AIBU to think DD should be Star of the sodding Day?

(106 Posts)
PFBoftheDay Tue 05-Nov-13 18:16:52

I know I am, and I have n/c because I am probably being embarrassingly PFB.

DD is 6, and there are 21 children in her class. Her teacher does something called 'Star of the Day', which is,as far as I can gather, where the child who has been 'the goodest' all day, gets a star sticker and a prize (bouncy ball,sweets or bubbles) at hometime.

This has been an everyday occurrence from the start of the year, and DD was naturally desperate to be SotD and a bit disappointed when she wasn't. I, naturally, told her that she would have to keep trying, that the teacher would notice good behaviour, etc etc.

Just before school broke up for half term, and in the last few days she has started back, she has been getting really, really upset about it. There are a few children who have been SotD more than once, and on one occasion, a boy in the class who struggles with his behaviour got it, even though he hit another boy in the playground that day (though this is according to DD). I know the teacher was probably trying to encourage his good behaviour rather than discouraging him (and rightly so) and I explained this to DD.

However, today she came home in tears, because a girl who was horrible to DD and her friends at breaktime today (they told the teacher etc) got SotD. This girl can be very bossy and controlling and does put the other children's backs up at times. DD now basically thinks that the children who misbehave are getting rewarded.

I do think I see what the teacher is trying to do, and the reasoning behind it, but I feel this is really unfair on DD. She is a very well behaved child, we had Parent Teacher evening a few weeks ago and everything was positive. She works hard- she is very ahead in her reading & writing- and is as friendly and polite as you can expect of a 6 year old. The only thing she did struggle with was forgetting to put her hand up before answering a question, but she has tried really hard to remember, and at Parent Teacher, I asked about it specifically and her teacher said she had no problems.

I know I am being PFB, but she is quite a sensitive little thing, and I feel awful that she is trying so hard and getting so disheartened.

ICameOnTheJitney Tue 05-Nov-13 18:20:43

Go in and have a word. In our school star is done once a week and by birth they all have a go. I would just say to her that DD is feeling disheartened by not ever being chosen despite being good.

RevelsRoulette Tue 05-Nov-13 18:22:03

Please tell me the teacher doesn't say "goodest" grin

I'd probably talk to the teacher and say that she was upset because she had never been star of the day and what can you tell her to do in order to earn it.

That way you're drawing the teacher's attention to it but not in a PFB way. You're just asking what would the teacher like to see from her that would merit this award. Which is a reasonable thing to ask.

comewinewithmoi Tue 05-Nov-13 18:22:28

There has only been half a term.

PFBoftheDay Tue 05-Nov-13 18:23:12

I did think about going in, but didn't want to seem really over the top, as I did initially think it was down to birth/alphabetical order, but DD is one of the oldest anyway, and as some children have been SotD more than once, it's obviously purely at the teacher's discretion.

PFBoftheDay Tue 05-Nov-13 18:26:00

DD says 'goodest'grin Accompanied by heartbreaking, trembling bottom lip grin

I know it's only been half a term...but it's also been 2 months since school started back divided by 21 kids, some of which have got it more than once...

ok, having just read that over again, I'm definitely being a bit PFB grin

Sparklymommy Tue 05-Nov-13 18:27:10

These things rile me somewhat! When dd1 was in reception she asked the teacher herself how come X had a star and his work wasn't as lengthy/good as hers and she didn't get a star. The teacher tried to explain that for X his piece of work was a big deal, whereas dd was more capable and could have done it better.

A very hard lesson for 4/5 year olds to learn!

Perhaps have a word with the teacher. It can't hurt to point out that even "good" children need the encouragement sometimes. I loathe that "naughty" children get rewarded for the teensiest bit of good behaviour and those that try hard and work well get over looked. But that is the way it always seems to work.

Hope you dd gets the Star of the Day soon

comewinewithmoi Tue 05-Nov-13 18:27:24

You are being pfb but at least you are aware.wink

ProphetOfDoom Tue 05-Nov-13 18:29:24

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Floralnomad Tue 05-Nov-13 18:29:32

I don't think you're being too PFB , it should be shared around and with only 21 children there has been ample opportunity for everyone to have been it by now . I actually think its a bit OTT doing it every day and weekly would be better and probably fairer . If it were my DD I would go in and have a word .

nicename Tue 05-Nov-13 18:30:24

It didn't take DS long to work out that some children get the worker of the week award 'for not hitting anyone alllllll week'.

make her a star of the day certificate for home and give it to her with a little present, I think its difficult or the teachers sometimes to notice the behavior of normally 'good' children. my son was very behaved/average at primary school and got overlooked. My DD who is lovely to me, had behavior issues at the same school and oten star of the week for being normally behaved' made me a bit cross for my son, and it actually meant nothing to my daughter who never wanted to be a star.

3rdnparty Tue 05-Nov-13 18:32:00

I don't think your being pfb the teacher may have just missed her by accident - when ds in reception his bf got missed as the teacher ticked by his name by mistake...if his mum hadn't asked the teacher would have been none the wiser.... i would either be direct or ask what she needed to do as hadn't happened yet as mentioned above.... every kid got to be star for something !

nicename see that was my daughter, getting praised for not hitting someone, made my son sad and wanted him to try the same thing.

GreenVelvet Tue 05-Nov-13 18:33:52

After 5 years at school my son was never star of the week, which was statistically improbable.

Agree with Schmaltzing. Despite good intentions, it can end up crappy.

I have always suspected that it was targeted at the "underdog", sometimes for compliant behaviour or as an "encouragement".

I would mention it. I didn't but found it irksome and wish I had ...

