To be fed up of the same children winning all the awards at school?!

(142 Posts)
Bluebell99 Wed 17-Jul-13 10:00:16

My son's school states some such rubbish as valuing each child and encouraging them to reach their potential, and yet it is the same children that are chosen for sports day and awards. Recently the school was awarded a grant, for a specific purpose, and they have used it to organise extra curriculum activities. I was invited to an award ceremony to recognise their achievements. Aibu to be disappointed that the children that won prizes are the same confident children that always win everything, and that there had been some extra invitation only expensive activities that only these kids took part in?! Is it a self fulfilling prophecy, that confident children get these opportunities? I was shocked at how inarticulate one of the popular kids was, who had been sent on a expensive summer school and asked to give feedback. It made me realise how low the aspirations are at this school. And instead of feeling inspired, I am feeling that my children are never going to get opportunities to meet their potential at this school. sad

TeenAndTween Sun 30-Nov-14 21:29:22

Shelles did you determine the link between PTA and awards to be causality or just associative?

Do kids get awards because parents are involved in the school, or are parents who are involved in the school more likely to encourage good effort, participation and achievement from their offspring?

Tron123 Sun 30-Nov-14 20:56:35

There have been studies and books written that give evidence shows that the birth date has a great deal to do with success. Given the nature of the school year at primary and even lower secondary I would suspect that the high achieves for the most part have birthdays in the earlier part of the academic year. The early success and awards like this merely give them even greater an advantage.

skylark2 Sun 30-Nov-14 20:41:13

I know the OP is very old, but I'm rather confused by it. First the OP complains that the same confident children win everything and get all the opportunities...and then she complains that one of the children who was given an opportunity is inarticulate and this means the school has low aspirations for its pupils! Both can't be true.

FoodieToo Sun 30-Nov-14 20:36:49

I disagree that it is always the 'best' kids who are chosen.

But I think schools can be guilty of picking the more confident,' in your face' type kids.

Ever child has talents and it is up to schools to seek out and nurture these talents but sometimes they just don't have the time and pick the easy option of the more obviously talented children.

Funny I remember at school I loved to sing and was a good singer but I was fairly quiet and never got picked to perform at anything because the school had decided that 'Mary' and 'Joanne' were the good singers so nobody else ever got a look in.

I think it's quite mean spirited of parents to assume that just because their kids get picked for everything that it's because they are the best.

It's not necessarily the case.

raltheraffe Sun 30-Nov-14 17:08:05

Are you an academic psychologist then rather than a clinical one? It what you do a University based project?

Shellsbelles01 Sun 30-Nov-14 17:01:28

As a psychologist who has spent the last 12 months researching this very subject, my research is now internet based. (Hence I stumble on here 18 months too late and probably most people who posted on here will have long forgot end of year reports, prizes and rewards) But some of our findings were interesting. We asked a number of school to reward those who were in the top 10-20% academically, and some to reward purely on effort. Our findings were interesting: end of year scores revealed that the 10-20 percent group had almost exclusively rose to the top. Those rewarded for their efforts gained at least 4 sub levels in the AY. As a side issue we also found that children whose parents were on the PTA, helped at summer and Christmas fates and those who offered services to school were 90 per cent more likely to gain awards that those children of parents that did not. Of course there is an element of academic ability and like ability but it is not the full picture!!

Lilicat1013 Thu 18-Jul-13 11:11:17

I never won a thing as a child, I was averagely intelligent with undiagnosed and dyspraxia. I was quiet, well behaved and ignored.

It is gutting to know no matter how hard you try you no one will ever notice or reward it. I am sure that is a good lesson for life but it seems cruel to have it pointed out so early on. As an adult I know I am pretty useless but it would have been nice to have a few years where I could have believed that I could do it if I just tried really hard.

The message I took away from primary school was I was stupid, invisible, unpopular and ugly. I was basically a defective human being and there was really no hope for me. It is something that I have carried through till adulthood.

This was in part due to being constantly bullied and I also didn't get a lot of encouragement at home but someone telling me that there was something did well would have meant the world to me.

I don't think there should be prizes for everyone but I think they should be some prizes that everyone has a chance of getting. Stuff like fastest runner or best at maths should go to the children that are. There should be stuff like best at helping, kindest to others or most improved that all children could potentially obtain if they put the effort. They should still be earned and should still mean something but it they wouldn't be out of reach of anyone body who wanted to be aim for it.

No matter how hard I tried at school I would never have been best at maths/spelling/running etc no matter how hard I tried but I could have worked hard to be the most helpful child.

It is a sore subject to me, not only because of my own experiences but because my oldest son has autism. He will start school next year and it is very unlikely he will be best at anything since he will already significantly behind his peer group.

This is why I am not pushing for him to go to mainstream school. I would prefer him to go to a special school where hopefully they will encourage him and make him feel valued rather than have to learn he is considered less than his classmates early on.

