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primary schools rewarding everthing except academic achievement!!

(25 Posts)
vmcd28 Thu 23-Jun-11 16:05:32

It was ds1's end of school assembly this afternoon. He's just finished P1.

The assembly consisted of -
- handing out "endeavour" certificates, for those pupils who - quote - "had tried hard ALL THE TIME, not SOME or MOST of the time." She said around 20% of kids at the school got these.
- handing out 100% attendance certificates. 6% of the pupils got these.
- handing out medals/trophies for a few sports day things.
- presenting one citizenship award to a P7 pupil.
- presenting bibles to those who attend Scripture Union classes once a week.

After the ceremony, cue lots of kids saying, "But I tried VERY hard this year and didnt get a certificate." etc etc.

Anyway, ds1 didnt get anything. Thats fine. Really it is - he's not sporty, I KNOW he doesnt always try his best every day, and he was off for 3 days this year (cos he was sick on someone in the dinner queue grin)

BUT - and here's what slightly irks me - after the assembly, his teacher said to me how well he's done this year, that he was full of nonsense at the start of P1, but he's matured, and now he understands when he can play and giggle and when he should pay attention. She went on to say they had assessed their reading ages the other day, and ds1's is the highest in the class, and he's the best at "calculations".

So, my point is, ds1 is very disappointed he didnt get any certificates etc, so I explained that he could get an endeavour award if he tries hard next year, and that he was off sick a couple of days, but that cant be helped. But he didnt seem to understand why he's told how good he is at reading and maths, but got nothing today at assembly.

AIBU to not understand the logic behind this?
So you're "rewarded" for being sporty, going to a club once a week, not falling ill, and trying hard ALL the time, but NOT if you're actually good at the "learning" side of things?

worraliberty Thu 23-Jun-11 16:11:52

Yes it does seem a bit mad.

My son's schools have 'Scientist/Mathematician/Reader of the year' awards to go along with the other awards.

The thing is, the day after parent's evening I often smile at the amount of parents from the same class, who said they were told their child is the best in the class at something...sometimes it's the same subjects! grin

fairydoll Thu 23-Jun-11 16:12:02

Trying is something you make a conscious effort to do, being a good learner without trying hard is something you are born with.

lesley33 Thu 23-Jun-11 16:17:13

Agree with fairydoll. And the ones that are good academically
will get praise and recognition for this in the class room. It has also been shown that praising effort rather than achievement, raises the achievement of children.

Hullygully Thu 23-Jun-11 16:17:46

Every child should have a prize for something. Best smiler, most helpful person, kindest to others, most patient etc etc. I hate it when only some kids get one (and mine get loads btw)

KilledBill Thu 23-Jun-11 16:18:13

I actually always take objection to attendance certificates. My childs school does them and quite frankly, its for the benefit of the school infront of education welfare, nothing else.

So your child got ill? How can you help that?

Do we give awards for good immune systems? because thats what it is isnt it?

And actually, I find most the children who are there every day without fail, are not there because they are "good students" - they are there because they have the type of parents who see school as free childcare and cant be bothered to look after them, or dont want to have a day off work.

So they send their little darlings in with lurgey, making our children ill, and then, guess what?! We responsible parents let them stay home.

Stupid stupid idea.

vmcd28 Thu 23-Jun-11 16:21:01

fairy, but this is my point - my ds1 picks up some things quickly, sometimes doesnt, but his reading really is amazing - why shouldnt he get "recognition" for it?
And the fact he would have been at school 100% of the time if he hadnt been sick AT school - THEY then also banned him from coming back for two more days!!
And yes, trying is something you have to do, but ALL THE TIME? I dont try my hardest ALL THE TIME, and I know no-one who does smile
And sport - thats something you're generally good at or youre not too.

vmcd28 Thu 23-Jun-11 16:21:46

hully, I agree - at P1 age certainly.

Alibabaandthe80nappies Thu 23-Jun-11 16:23:54


If they are going to reward sporting achievement, then academic achievement should also be rewarded because both require a natural aptitude to some extent.

vmcd28 Thu 23-Jun-11 16:25:25

also "being a good learner without trying hard is something you are born with." Not sure I agree with this - we all have to try hard to pass exams etc. I know very few people who did very little work and got straight "A"s.

Hullygully Thu 23-Jun-11 16:26:06

Give them all prizes! Make them all feel valued and good about themselves! How hard is it?

manicinsomniac Thu 23-Jun-11 16:28:36

YANBU, I completely agree, all forms of achievement should get recognised, including academic.

fairydoll - talent at sport is natural too. Why should that get rewarded but not talent in the classroom? I do agree that endeavour should be a more important award than both those things though.

hullygully - if you give every child a prize you take away its 'special-ness'. No child wants a certificate that everyone else has got.

Where I work we have three levels of endeavour certificate. The lowest level is so easy to achieve that they children are almost embarrassed to have to go and up and receive it, it's only the higher levels that are prized.

And I think most children would see straight through an award for being a 'nice smiler' etc and throw it in the bin where it belongs. A certificate needs to be truly earned to any value, even to a child.

vmcd28 Thu 23-Jun-11 16:29:19

it annoyes me too how there are a lot of kids who do pretty well in every single thing, whether it's effort/achievement/sport/whatever, but theyre the ones who feel hopeless cos theyre not the BEST at any of them!

vmcd28 Thu 23-Jun-11 16:29:42

"annoyes"? confused

Hullygully Thu 23-Jun-11 16:30:38

I don't agree manic

wimpybar Thu 23-Jun-11 16:31:37

my son only used to get the attendance certificates grin then the new head banned them all

wimpybar Thu 23-Jun-11 16:34:24

oh and killedbill my son was just not ill sorry grin

lesley33 Thu 23-Jun-11 16:35:52

"Every child should have a prize for something."

I know this is a issue that mums will never agree on. But I do think to be of any value to the children, not all children should get a certificate.

Hullygully Thu 23-Jun-11 16:39:35

I do. They will know that some are considered more important than others, but to have something about yourself singled out as worthy of value, is terribly important.

Hullygully Thu 23-Jun-11 16:40:34

And it's so awful at speech day things to watch all the children so eager, some despondent (because they never get anything), and then the same children always get the prizes. I hate it.

JenaiMarrHePlaysGuitar Thu 23-Jun-11 16:43:09

Couldn't agree more, Hully.

littletreesmum Thu 23-Jun-11 16:43:19

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

Fennel Thu 23-Jun-11 16:43:20

In our youth group we had a "bin bag fashion" evening, and every child got a prize. "Most original", "Most colourful", "Most scottish", "Used the most string" etc (we got a bit desperate by the end). I was quite touched that the winner of "most Scottish" was very proud of this and wouldn't let his mum throw his prizewinning binbag costume out for many months.

so yes you can give everyone a prize and they can still be pleased about it.

Goodynuff Thu 23-Jun-11 16:44:15

Our schools do not do attendance awards, besides, I take mine out of school fairly often for trips. grin
Awards are given for highest overall marks, citizenship, most improved behaviour, atheltics, and highest French Proficiency in public speaking competition. DD didn't win any, DS might be up for citizenship this year.
I'm not fussed either way smile

Goodynuff Thu 23-Jun-11 16:45:58

and I never won an award for spelling or proof-reading! grin

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