SkullyAndBones Tue 05-Nov-13 18:34:18

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

theoriginalandbestrookie Tue 05-Nov-13 18:35:08

I'd go and speak to the teacher using revel's wording, what can DD do to earn the star of the day ?
Ridiculous to hand this out every day and demotivating if it's primarily used to improve the less well behaved DC's behaviour.

temporarilyjerry Tue 05-Nov-13 18:36:16

^ In our school star is done once a week and by birth they all have a go.^
WTF. This kind of meaningless reward does nothing to promote good behaviour. What is the point?

OP, I don't think you're being PFB but not sure that speaking to the teacher will help.

PFBoftheDay Tue 05-Nov-13 18:37:44

yes comewine I am definitely having one of those 'this is what I have become' moments. It seems like only yesterday I was taking the piss out of my friend, who was disappointed with the teacher who wrote her DS1's report as 'she didn't feel it had really captured his personality'. He was in Reception at the time. grin Little did I know...

Sparkly it is a hard lesson,isn't it? I wouldn't mind so much but it does seem very unfair.According to DD her friend- a very well behaved little boy- hasn't been SotD either, so I do think the children who are no trouble may be getting overlooked

SeeYouNT Tue 05-Nov-13 18:38:12

<wonders if OPs kids go to same school as mine>

dd (foundation 1) has been star of the day twice since start of term. and i have no idea what they are made star of the day for and what it entails, other than they are allowed to bring a toy in from home on the day they are "star of the day" confused

mirry2 Tue 05-Nov-13 18:39:11

teenagtantrums this happened to my dd and I too didn't want to say anything in case I was seen to be a pushy parent. it was only when my dd said she was going to start doing some messy work for a few weeks and then 'improve' on it later so that she got star of the week that I spoke to the teacher who was really surprised that my dd had never received one. It turned out that no records were ever kept.
My dd received satr of the week the next week and was happy at last.

Definitely have a word.

If you think you're being PFB, listen to this: when my DD was in Y1 she was getting upset that she never got to hold the assembly rules. Each day, a child would be picked at random. The HT would say, who wants to hold the rules this morning? And she'd never get picked.

So when we had our annual parents meeting with him, right at the end I sheepishly mentioned that she was desperate to hold the assembly rules. I knew I would sound like a tit, but basically decided it was worth asking! He chuckled (in a very nice way - he is such a lovely man) and said he would sort it! The very next day he picked my DD and she was over the moon! (She never knew I'd asked).

Sometimes you just have to do what you have to do!

MissPricklePants Tue 05-Nov-13 18:41:50

My dd is in Reception and wants to be star of the week. She tries her hardest (she has a speech and language delay and now possible hearing issues so struggles to understand) and is coming on fab but has yet to get it. She is working so hard! Hopefully she will get it soon as she is saying I work hard and my best but my teacher never sees me!

PFBoftheDay Tue 05-Nov-13 18:43:45

oh your poor DS Skully

I think once a day is very over the top too tbh. I'm not sure giving one chosen child a daily present- because that's what it is, really- is that good an idea- surely the children (like my DD) will be thinking about it a lot more than if it was a weekly thing

CrohnicallyTired Tue 05-Nov-13 18:43:53

Not PFB at all. I was one of the well behaved/academically bright children, and very very rarely got rewarded for it. By secondary school I was fed up with the whole system and did go off the rails a bit by year 10/11- fighting, walking out of lessons etc. Obviously I'm not putting that entirely down to not being star of the week in infants, but it was representative of the teachers' attitudes towards me- they knew I'd do all right so it felt like they couldn't be bothered to encourage me.

At the school I work at, the star of the week is marked off on the register and no one gets a second go till everyone has had one turn. As there are around 30 children in the class and 40 weeks in the year, the well behaved children usually get 2 turns.

As well as that, there are privileges such as being the teacher's helper that go entirely on register order so everyone gets a turn, and I feel that our general reward system (team points etc) is very fair, as the best behaved children do get far more rewards than those who find behaving more difficult (yet still handing out enough rewards to encourage the more challenging children).

kerala Tue 05-Nov-13 18:44:12

My DD has excellent reading skills - is weirdly good at reading and is well behaved and eager to please. She got a star of the day sticker for..."good sitting". I was hmm

harticus Tue 05-Nov-13 18:47:04

My son's school does this weekly - it is primarily used as a carrot for the ... uhum ... less disciplined children.
It has zero value because more than half the class, the well behaved hard working half, never ever get it.
My son has always understood that this is twaddle and really isn't bothered if he gets it or not.
You either sign up to this stuff as a family or you don't.

OHforDUCKScake Tue 05-Nov-13 18:48:33

I dont think you are being PFB. But thats coming from someone also with a 6yo who is my PFB.

If anything really upsets mine, to the point where hes mentioned it a few times and hes upset by it I always mention it. Which so far has only been twice in just over 2 years at school.

Id have no problem mentioning SotD to the teacher, she will totally understand. Things like that are huge deals to younger ones, she probably just doesnt realise how much it means to your DD.

Dobbiesmum Tue 05-Nov-13 18:48:33

that's half the problem I think, sometimes the children who just get on with it get overlooked. It's hard to see them so upset about it, a quiet word won't hurt.

Chocotrekkie Tue 05-Nov-13 18:50:23

I've had this too - I went and asked the teacher if she could let me know what dd has to do to be star as she doesn't understand why she hadn't been chosen.

Next person chosen was her smile

Maryz Tue 05-Nov-13 18:51:16

ds2 came home one day and said to me "I know how to get the pupil of the week - I just have to be really bad for two weeks, and then quite good for a few days".

He did it, and lo and behold, certificate for him angry

One ridiculous year dd (who is exceptionally well-behaved all the fecking time) didn't get it once. Whereas both the ds's (not well behaved at all) had got it more than once. In fact, ds1 got it three times that year.

