To be sad and a bit cross for my son

(40 Posts)
Abitsadmum Mon 16-Sep-13 17:46:22

My 11 year old son is in his last year at junior school. It's a small independent school and we've always been pretty happy with it.

The prefects for their final year have been announced and he's not been chosen which would be fine except for the fact they've only left out 6 or 7 kids out of the original 30 that came up from year 6 last year.

I didn't saw anything to him about it but he's come home really upset because he's the only one of his friends not chosen and they've put a big photo of the prefects up on the school wall.

He's a really good boy, always polite and never in trouble. He's quiet, more of a team player than a leader. He is dyslexic and a bit of a dreamer but is popular and a kind, brave and loyal friend. He gets stuck in at sport, always volunteers for drama and loves music. He didn't get into choir first time but chose to reaudition the following year and got chosen.

I feel that all of these qualities have been overlooked and it makes me feel sad and cross on his behalf and that's ignoring the fact that I think they were wrong to leave such a small minority out.

So am I being unreasonable?

Leeds2 Mon 16-Sep-13 17:48:54

I would be a bit upset for him too.

Similar thing happened at my DD's primary and the children who weren't chosen were encouraged to "keep on trying" and most of them were promoted during the year.

Abitsadmum Mon 16-Sep-13 17:54:21

Thanks, I just think it's so dispiriting that they've left out so few (all the naughty ones and a few of the quieter ones).

Just remembered too that he volunteered to be playground prefect last year and spent one break a week playing with the 4-6 year olds.

Feel cross and sad for him.

SilverStreak7 Mon 16-Sep-13 17:55:21

He sounds a nice child and part of me is sorry for you both as well .. However, throughout life he is likely to be overlooked/let down/not get a job he wants etc .. Harsh but true but I don't think you are being unreasonable .

SilverStreak7 Mon 16-Sep-13 17:56:31

Oh, just seen he volunteered last year and played with the younger children, bless him . . They should have took that into account and let him so YANBU

storytopper Mon 16-Sep-13 17:59:13

I feel really sorry for him, especially as he has tried so hard - sounds like a lovely lad and a credit to you. Any scheme that leaves out 20% of those who could be chosen is a lousy scheme in my book.

vtechjazz Mon 16-Sep-13 18:02:12

Can you give him a 'promotion' at home instead? Maybe let him walk the dog alone or some other duty??

2468Motorway Mon 16-Sep-13 18:08:14

I think that it sounds a bit shit tbh. I'm not generally a moaner but if they have really left 6-7 kids out of 30, I would consider having a word.

CoffeeTea103 Mon 16-Sep-13 18:16:57

Do you know what the selection criteria was. He sounds very lovely but maybe the selected kids did perform a little better. In life we all can't be selected for one position so this is a harsh reality. You can motivate him to keep doing all the wonderful things he's currently doing.

IceCreamForCrow Mon 16-Sep-13 18:17:12

sad yanbu. He sounds a lovely chap. Shame they haven't taken the trouble to notice. I would be sad about it too.

Hulababy Mon 16-Sep-13 18:18:59

So they have chosen 24 out of 30 children to be prefects and just left 6 out?

That really seems very unfair.

I would be interested to know on what basis the prefects are chosen and if there were specific reasons why those left out have been overlooked. I have never been a parent who goes into school demanding answers, etc. but this seems very unfair and I would have to go and ask I think.

TrueStory Mon 16-Sep-13 18:19:09

How can they have 23 prefects in a class of 30? Bizarre.

I agree, leaving out 6-7 children sounds wrong. I would also consider having a word.

HumphreyCobbler Mon 16-Sep-13 18:21:33

they should have chosen 20% as prefects! That seems a reasonable number. I think it is really mean to leave out so few children. I don't think I could contain myself actually, I would have to have a word.

SilverStreak7 Mon 16-Sep-13 18:23:00

Good idea vtechjazz

JuanPotatoTwo Mon 16-Sep-13 19:38:38

Oh he does sound lovely and I can understand you feeling hurt.

The same thing happened to my ds1 when he was in his last year of junior school. We told him (in an effort to make him feel better, not because we really believed it) that prefects only had to do lots of extra jobs teachers couldn't find the time for, and it was no fun anyway. Think it helped a bit.

He's now 20 and in his second year at uni so it didn't have a detrimental long term effect on him, he's responsible and self confident and caring etc. Maybe you could put a similar spin on it for your ds?

pixiepotter Mon 16-Sep-13 20:10:48

I think you and your son deserve an explanation.

