been like to own an iPhone as a kid.
Back then, phones never left our homes, photographs were something you picked up from Boots, and if we had wanted to face-swap with someone we'd have had to use a Stanley knife.
And imagine owning a handheld thing upon which you could store hundreds of games - in full colour! With sound! And 3D graphics!
One last day of term, I remember David Dunlop bringing in a Star Trek phaser and communicator. I brought in a toy Lotus Esprit from the James Bond film The Spy Who Loved Me, which shot rockets out of the rear windscreen. Kevin Hill had Connect 4. And Jason Quirke... well, Jason Quirke had something called a Game & Watch.
That was when everything changed.
Everyone crowded around Quirke to see his sophisticated new toy - as they tended to anyway because he was good at football, and girls seemed to like him despite - I noticed most days - his wart-y fingers.
Presumably, they all wanted some of Quirke's magic to rub off on them (though, let's face it, the only thing rubbing off on them would be his disgusting warts).
Of course, given that school establishes a narrative which adheres to no rhyme or reason, Quirke's warts were irrelevant.
It had been decided that he was cool, and so of course it would be him who'd bring the flash new technology into the classroom, making the rest of us look like children by comparison. Admittedly, we were children by any definition, but I think you know what I mean.
Quirke's Game & Watch was made by a company called Nintendo, and based on the cartoon Popeye. It featured the erstwhile sailor man doing his bit to clean up the oceans, by trying to catch cans of spinach and bottles of beer, thrown by his rubber-limbed girlfriend Olive... all while avoiding a large mallet wielded by his big-boned nemesis Bluto.
Also, it was a watch, for some reason. Although, technically, more of a clock, given that you would struggle to wear it on your wrist.
It was - as would soon become apparently - the template to which all the Game & Watch titles adhered... but I was sold. I needed one of these Japanese LCD game things, and I needed one immediately.
Fortunately, my brother-in-law was (and still is) an airline steward, and his work would regularly take him to Asia, where such things were readily available - usually in cheapo knock-off form.
He'd come back with albums on cassette that would feature curious track listings (he picked me up a copy of Pink Floyd's The Wall, which switched to some other album entirely about halfway through), or bootleg designer clothes.
So it was that he returned from one trip with a Japanese LCD game that was no Nintendo Game & Watch, as I'd requested. I remembered it being some cheapo knock-off... until just now, when I did some digging, and discovered it was actually manufactured by Casio.
It was called Money & Bomb - and featured a security guard carrying a stack of cash to a waiting van - while avoiding the bombs of robbers. The trick was to keep the wobbly money stack balanced, while still moving forwards... and not dying.
Inevitably, it was impossible, and though the device was solar powered - futuristic! - the screen was blurry and the controls soft compared to my friends' Game & Watches. By now, even more had one of the Nintendo devices - with names like Fire, Snoopy Tennis, Donkey Kong Jr - but the one that everyone wanted was Donkey Kong.
Donkey Kong had two screens; that was the big selling point.
Your character, Jumpman - who we later learn is called Mario - made his way from the bottom screen to the top one, in a fair representation of the iconic arcade game.
I may have been late to the Game & Watch party - but I was the first one to get Donkey Kong; a gift/reward for having my tonsils removed. As playground status symbols go, it transcended warts. In my head, it was like arriving at school in a Lotus Esprit, driven by Roger Moore.
Unfortunately, old games being old games, Donkey Kong wasn't actually very good. Or I wasn't very good at it.
Don't get me wrong; I mean, for the time, it was a revelation. But those flickering, stuttery, graphics made the gameplay far harder than it should've been. As was the case with so many old games, the intent was there, but the available technology added to the challenge, by virtue of not being up to snuff.
This was back in the days when having your tonsils out meant staying in hospital for a week (nowadays you can get them removed at most newsagents). I was the only kid in an adult ward, and I became friends with the man in the bed next to me (these being the days where that still seemed somehow acceptable). I found Donkey Kong so difficult, that he ended up playing it more than I did that week.
I may have made it all the way to the top maybe once... perhaps twice. It became an exercise in patience and endurance - how much failure can a person tolerate? I discovered the answer to that question the day I threw my Donkey Kong across the living room, and cracked the screen. Inky liquid crystal oozed out. It was over.
I told my mother I'd dropped it down the stairs... but she didn't believe me. Consequently, I wouldn't own another handheld games machine for seven years, until I could afford to buy one myself.
THE COMPLETE GAMES OF MY YEARS