Rant at talk to the teacher.

PFBoftheDay Tue 05-Nov-13 18:51:21

Crohnicallytired - I was the same in secondary school- went to a primary school where good behaviour and working hard was noted- not rewarded, necessarily, but acknowledged and encouraged- then went to a massive secondary school where unless you were a)really terribly behaved or b)in a sports team, you were absolutely ignored. It was a massive shock to the system and I did think 'well they don't care, so why should I' for a while- luckily a few of the teachers made a point of noticing and encouraging the more academically minded students.

Anja1Cam Tue 05-Nov-13 18:52:58

It's annoying isn't it? Our school has a more flexible system of 5-star pupil, that can be earned over time. However when I saw how many stars certain other pupils of challenging habits had racked up in the time where my average-behaved DD had managed 5..., I asked the teacher to explain and she told me not to read too much into it, as it was definitely to encourage the pupils who needed it. Luckily my DD never got disheartened and didn't cotton on until much later.

I think you will gently need to inform the teacher that her system is causing distress though.

missmapp Tue 05-Nov-13 18:53:01

As a teacher, can I say that we do notice the constantly well behaved ones, but , as you know they can be given star of the week any week, you tend to give the more challenging children the award when they are good as you know it could well be a blink and you miss it moment, wheras the reliable ones can be left til the next week.

However, as a child who was never rewarded at school and the mother to two quiet and good boys who rarely get star of the week, I do know how hard it is and I give little prizes/take home certificates at odd moments throughout the week as well as the star.

I have never, never come across a time when it hasn't been a simple oversight on the part of the teacher, which is easily sorted by quietly asking what your DC needs to work on to get star of the day.

Don't stress and worry - just talk to the teacher.

PFBoftheDay Tue 05-Nov-13 18:54:15

& I'm quite glad I've not been tooo disgustingly PFB as obviously not alone in my criticism of the SotD system grin

I will give it to the end of this week, just on the off chance, then speak to the teacher next Monday I think

Meglet Tue 05-Nov-13 18:56:03

You could leave it for a while and do what I did blush....... By the start of Year 1 DS hadn't had a single class certificate, some had received 2 in reception year alone. Because I had a pile of every weekly school letter I created a spreadsheet of his entire class and counted up how many certificates they'd all had, and he was the only one without. I spoke to his teacher after that, she was lovely (and didn't laugh too much when I told her I had a spreadsheet) and he got one the following week.

Lilacroses Tue 05-Nov-13 18:56:06

These things are very divisive and upsetting for the quieter, always well behaved children I completely sympathise with your Dd. My Dd is very like that that always behaves and her teachers have told me several times they sit her next to children "that don't know how to behave so she rubs off on them" which is often really unpleasant for my Dd. I do understand, I'm a teacher myself but I don't agree with it. There MUST be a way to acknowledge the efforts of all children at some point. I manage to do it in my class. Do mention it to the teacher, tell her/him some of the things you have told us. I think they should be very concerned at the fact that your Dd is feeling very disillusioned.

VodkaJelly Tue 05-Nov-13 18:57:20

My DS never got a star of the week in Year 6. Not once. He was really upset about it as he was a well behaved boy who worked hard and was very bright.

He never found out why he was overlooked but didnt tell me about it incase I went into the school "and made a scene" hmm

Mim78 Tue 05-Nov-13 19:00:26

I would have a word. These things usually don't work out IMO because teachers seem to lose track!

tracypenisbeaker Tue 05-Nov-13 19:03:24

I don't think you are being unreasonable. It's really shitty to be overlooked when you feel like you have put in extra effort. I remember playing netball at primary school, and I was really good at it and was one of the best despite joining a whole year after the other girls (NOT an exaggeration, literally all the other girls went except me)- I scored loads of goals, was brilliant at goal defense etc. I was a good team player.

Of course, the worst slowest girl who needed patting on the head and patronising every five seconds ended up winning Player of the Year AND Most Improved (her mum was a coach, but meh). She was a fucking spoilt, pampered shit who was always indulged because she whined. Lovely girl now, but back then she was ME ME ME ME.

My point is, in life you will sometimes be overlooked. It is not a reflection of you as a person and your abilities, but rather a desperation to mollycoddle those who need a bit of a kick up the arse. It is my view that we should be encouraging high achievers to flourish, as they are the people who others will look to and aspire to be like them. Who knows? Maybe even PUSH themselves and rise to the challenge. This has got nothing to do with branding children as 'badly behaved,' or leaving out children because they have behavioural problems, surely there is a middle ground though as opposed to treating them like they are the best thing since sliced bread just because they haven't hit someone that week/ sworn/ had a tantrum. Grown up life won't be so kind and easy going on these people.

I suppose that is the best lesson your DD can learn from this. If you go in and speak to the teacher, yes, she will probably award your daughter the star thing. But RL doesn't work like that, where you can get your mum to go in and make everything alright. Just let her know that as long as she is secure in herself and proud of her achievements, then that is what is really important.

AntiJamDidi Tue 05-Nov-13 19:07:22

Dd1 was a quiet and well behaved girl but by Christmas of year 1 she had sussed the star chart system. She didn't just moan quietly to me though, she shouted and stamped her feet at her teacher while explaining very articulately why the system wasn't fair blush That was the one and only time I was called in to discuss her behavior but lo and behold she was given stars for the next couple of days and earned her prize.