Edendance Mon 16-Sep-13 20:38:59

It happened to me at school- I've never forgotten it. We had a school year of about 130 and all bar about 20 were prefects and I was not one of them. All my friends were, basically everyone I would hang out with at all and the only ones who weren't were the 'naughty' kids (we were about 14-15 years old).

I went to my head of year to ask why I had not been made a prefect and was told it was because they didn't think I could handle confrontation... I was eventually made a prefect but I've never forgotten it. I felt very humiliated, and that everyone was talking about me and judging me behind my back and that if they believed that confrontation wasn't a strong point of mine then perhaps helping me deal with that would be better than not giving me that oppourtunity.

Get your son to speak to his teacher and make his case. Is there a teacher who is especially close to? I was good in school- quiet in class but completed homework generally very well, was very well behaved, participated and had a good social group (with some usual 14 year old girl problems which I believe counted against me). But really to this day (am 27 now) I'm still not totally clear why they didn't make me a prefect... hmm

Abitsadmum Mon 16-Sep-13 21:51:48

Thanks, it seems like its pretty much unanimous which makes me feel better and worse at the same time! Thank you all for being sweet about my boy too!

One positive thing that has come out of this is that it's reminded us of all his great qualities which we may have been guilty of overlooking ourselves on a day to day basis smile.

We will be speaking to the school and getting an explanation. I think they've not thought it through which is just so disappointing. The deputy head who is a friend emailed me t say "yes when I looked at the distribution I was aware that x might have felt that way"- not helpful and made us feel worse! They have "a couple of ideas" to run by ushmm.

tiggytape Mon 16-Sep-13 22:33:58

I'm all for getting kids used to the fact that sometimes effort can be overlooked and sometimes we all face disappointments in life - but this is different. Usually for such promotions it is just a few people chosen and the majority overlooked. It is different (and much worse) when it is the majority being picked and just a few left out.

Year 6 allocations are important to a lot of children - they spend many of their younger years at school wondering if they might get chosen when they finally make it to year 6. This is their last chance really because moving into Year 7 they'll be the babies of the school again.
If it is a role that only 4 or 5 get chosen for then fair enough but to actively exclude just a handful of children is unkind.

There was a thread recently where every child except 1 got a speaking part in the Year 6 school play. It was exactly the same thing. Totally reasonable for a school to give only 3 or 4 people lead roles but you can't do it the other way aroung - where instead only 3 or 4 children get totally left out. I hope the school come up with a solution that DS is happy with

JustinBsMum Mon 16-Sep-13 22:42:22

* yes when I looked at the distribution I was aware that x might have felt that way*
Could be translated as 'Oh shit, why the hell wasn't X included'

Blont Tue 17-Sep-13 05:18:03

What in the gigantic fock is a primary school doing having prefects anyway? The whole thing about prefects is that they're supposed to have authority over other kids, which given the numbers at your school - 24 prefects to 6 or 7 non-prefects - is plain stupid and bound to be demoralising.

Wouldn't it be better if you had three 'houses' of ten and three house captains or summat? Or is that a bit too Hogwarts?

foxy6 Tue 17-Sep-13 05:21:56

that's sad i know when ds was in year six all his class was made prefects except for him and another boy they were made monitors , but he was always in trouble so i didn't mind. what happened to when being a prefect meant something if everyone gets to be one its not special anymore.

itried Tue 17-Sep-13 05:31:18

Seems unbalanced to have such a high proportion of prefects for a start. To be one of six/30 not chosen is far more difficult than to be one of 20/30 not chosen. I completely understand his being upset.

Can you encourage his confidence and assertiveness? Something like drama classes could help.

Morgause Tue 17-Sep-13 05:51:42

YANBU to be upset but not sure if you should approach the school. Would he want to be a prefect just because his mum made a fuss? I wouldn't at that age, I'd rather my mum stayed out of it.

They had their reasons for not choosing him, perhaps they thought he wouldn't be assertive enough. If they change their minds because you complained it wouldn't be "earned" would it. Would it be fair to the others who weren't chosen?

I don't like the prefect system and neither of my DCs enjoyed the experience after a couple of weeks.

SubliminalMassaging Tue 17-Sep-13 05:54:41

My son is a small independent school too, and they often pick all but a small handful of boys to be be prefects, but they tend to exclude only the naughty/nasty ones or the ones who are just a bit sneery, and the 'too cool for school' types.

But it doesn't sound as though that fits your DS's profile at all, so it seems very unfair.

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