DS has won an award for attainment

(6 Posts)
dalziel1 Wed 09-Jul-14 13:02:26

DS1 (year 7) has received a letter saying that he has won an attainment award. It has boosted his (low) self-confidence enormously and I am very grateful for that.

However, he's at secondary school now and its just occurred to me that this is night and day different from the primary school experience. At primary school they had headteacher's awards all the time. They seemed to be endless and based on really trivial things - one year Ds got an award for settling into a new school well but the two things for which DS never got recognised were achievement/ ability and good behaviour.

It seems that children who learn easily and who do as they are told are not appreciated at primary school. I think that's a real shame. The Ht even told me once that DS is the sort of child teachers can forget about. Seeing how DS has blossomed in an environment where talent and consistent, good behaviour are appreciated just makes me think that primary school teachers are really not helping well behaved G&T children.

From my perspective, as a mother, I am just so relieved to realise that I don't have to have any more of those awful conversations with the primary teachers anymore (apart from the ones I still have to have about DS2, of course!).

I know not everyone has the same experience and i am glad for you if your child is still at primary school and has what makes them special celebrated. Its just a shame that children mine need to be overlooked in favour of the more interesting children.

GeorgeHerbert Wed 09-Jul-14 17:56:03

Hurray for your ds! I agree, some children are not 'celebrated' at primary despite fantastic achievements. Similar situation with my ds. He has absolutely loved Year 7 and had reward after reward for excellent work. He has also recieved an end of year attainment award and could not be prouder.

Not all very bright children have buckets of confidence. My ds is a perfectionist and nothing is ever quite good enough for him. But being allowed to shine at secondary has really helped his confidence.

Really pleased for your ds.

iseenodust Wed 09-Jul-14 22:26:50

Well done your DS.
It does sometimes seem that behaviour/endeavour/friendship type awards never go to the more academic, although DS's teachers give certificates for academic achievement as an individual not coming top of the class. I do agree with trying to boost everyone's confidence at primary age though.

dalziel1 Thu 10-Jul-14 10:51:14

DS1 has done well but all G&T children do well. It is nice though that his achievements are being recognised at last. He left primary school this time last year with very good results and worryingly low self-confidence. So, I am relieved to see that he feels that what he does matters now.

I don't really blame the primary teachers for how things are. Well, not completely, anyway! I think most of the blame lies with the league table system. All sorts of statistics get reported about how schools compare to each other, but the one that seems to be used to actually rank the schools is the level 4+ SATS.

As far as i can see, that means that the schools have been incentivised to focus their efforts on getting as many level 3 children as possible over the 4 threshold. So, years 5 & 6 are dominated by SATS preparation and intervention groups.

There aren't much resources left over for the children who are good enough for level 6. In Ds's primary he was given a tiny bit of teaching and left to get on with it as best he could. Then, when he and the other most able children achieved something, their achievements were swept aside in favour of a child who had scraped a level 4 or who had "learned to overcome sources of distraction".

I think DS found it dispiriting that no matter how hard he tried, nor what he achieved, it would never count as far as the school were concerned, yet he had to sit through endless assemblies celebrating the accomplishments of others. The HT more or less confirmed my suspicions when I called about it during Y6.

This time last year, I was really worried about DS's low self-esteem. So, I am delighted that the secondary school actually seems to care about the more able children, not just the less able.

lljkk Thu 10-Jul-14 11:14:15

primary school teachers are really not helping well behaved G&T children

Leave out the G&T bit and I kind of agree; well-behaved kids who just get on with it get less attention than the disruptive brats (speaking as parent of a disruptive brat, and they have their own challenges). Well-behaved kids get easily overlooked. Twas ever thus. Now imagine you've a pleasant, well-behaved child who gets to end of yr5 & can't read (happened to a friend). She was livid. DS went to a private school full of kids like this, the nice but dim & overlooked.

bruffin Thu 10-Jul-14 11:58:24

My ds was similar and really appeared to flourish in secondary and one two prizes year 7 awards. Only two subject prizes per year and 2 form prizes. I just think different things are measured in secondary. Ds also had a huge new range of teachers to talk to instead of just one etc.

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