PFBoftheDay Tue 05-Nov-13 19:08:28

Lila my DD is also seated beside challenging children- one boy in particular she was always next to, and he really tortured her and it was really ruining her day tbh- she was coming home crying that he'd once again scribbled over her work etc. After yet another term in which she was once again put next to this boy, even though all the other tables had been changed round I went in to the teacher, and was told that DD was put there because 'she was the only child in the class who could handle being beside him!" (DD was quite grown up about ignoring bad behaviour from other children and/or telling teacher, for her age at the time)

Carriemac Tue 05-Nov-13 19:09:34

My ds was like this in primary school . Quiet and well behaved . Got no attention for it. Same in secondary, good at sport , bright but not a star. On GCSE results day he got 9A*s . One of the best in his school. Oh my god we were chuffed. And a little surprises end as he was always below the radar. He is now treated differently in 6th form, it's weird. As if the teachers hadn't really noticed him before and now they do.

curlew Tue 05-Nov-13 19:09:35

My dp's a football coach. I think he finds making sure he dishes out "player of the match" fairly but making sure everyone gets it the most difficult bit of the job!

he has a spreadsheet. On his phone.

labtest Tue 05-Nov-13 19:24:52

You are not being unreasonable. My daughter is 6 and in year 2. In nursery she was diagnosed with leukaemia and only finished treatment last month. Throughout treatment she has remained on the top table, exceeded nc targets, maintained an almost 79% attendance and taken part in pe lessons and after school clubs. Her teacher told me she is well behaved and kind to the other children in her class. However, she has never been awarded the worker of the week award!

Last year she was tormented by a particular girl in her class who mocked her for the way she ran (steroids and chemo have affected her muscles and nerve endings) and encouraged others to do so. This girl has been awarded the worker of the week certificate a disproportionate amount of times. There are 19 in the class and my daughter didnt get it once all year, not even the week she came top in spellings on the Friday then needed two blood transfusions on the Saturday morning.

In the end I complained and was told because Beth didnt draw attention to herself she was being overlooked. After my complaint she was inundated with certificates and even got one for good singing (which was really pushing it) but ironically still no worker of the week!

Forgive my rant and overuse of exclamation marks but I'm still bitter now.

Clutterbugsmum Tue 05-Nov-13 19:27:48

You are not being PFB.

We had this when dd1 was in year R and year 1. The children who were the were the worst behaved were the one's getting the stickers for doing what was expected to do anyway.

So those children who were well behaved or did as they were told are missed.

We now changed it around so the well behaved children got the reward and through peer pressure get those other children to behave.

Clawdy Tue 05-Nov-13 19:40:41

At most of the schools I worked in, every child received the award or star at some time so no child felt left out. But I did work in one school years ago where the "stars of the week" went to the front at each Friday assembly to receive a certificate. One week,a little girl sitting next to me whispered "It's always the naughty ones,isn't it,Miss?" She was right,too.

ILoveAFullFridge Tue 05-Nov-13 19:56:21

In our school each of the infants classes has a ladder chart with different colour rungs. They all have their names on a clothes peg, and every morning all the clothes pegs start on the same rung somewhere just above the middle. Good behaviour moves your peg up a rung, bad behaviour moves your peg down a rung. But you can always climb back up.

At the end of the day every child whose peg is above a certain colour (one below the start of the day) gets a tiny sticker. At the end of the week every child who has had a sticker every day gets a special sticker.

This system rewards both the visibly-making-an-effort-good and the invisibly-good. It is transparent and understood by all the children. Some of them are gutted to miss out on a sticker and really make an effort as a result.


labtest* that's awful. I wish her all the best with her recovery.

SqueeksAway Tue 05-Nov-13 20:14:58

My Ds in primary was never rewarded and understood why but was still a bit thoughtful about why the naughty ones got the behaviour awards

Until the devil took hold of me n I walked in and told the teacher that I was horrified that my sons behaviour was obv worse than X n Y as they had had several behaviour awards that year n I had told him to observe them closely and behave EXACTLY like the little darlings (fckers)

His horror was priceless the smug git was lost for words - I then explained that was why the system was flawed - didn't do Ds any good though I noticed he got left out of all sports teams til he left and when I queried it (in cold rage) was told he got his rewards through his academic development (not praise notice)

God I hated his primary school n their stars of the day n good behaviour awards - thankfully he's really happy n fulfilled at secondary plays in several school sports teams and gets awards n lunches for his positive attitude so fck them n they can shove their stars up their arse

(Notice I'm the type who would have got lots of stars)

NoComet Tue 05-Nov-13 20:19:20

YANBU - it isn't until they are are far older they get the effort over achievement and encouraging 'naughty' children to try bit.

Even when they understand it they, don't like it!

It's especially hard for the good quiet DCs who get continuously over looked. They get sandwiched between behaviour management and rewarding absolute achievement and never get a turn.

Sometimes I'm amazed how little thought the teachers seem to give to who's turn it is. DD2 has armful of certificates, purely because she's good at English and often a obvious no argument choice, but it got blush when her lovely hard working DF never got one.

SpottyDottie Tue 05-Nov-13 20:19:32

You may be being a little pfb but rightly so in my opinion. I was soooo pleased when DS went to secondary. None of this rewards crap. It is always the same ones that would get it. In secondary, we will get a congratulations letter if their tracking is on target but that is it!

80sMum Tue 05-Nov-13 20:28:31

"no one gets a second go till everyone has had one turn"

^^What on earth is the point of that? That's not a reward scheme, it's simply a rota! Personally I don't like these reward schemes and find them divisive, but if you're going to have one at least let it be 'real'. Children are not fools; they know when adults have 'let them win' and it's a rather meaningless and hollow victory.

JennyOnAPlate Tue 05-Nov-13 20:30:05


My 5 year old has worked out that to get star of the day "you have to be naughty and then good again". The kids who are good all the time get no recognition.

Don't even get me started on sodding congratulations assemblies!

