prizes at school driving me mad

(82 Posts)
80schild Fri 15-Apr-16 18:31:57

This is the first time I have posted about a matter as sensitive as this but here goes. In the past at DC school they have quite frequently asked for things like treasure maps, castles to be made and it is quite obvious that some of the kids get their parents to do it for them - usually it doesn't bother me. However, recently it was announced there was an egg decorating competition. DS, only having just turned 7, spent ages on his. It smudged a bit but I was really impressed by his effort. I took his entry in today and lo and behold there was a splendid array of entries that had clearly been done by parents.

I need to get perspective on this because it is winding me up. I am trying to teach my child the value of doing things for himself but all I know for sure is that the reward won't be his (at least for the next few years). I want to know what other people think about this sort of thing - I am losing all perspective over it.

redskytonight Fri 15-Apr-16 18:35:18

Sensible schools award the prizes to items that are obviously made by the DC themselves (which is how DD won the Reception Easter bonnet prize, with a box covered in feathers and random pieces of felt).

Unfortunately not all schools are sensible.

Depends whether you want to jump on the pushy parent band wagon or not.

Osmiornica Fri 15-Apr-16 18:41:13

I think this happens in every school. I just laugh. I've noticed a few sarky/taking the piss comments when someone comes along with something really obviously done by a parent. Although ours do seem to do prizes for the ones that are done by the children rather than the 'best' of the bunch.

To be honest we tend not to put too much effort into these things anyway - we had an egg decorating thing and I'd forgotten so at 8:15 in the morning I was boiling eggs for them to decorate. Some cooling down and a felt pen or two and it was done - yes, it was crap but who cares - the children were happy with them!

80schild Fri 15-Apr-16 18:54:59

Lol at the thought of doing it at 815. Maybe I shouldn't assume that it will be a case of best in show. I have just assumed it would be this way.

Onlyicanclean10 Fri 15-Apr-16 19:00:07

No agree it's ridiculous. Sensible schools choose the ones obviously child made but with the effort there.

I would mention it to the parent governor and point out how daft it makes the school look.

Mishaps Fri 15-Apr-16 19:02:12

It is crazy - there should be a rule that only items made by the the children themselves are eligible.

selly24 Fri 15-Apr-16 19:08:23

Instructions from school should emphasise that they want to see the children's own work. And while parents may want to support their children giving ideas, preparing resources, the work must not be the parents' Hate to see things so obviously done by the parents.

80schild Fri 15-Apr-16 19:13:40

I would struggle to bring it with the parent governor as although she is a really good friend she is one of the worst offenders.

ollieplimsoles Fri 15-Apr-16 19:40:04

Oh goodness I remember this, one mother did a huge hand painted egg display called 'the warren' and inside all the eggs were dressed and painted as bunnies. It was ridiculous.

Maki79 Fri 15-Apr-16 19:49:32

Try not to fret, your child will benefit as a result. What will the other children gain from having their parents do their homework for them??

Hopefully your dc school will see through it and award a child who has put in the effort. I would be tempted to reward your dc yourself too, especially if the effort they put in was more than usual.

TimeOfGlass Fri 15-Apr-16 19:54:39

DS1's school did the egg decorating competition so that the eggs had to be decorated in school.

Parents could help the children think of themes, and provide the egg and any accessory bits (paint and felt tips provided by school), but this meant all the actual decorating was done by the children.

herecomethepotatoes Sat 16-Apr-16 05:15:11

You're doing the right thing. Forget about it. Maybe give him a prize at home (ice cream etc).

Mistigri Sat 16-Apr-16 06:33:34

I would struggle to bring it with the parent governor as although she is a really good friend she is one of the worst offenders

That's pretty damning.

You probably need to get used to ridiculous competitiveness though, as English education seems to be going through some sort of collective, stress-induced breakdown at the moment, based on recent posts on MN.

But it doesn't need to be like this. Where we live, the only things that parents make and send in are cakes for the school fundraisers!

gruffalo13 Sat 16-Apr-16 06:44:56

Yes. It happened at our school this Easter too. My DD was upset that her egg wasn't as pretty and elaborate as some (no prizes awarded)
One of the mums did a birds nest made of moss with flowers in it. She's a florist and it was a work of art.
I think it was obvious to most parents who had done the eggs, but the children didn't know - they are only 5! I'm torn between helping next time, or just letting her get on with it. Fwiw she enjoyed making her egg, was just bemused by the ravishing eggs some of the other girls brought along!

KoalaDownUnder Sat 16-Apr-16 06:45:12

That's beyond bizarre.

My mum is very artistic and would help us with ideas for things like that, but certainly never did it for us. Pointless and silly!

gruffalo13 Sat 16-Apr-16 06:45:58

herecomes prize at home is a great idea smile

RidersOnTheStorm Sat 16-Apr-16 06:59:37

By the age of 7 both DCs could do better than I ever could.

greenfolder Sat 16-Apr-16 07:04:04

I dole out prizes to my youngest dd often.. It takes moments to knock up a certificate on a computer. Her school is pretty sensible though and rewards kids efforts not parents

AugustaFinkNottle Sat 16-Apr-16 07:07:02

There should be more than one parent governor - try one of the others? Or join the parent teacher association so you can discuss it there?

AuntieMaryHadACanary Sat 16-Apr-16 07:08:20

At the school I work in, the Headteacher will only award prizes to those most obviously done by the child, she'll even tell the children this in an assembly beforehand, and tells the children if their grown up tries to help them, they have to say no!
Yes we do still get a few immaculate ones but they don't win a prize.
I think your school needs to have a rethink of its approach to this.

TheSolitaryWanderer Sat 16-Apr-16 07:10:33

'Oh goodness I remember this, one mother did a huge hand painted egg display called 'the warren' and inside all the eggs were dressed and painted as bunnies. It was ridiculous.'

No, that's spectacular ollie!
They ought to have an additional prize for parental hubris and ostentatious arseholery.

TheSolitaryWanderer Sat 16-Apr-16 07:12:12

As a teacher, it's interesting when you talk to the children about how they made it, and they say 'Mummy let me put on the spots and then she moved them into the right place' or 'Daddy let me hold the glue'

curren Sat 16-Apr-16 07:16:15

I think most schools discount the ones most obviously done by parents.

Da won this year. It wasn't great. It was a superhero. Bit of drawing with a pen, some stick on eyes and a cape.

He even beat 'the Incredible Hulk' egg. Where the legs, arms and head were fashioned out of papier-mâché and absolutely life like. Perfect shading for the muscles etc. It looked great but clearly not made by a four year old.

Bunnyjo Sat 16-Apr-16 07:34:37

At my DC's school they get parents to bring in undecorated hard-boiled eggs and the children decorate them at school. This is a far better idea and removes any uncertainty as to whose work it is.

DD (8yo) got 2nd prize this year which was a small miracle surprise, as she will readily admit that art, craft and creativity are not her strong points!

CodyKing Sat 16-Apr-16 07:46:43

Unfortunately at DC school the children pick the winners

Ultimately it goes to the bully child who insists people vote for them.

The school then take no responsibility for prizes.

My kids now don't bother with this "homework" so have switched off - nice one!!

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