ZingWidge Thu 18-Jul-13 10:52:14

my DS3 had an excellent school report, he is more than significantly above average so he had SAA+ next to most of the subjects.

and for improvement? the teacher couldn't apologize enough that she had to put C or N/A - she said he is working on such a consistently high level that it can not be expected that he improves on it further, but there's no way to reflect this!

he is in year 3. has 4a for most subjects, and A+ for effort, yet it looks like he didn't improve much since the beginning of the school year!grin grin grin grin
just hilarious.

but otherwise I agree, grading effort and improvements as well as the actual grades give a much more balanced and realistic result.

ZingWidge Thu 18-Jul-13 10:39:12

yabu and sound a bit jealous

if those kids are talented or the best at that sport they should win and get the awards.

and a confident child still might get stage fright - so what? doesn't mean they don't deserve the award or special activity or whatever for their talent.
(your comment about that was a bit mean, you are not in a position to judge why they got the special trip)

you win some, you loose some and some people never win.
even if that's unfair it's a good lesson to learn, because life is full of disappointments and kids need to learn how to suck it up and carry on.

I do hope your children achieve to be great or the best at something one day - but maybe it will be something that is not awarded with a medal.
like being kind or generous.

lainiekazan Thu 18-Jul-13 09:34:54

I agree that schools can't get it right.

Ds plays the piano fairly decently and by the end of primary school was Grade 5. But - he was not allowed to participate in the end of year concert because he had learnt piano out of school. I sort of understood where they were coming from, but ds was a bit put out.

I tell dd that academic success is its own reward (not sure if this is true!) as she never receives any praise. She is very quiet and I hope one day someone says, "No one puts Baby in the corner" to her [hopefully not holiday camp dance professional though grin ]

NoComet Thu 18-Jul-13 09:34:07

YANBU, schools can be very lazy.

DD2 has a huge stack of certificates for English. Yes she is good at English, but surely someone else's child had tried hard that week too.

(DD is the granddaughter of two English teachers and has pocked every literacy gene they passed on to her dad. I'm not certain she has to try very hard in English lessons)

AngelinaCongleton Thu 18-Jul-13 09:32:21

I think teachers do seem to often only see the more confident children. I think some kids are good at everything at primary level. It is tiresome to constantly have to make the kids feel better when they don't get picked or win or whatever. My daughter goes to a massive school, so chances of her winning or getting picked is always slim. Luckily she goes to some extra curricular stuff that seem to strike the balance of celebrating winners and giving all the kids a sense of achievement. Something that our massive (but great academically) school is not so good at.

Dixiefish Thu 18-Jul-13 09:30:02

My Dcs' school has prizes for all sorts of things as well as academic excellence, eg courtesy, service to others, effort, love of reading, love of performance, effort by SEN kid - potentially there's something for everyone, which is good. Even so, some children win more than one award, some win nothing.

There's always going to be kids who excel at many things - and it's NOT always the ones with the pushy parents by any means – and good for them. It's hardly fair not to recognise their achievement. I tell my DC that's life and shouldn't stop them trying their best.

Pigsmummy Thu 18-Jul-13 09:23:49

Surely that's like saying that you don't want the gold medal being given to the winner. Life isn't like that.

In the same way that if a pupil shows talent in a sport they will get extra coaching, sometime at county level, a child that hasn't got the same ability won't. It's not unfair on either and unless it continues then we won't get sporting greats in the future.

JakeBullet Thu 18-Jul-13 09:18:19

My DS' s school gives little awards throughout the year.hThey also give each child credits each term for things like attitude, behaviour, kindness etc. Those who are not doing well get support to make changes.

At the end of the year all the credits are added up and the children get an award based on their credits. Thosein the hhighest group get a trip to a theme park, the next group go bowling, the third group get a voucger and the final group get a certificate of merit. Everyone gets something but all want to be in the top group.

Last year DS got bowling and he was furious grin.The school told him what he needed to do in order to achieve higher marks and this year he has done it. As he is autistic this is not always easy for him but the school adjust their expectations for him based on this.
So he is off to a theme park on Monday much to his delight.

MadeOfStarDust Thu 18-Jul-13 09:18:05

I'm now torn totally - DD just had her end of year 7 assembly yesterday - and came home with 4 certificates.

one of which was for "Outstanding Performances and Compositions in music throughout the year" So she went through primary school TOTALLY ignored for musical ability (the thing SHE feels is her main talent) amongst 60 kids - and felt miffed when the playing in the school plays/ceremonies etc always went to someone else... but now she has been given top of the year - 240 kids - by the music teacher and asked to perform in Y7 assembly.

So I'm chuffed to bits that she got an award, but at the same time wary that there may be someone in the position she was in in primary school - just not being noticed....