Glittertwins Tue 05-Nov-13 20:35:04

yANBU. It is very hard explaining to 4-5 yr olds why they don't get stickers or certificates for trying really hard and good manners but then see others get rewarded just for saying please and thank you. I am sure this rewarding of bad behaviour is having an effect on DS as he keeps seeing this dirt of thing resulting in rewards whereas he gets nothing for doing well and listening.

curlew Tue 05-Nov-13 20:35:50

<puts hand up self effacingly>

But it it very important to explain to your children that some people find behaving well much harder than others. And if behaving well comes easily to you, you don't necessarily need to be rewarded for it, while somebody who finds it really hard might well deserve a reward for being good for a day.

Glittertwins Tue 05-Nov-13 20:35:50

* sort, not dirt.

blackcats73 Tue 05-Nov-13 20:35:56

My kids were/are never star of the day or week and we were nearly last to have Billy Bear.

Me and hubby never had the star badge in 70s/80s...... forward to now hubby and me both have degrees and postgrad qualifications, decent salaries, nice house and professional careers.

Still chuffing annoying though!!!

At dd's school I think they basically take turns. When dd1 was in reception they definately did and all the names were in a tim. A name was pulled out each day. poor dd1 said to me that the tin had been refilled now (because everybody had had a turn) and she hadn't had one! So I asked the teacher who rather smugly checked the tin and found that dd1 wasn't in it! Her name went in jolly quickly and was duly picked out a couple of days later to her great delight. So imo it certainly doesn't hurt to mention it to teachers. Mistakes are made.

curlew Tue 05-Nov-13 20:38:24

Just like some children find school work harder than others- one child could write three sentences and be told it wasn't enough, and to do some more, and others will get lots of praise and a star for doing three.

Yanbu, fwiw it's always the regular naughty ones that are noticed for good behaviour, but those who are good in school don't get as much recognition when exceptionally well behaved, probably because naughty children are harder to not notice.

jonicomelately Tue 05-Nov-13 20:45:34

How I hate all that star of the week stuff. I seem to remember waiting ages before DS1 got it, when others in the class had been given it twice. It was the same at football but, the good thing is that as they get older talent begins to account for a lot more than trying to award naughty or shy kids, or kids with pushy parents

Dayshiftdoris Tue 05-Nov-13 20:52:04

Sorry don't agree...

I have a child who spends most of his days at risk of exclusion and he has not had ANY achievement awards in over 18months in this school.
Or in the last year of his last school though prior to that it was tried as a carrot - didn't work as he could see it was meaningless.

He wasn't star of the week in his class all last year and similar this year

1charlie1 Tue 05-Nov-13 20:55:16

This thread is bringing back memories! Not of primary school, but of my final year of secondary. There were various awards given every 6 weeks or so at assembly to the senior students - 'Best sportsman', 'Best All- Rounder', 'Community Involvement Champion' etc. I was extremely hard working and among the top few academic achievers in the school. After mocks results were in came the inevitable 'Best Academic Performers' award. I'd come top of the year... but wasn't one of the half dozen chosen to be photographed and feted in the school newsletter. I was bloody livid! Bizarrely, after the results of our formal exams were out at the end of the year, I bumped into my year level co-ordinator, who seemed astonished at how well I'd performed (second top marks, sadly - pipped at the post!). Clearly, the 'quiet and well-behaved' ones can spend their entire school careers unnoticed...!

curlew Tue 05-Nov-13 20:55:17

It is a Mumsnet trope- this "only naughty children get rewards" I suspect some of it comes from believing every word a 6 year old tells them.

CrohnicallyTired Tue 05-Nov-13 21:07:53

80s mum- it's not actually that bad! And we don't stick strictly 100% to whose turn it is. But making sure that we record who has had a go, and trying to fill in gaps before giving out second goes, does help ensure that no one who truly deserves it gets missed out.

If child X is the only one who hasn't had the reward, but has been a little shit all week, or even has had one sanction like missing playtime, of course they won't get the reward. But we will be aware that X hasn't had it, and look out for good behaviour.

But more usually, you get to the end of term and X was really good behaviour wise one week so they got the reward, and Y made terrific progress in reading so they got it, and Z did a fantastic art project so they got it. Meanwhile A who has been slowly plodding along but never really excelled in anything, and B who is the quietest member of the class, are the 2 left till the end. Having a 'rota' as you call it, ensures that they don't miss out because they are always good, but never exceptional.

The alternative to not having a 'rota' is for the same handful of children to get it every time, after all, just like a party it's not fair to miss one or two out, is it? And those one or two will notice and become upset and disillusioned just like so many of the children mentioned on this thread.

And just to point out- we also have school wide half termly rewards, that one child in each year group can win- so the hardest working or highest achieving children can and do get more rewards than the poorly behaved one.

CrohnicallyTired Tue 05-Nov-13 21:11:29

Curlew- not so. I clearly remember in secondary school, a new behaviour system came in where you could earn points towards physical rewards- the top prizes being things like vouchers for a music store. I was one of the top pupils in the school, and I don't think I ever earned enough for a measly pencil. Meanwhile, M who was regularly excluded or taught in seclusion, was bragging about his new CD.

CrohnicallyTired Tue 05-Nov-13 21:11:50

I think that was about the time that I stopped caring.

PFBoftheDay Tue 05-Nov-13 21:18:15

curlew- but it does seem to happen. I can see why tbh, and I think anything that gently helps children who struggle is a good thing- like someone upthread said, what is usual behaviour for one child could be a complete breakthrough for another, and of course that should be recognised and encouraged.

However I don't think that necessarily means other children should be left out or ignored either. I certainly don't believe everything my DD says, but this has been going on long enough & I know enough about the school (small area, everyone knows everyone else) to think that there is something in what she says.

PFBoftheDay Tue 05-Nov-13 21:19:39

labtest that's awful Your poor DD sad

AaDB Tue 05-Nov-13 21:26:06

Yanbu. There have been about 45 school days so far.

I hate star of the day. Ds pines for this award but there is no obvious criteria that they work to at least understand.

Ds got his second one of the year today and he was delighted. He worked really hard on homework last night and got it in class. Relevant and a great reward for something he slaved over. The first one was in his mind because the teacher was in a rush and he was the first child she saw.

Some children do get rewarded for behaving better. I think well behaved plodders can get overlooked.

I always held back at the start of the year and made a miraculous recovery by the end of the year.

Clutterbugsmum Tue 05-Nov-13 21:32:51

Curlew, sorry don't agree with the children who got loads of stars and rewards from the teachers in yr R,1 and 2 are still the ones with issues now in yr 5. They are still impacting on the whole class because they can not / will not follow the school rules. Only now they trying peer pressure so if these few (7/8 children out of a 35children in the year group) so when these few misbehave then the rest of the year suffer. They lose playtime/jungle gym time, they been sent home from school trips early. Unfortunatley they don't care about anyone but themselves and the rest of have to just put up with it.

VikingLady Tue 05-Nov-13 21:33:34

God, these things are so unfair unless they reward everyone for doing well according to their own abilities. At my secondary school there was a scheme with certificates for good work or behaviour. At least one was given in each class. I was there for 2.5 years and never got one. I had no fights, was quiet and well behaved, got top marks....

I asked why I never got any after a term or so, and was told it had to reflect an improvement, and I hadn't improved as I was already top. I eventually got the head of year to admit the only way I could get a certificate was to be bad/stop working at all for a long time (long enough for it to be my new "normal") then improve.

Oh, and the certificates were added up at the end of each term and prizes awarded in assembly for multiples of 20. Some kids had over 100. Which really hammers home what a shit system it was.

BuntyPenfold Tue 05-Nov-13 21:37:07

I absolutely agree that quiet well behaved children can get overlooked.
Mine commented that the prizes were given for being bad and then being good, by the time they were 6.

A few weeks ago a friend with a very timid hard working child, who is always overlooked, went in and cried and then shouted at his teacher. Now I'm not necessarily recommending this, but that Friday he won the cup! I would say, make your feelings known to the teacher. If you don't speak up, who will?

Retroformica Tue 05-Nov-13 21:46:59

We had this but worse. Managed to get to February with no star of the day. My DC was quiet, hard working and able. The kids who got tons of rewards tended to be the favourites - either bossy in your face girls or cheeky chappies. The real problem was that staff failed to keep a list of who got what.

curlew Tue 05-Nov-13 20:55:17
It is a Mumsnet trope- this "only naughty children get rewards" I suspect some of it comes from believing every word a 6 year old tells them.

Not necessarily. Our school has each class's star of the week published in the weekly newsletter. And you get to know, from talking to other parents, and your own observations in the playground, which children are the less well behaved ones.

Mellowandfruitful Tue 05-Nov-13 22:04:54

Fortunately my DS's school only seem to do star of the week not the day. He hasn't got it yet (he is mostly very well behaved and has excellent manners) and last week the child who has been an absolute terror since day one got it. Definite sense of the naughty kids being rewarded for a week in which they're marginally less naughty than usual. It's still early days but I will keep an eye on it as the year progresses.

labtest that is just awful, and I would have been boiling with rage to see my child miss out while a child who had bullied them got rewarded. I hope your DD is recovering now and getting her just rewards.

PeppermintScreams Tue 05-Nov-13 22:08:17

YANBU - my PFB is desperate for the class monkey.

My son's school has star of the week (for things like kindness) and a weekly literacy award and a maths award (for effort - DS got his for always having a go at answering in circle time)

They also do "smilies" tokens where they have an individual reward chart for doing good things, and can be given out by any adult ( As a parent helper for reading, I gave one out today to a little boy who picked up the lunch boxes that had fallen off the shelf without prompting) and when they get so many they get a certificate.

They also have a similar system to the ladder system mentioned above. Everyone starts the day on a green smiley face, but if they are naughty their peg gets moved on to an Amber frowning face, and if they get worse it goes on to a red sad face, and it can also be moved back up. Connected to this are the schools golden values (calmness, stickability, kindness etc) and if the children do anything that related to this then their peg goes on the sign for this and they get a sticker at the end of the day. My goodie goodie DS only seems to get a golden value sticker as an good example when someone else is naughty and gets put on the amber peg. But generally works very well.

sharpesttool Tue 05-Nov-13 22:09:42

My dd who struggles academically but is well behaved has not had it in 3 years!!

In reception at our school, the children get to take the teacher's teddy home for the weekend.

At both parents evenings for both children I am told how well behaved they are, how helpful, how well they are doing.

Both of them got that bloody bear with about a week to go before summer break up. TWICE I had to endure a full year of a four/five year old coming out upset every sodding Friday cos he'd been good all week and STILL not got the teddy.

By xmas when ds1 was in reception I was telling them that the teachers save the best kids till last.

they have other weekly reward things too. Now that the kids are in years 5 and 6, I am sure that some teachers reward the good, hardworking, attentive kids first in the year, whilst others use it as an encouragement for the children who need that extra help.

For example with one teacher, both my sons had this particular reward twice each by xmas, then no more till the end of the year. With other teachers they seem to get it after easter. Yet their behaviour and effort is the same in every class!