AlanMoore Thu 18-Jul-13 09:03:04

I used to win stuff and get picked for stuff because I was articulate, could learn lines and was reliable and hard working.

I was bullied by the children of people with attitudes like some of the ones on here to the extent that by the age of 10 I was deliberately under performing in tests.

Try and remember that the children concerned are CHILDREN with FEELINGS just like your pfb, rather than 'overachievers' with pushy parents (mine were not at all).

Nobody wants to see their child disappointed but I was made ill by the bullying so please remember that the teachers make these choices and your ire should be all for them if you think its unfair, not the children, they don't deserve scorn.

ComposHat Thu 18-Jul-13 08:22:43

The idea tgat 'all must have prizes' is bollocks. The kuds who hsve worked hard, improved significantly or achieved an important milestone should be reward ed, not spread round evenly in the interest of 'fairness'.

To gove an award to a child who has just coasted along devalue s the concept and probably demoralises the chols who has worked to earn it.

melika Thu 18-Jul-13 08:22:18

I have 2 DS one is sporty and average, the other very academic but tries hard at sport, it's been really great to see them excel in different fields. They are individuals and I appreciate it. Yes the same names get read out and you know they are going places. But I don't resent them, I think good for them. Saying that my DS2 got 6th place in his year at Grammar School which really surprised me but when he went up at assembly he got a bar of Cadburys!

Eeeeeowwwfftz Thu 18-Jul-13 08:16:17

When I was at primary school I was very hurt by a classmate commenting that "It's always fftz isn't it?" when my design was chosen for the cover of the programme for end-of-year production. My artistic abilities are beyond bad, and in my entire life I've produced about three pieces of work that came out looking anything like what I intended. I'd spent ages looking through books to find suitable pictures of rainforest creatures so that I could get their shapes right when drawing them myself, and created a passable scene. I was dead chuffed when the teacher chose my design, in part because she clearly hated me. The reason for the girl's complaint was that I was top of the class in all the academic subjects and I must have been perceived as the one who got all the plaudits. Having this one piece of artwork highlighted meant so much more to me than the top marks in the academic subjects, and I am quite pleased that my secondary school in particular made no particular fuss about who was top of the class because I would have hated the attention.

I don't really get the enthusiasm for prizes, particularly those for being top of the class. The person who's top of the class already knows that they're in that position. Likewise the people who are good at sports tend to end up in the teams. The best artwork ends up being prominently displayed. And so on. With a little imagination, there are plenty of ways kids can receive due praise for their achievements without singling out a select few in front of the whole school. If you insist on doling out cups and badges and other crap like that, the categories could at least be broad, reasonably independent of each other, and not restricted to the ability to pass exams. But really I can't see any point to prize-giving ceremonies - waste of time in my opinion.

exoticfruits Thu 18-Jul-13 07:03:18

I agree with frustratedartist and OhMerGerd.

It is more or less impossible for the school to get 'right' - if they go for the very best then the same DCs will get it, if you go for encouragement then the quiet and academic can miss out entirely and if you go for effort you can get it wrong with a child me who looks as if they are making an effort when actually they are not.

Basically everyone is complaining because they want their child to get a prize. If everyone gets a prize is there any point?

I'm sure that people would be happy with my name in a hat idea - pull one out and think of a prize to suit. Once pulled out it doesn't go back. Keep going through the year. It would be fair but is there any point?

Teach your child to deal with it- it is those who can deal with it who will be the successes in life.

TheSecondComing Wed 17-Jul-13 23:46:43

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

OhMerGerd Wed 17-Jul-13 23:40:27

Don't worry about it too much. Teach your child that sometimes life isn't fair but it's how you deal with unfairness or obstacles or disappointments that will determin your success and happiness in life.

At primary school it was always the arty and sporty who won prizes and cups and got picked to attend the extra curricula activities representing the school. My DD is an academic. If there had been a logic puzzle cup or brain teaser prize shed have won every year .

Give your child hje confidence to know and value their own unique talent. Everyone has someth

Frustratedartist Wed 17-Jul-13 23:40:11

My DS wins lots of awards at school. He also copes really well with chronic illness. The awards give him a lift. I don't push him
I understand your pain as my other children don't get awards. But it's also real life, and it's up to you to handle the situation for your kids. The reality is the awards are lovely to get, but no one is ever going to ask what certificates you got at primary.
Get the situation in context. Give your child your own reward, and get over it.

Turniptwirl Wed 17-Jul-13 22:57:47

Yab(a bit) unreasonable

I always won academic awards at school because I was good academically!!! Why should I get missed out because someone else isn't as good and doesn't win an award? I agree effort should be rewarded as much as results because some people just aren't academic naturally so work much harder than me but get a C when I might get an A.

This is a current bugbear of mine as at work I was considered "too good" to be given opportunities to develop... Still not sure why joe blogs who's been in the job three times longer than me and us half as good as much should get rewarded instead of me.

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