Kaekae Tue 05-Nov-13 23:01:29

In reception my son was desperate for a Golden Award, he waited all year. Some children had already received it twice and he once even said "Do I have to be naughty to get a golden award?". On the very last day of term I was sure he would finally get the award, he didn't. I was gutted for him, he was so disappointed. Every child needs encouragement, but it seems the well behaved children get overlooked and it is disheartening for them. I actually think these rewards systems do more harm than good. My son started a new school and they seem to have various reward systems going on, but no one understand how on earth the awards work or how they achieve points. hmm

BrandiBroke Wed 06-Nov-13 00:19:06

I used to be a supply teacher and one day I was asked to teach a Year 2 class in a school I'd never been to before. It was pretty much the worst day of my teaching career. There was a group of about 6 boys who were extremely badly behaved. Wouldn't listen, wouldn't get on with their work, shouted out, etc. There was a ringleader to the group but they were all challenging.

At morning play the ringleader grabbed another child's head and smacked it into a metal bar. He was taken to the office. The rest of his gang decided they didn't want to go back to class and refused to leave the playground. Not just for me; they refused for several staff members.

Finally they gave in and we started the next lesson. With the ringleader in the office things calmed down a bit. Just as we had started some work the ringleader was brought back in. He ran and dived straight under a table and refused to come out. There was a box of building bricks under there that he started to throw at people. His gang thought this was great fun and threw them back and at other people. Finally he was removed and sent home.

The afternoon was a bit better but there was constant low level disruption. Just before home time a teaching assistant, who hadn't even been in the class all day, started dishing out stickers to this little group of boys for their reward charts. Because the stickers they received meant they'd all reached some kind of target this meant they also then got to choose a little prize to take home. So although they were badly behaved all day they got rewarded, whereas the rest of the children, who had constantly had their lessons disrupted, didn't have any sort of reward chart and didn't get anything.

DoTheStrand Wed 06-Nov-13 00:41:58

DS1 is in Reception. He comes home almost weekly with a big paper star, nearly always for 'good sitting'. It's parents evening this week so I will finally find out whether he is indeed a brilliant sitter, or actually a rubbish sitter who occasionally manages to sit still on the carpet for 20 minutes and is therefore rewarded for that (tbh it could go either way smile).

They do seem to have a couple of star systems in place, which seem to be based in merit - so you have to achieve something to get a star, but the bar is set so it is achievable for all (and you can get stars for lots of different things). They also have a daily Special Person who has special privileges - this is not based on merit, so every child gets to do it in order. So I think they have quite a good balance.

nicename Wed 06-Nov-13 09:09:47

I don't see why they don't just do the old marble jar thing - so if a child is rewarded for good behaviour or rewarded for not hitting/biting/spitting etc, then the marble goes into the jar and when they reach the top the whole class gets a reward.

Chattymummyhere Wed 06-Nov-13 10:13:25

Unfortunately I remember this system well, I was the good child who did all her work on time and exactly how was asked. I never got a sticker or a star or anything it really hammered my self esteem and self worth as a child, I also got bullied for being the good child although only the other children seemed to notice that.

I changed school and noticed the same system again, then I realized how to play the system, So I stopped doing home work ( I got to do the important jobs at school for that like handing out the milk, helping in reception etc), I walked out of lessons I did not like ( I got to again go help in younger classes, help set up the music hall, be first to lunch).. I got stickers everyday I wrote one measly sentence by the end of primary it was so ingrained that to be "good" I had to be bad it carried over into secondary..

It was not just me who did this at my school there was 4 or 5 in my year group and we used to have a great time getting all the prizes and doing the special helper work while the other children who where good got nothing.

The school is still the same now with terrible reports of behavior. I messed up my whole education because of this system because it was never explained by a parent or anyone why it was done the way it was.

I sorted my self out once I had "finished" school I went to college etc

I hate this system but please don't let your children fall into the trap, I see my old teachers now and they always say we knew you could be good and we knew you where smart, and they are really happy for everything I have done since leaving school, but its always tainted for me

treadheavily Wed 06-Nov-13 10:27:55

My son's class has a helper if the day system. A little boy from his class was round after school and told me proudly he had been helper of the day. My son piped uo happily, "It's my turn tomorrow" to which the friend looked shocked and said, "No, you have to be good and be chosen."
Not so, replies my son. "It's in order of our names and I am after you."

He was quite right. Felt no need to be "good" but simply wait it out till his name came up.

The thing is, kids need to know the system. Is it really for being good? Is it in birth order? It can only be fair if they know the rules and everyone, teachers in particular, follow them.

It may seem petty to us but it's a big deal to little kids and no I don't think you are being precious OP. I would ask the teacher if she could have a turn.

mitchsta Wed 06-Nov-13 12:32:00

The reward system that was introduced when I was in high-school meant that the kids who normally misbehaved but were good on occasion achieved their privileges much more quickly than the kids who were consistently well-behaved. It really pissed me off at the time but, at 11, I was old enough to see straight through it. At 6, I can imagine this being a much bigger deal for me. I'd have been one of the invisible kids too. It's your call really - mention it to her teacher now or wait a bit longer and hope it happens without having to say anything. Depends how upset your DD is. Either way, she will be SOOOOO happy/proud/excited when her time comes.

Labtest - that is awful. Can't believe you had to raise it with the teacher. An average spelling test score would be admirable given your DD's illness, but the fact she was overlooked despite coming top is just rubbish! Your DD's battle with Leukemia trumps any "worker of the week" award hands down though - a star in anyone's eyes. Massive shame that they're rewarding her nasty little classmate too. I really hope her treatment is going well.

FigRolls Wed 06-Nov-13 12:38:19

My dd got star of the week once in July last year despite never misbehaving and always being in the sunshine/rainbow. Kids known for hitting and whining got it several times for hitting and whining less confused

ChunkyPickle Wed 06-Nov-13 12:57:39

Like ChattyMummy, I was also the reliably good type who didn't get any of these type of awards - and I also went down the 'screw the system' path - resulting in an awful lot of truancy among other things, and it all started with primary school and being made to feel like it didn't really matter rather than encouraged for achieving and my good behaviour.

It sounds ridiculously precious written down, but when you're 7 it matters so much!

Echocave Wed 06-Nov-13 15:03:01

I would also have a quick word just in case it's an oversight. I really hate all these awards.
What do they achieve?
We never had this rubbish at my schools (gimmer alert).
And I don't even have a child at school yet. Am dreading it and will need to control my PFB reactions.

mumofweeboys Wed 06-Nov-13 15:03:37

My secondary had it sussed when they did a merit system - you could get a merit for anything that the teachers thought appropriate eg good work, better behaviour ect. You handed them into your form tutor who marked the on a chart. Then you got certificates when you got so many and rewards.

It worked well as it rewarded trouble makers for good behaviour, less academic kids to try harder as well as the smarter kids getting the same recognition. It became a bit if a thing to get the most merits as the less able kids could compete and be on the same level as the smarter kids foto get the same rewards or be better than them at it.

I'm not a star week fan or getting the bear to take home for a week. Ds1 is always last it get as he struggles with school and concentration, luckily he doesn't mind too much but he did start to ask last year when he was going to get the bloomin nursery bear to take home and was rather sad that he couldn't get to right level of behaviour they wanted from him.

Coupon Wed 06-Nov-13 15:15:36

Everyone should have a turn, and they should find out at the start of the day that they're SotD.

Nothing against competition in schools but if this takes place it should be fair and with clear rules, e.g. sports day races.

LegoStillSavesMyLife Wed 06-Nov-13 15:16:01

My dc school has a merit system as well - you earn house points. House points mean the world to ds1. He is so focused on getting them. You can get a merit point for being nice, kind, well manner or doing well (for you) at your work. Everybody who earns house points has their name read out in assembly. Seems like a better system to me.

Mooycow Wed 06-Nov-13 15:23:42

I had this with Pupil of the week with my sons school., i could see her thought process she was trying to encourage all the badly behaved children to be good, but at the end of the second term, i pointed out that my son (a good kid) had not once had POTW? She said "yes he has" and when i asked her to check , she apologised .Do you have parents night soon would it be worth a quick word?

PFBoftheDay Wed 13-Nov-13 09:06:34

Thought I'd update this, as I think DD's teacher must be a MNer grin

I was going to go in on Monday afternoon and speak with her, but as I went in, DD came out, proudly brandishing a star sticker and bubbles- she was finally chosen as Star of the Day and was over the moon grin

AaDB Wed 13-Nov-13 11:20:39

Thank feck for that. I'm so pleased for you lo.

LookingThroughTheFog Wed 13-Nov-13 11:33:05

This drives me mad too, PFB.

DD works consistently hard, is helpful, kind (obviously she has her off days) and is extremely well motivated.

Last year as we were getting to the end of the year, I had to gently remind her teacher that she'd never once got Star of the Week.

'Oh no,' she said brightly. 'And the irony is, she probably could have got it any week.'

'Then why didn't she?'

She was a bit embarrassed.

I know that they have to motivate the children who struggle, and I generally am pleased when I see children who otherwise get a hard time come running out with the certificate and happy grins. But I'm also annoyed that my daughter is working her cute little bottom off and getting jaded by the lack of acknowledgement. Being constantly second place is no fun at all.

Anyhow, I'm glad your child got her award! I hope it's the first of many.

VikingLady Wed 13-Nov-13 20:10:01

Op Do you think the teacher is on MN?

Goldmandra Wed 13-Nov-13 20:30:01

I hope that all teachers who are MNers and read this thread will have had a think about how fair their reward systems actually are.

My DD2 was always exceptionally well behaved in Reception and the only difficulties raised at parents evening were things she struggled with rather than lack of effort.

Each class had two stars of the week and these were awarded in weekly assembly attended by parents.

There were 18 children in DD2's class so that means up to 4 stars for each child throughout the year.

DD2 didn't get one for the whole year. Her teacher couldn't think of one really good thing she did that deserved a reward for the whole of her reception year.

When I raised it just before the end of term they looked at me like I was bonkers and said they didn't see the need to keep track angry

ProphetOfDoom Wed 13-Nov-13 20:30:10

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ProphetOfDoom Wed 13-Nov-13 20:42:00

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

FortyDoorsToNowhere Wed 13-Nov-13 21:51:31

My dd is well behaved in class and tries really hard, yet she has had only 5 stickers since she started school. Not been star of the week yet or star of the day.

I hope she doesn't start misbehaving just to get this.

Op I'm glad your PFB is now happy smile

Goldmandra Wed 13-Nov-13 22:15:45

what on earth did you say?

I let that one go. It was the end of the year and I knew it I wouldn't make a difference to her last couple of weeks. It was one of a lot of issues I raised that year and subsequently.

She did get one quite early in the next school year from her new teacher and was really made up smile

TBH, by the time she left I was glad to see the back of the place.

She's in a lovely school now who are really good at reward systems (and everything else).

Lilacroses Wed 13-Nov-13 22:18:19

Really happy to hear this OP! Bet your Dd was thrilled. Still loathe this sort of reward thing though. The quieter, constantly well behaved ones always feel overlooked.

Goldmandra Wed 13-Nov-13 22:21:40

The sad thing is that this is so easily addressed.

When working in pre-schools and nurseries I have always made a point, when praising a child for unusually good behaviour, of choosing another, whose behaviour is consistently good, to praise alongside them.

It's very easy given a little thought.

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