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To be fed up of the same children winning all the awards at school?!

(204 Posts)
Bluebell99 Wed 17-Jul-13 10:00:16

My son's school states some such rubbish as valuing each child and encouraging them to reach their potential, and yet it is the same children that are chosen for sports day and awards. Recently the school was awarded a grant, for a specific purpose, and they have used it to organise extra curriculum activities. I was invited to an award ceremony to recognise their achievements. Aibu to be disappointed that the children that won prizes are the same confident children that always win everything, and that there had been some extra invitation only expensive activities that only these kids took part in?! Is it a self fulfilling prophecy, that confident children get these opportunities? I was shocked at how inarticulate one of the popular kids was, who had been sent on a expensive summer school and asked to give feedback. It made me realise how low the aspirations are at this school. And instead of feeling inspired, I am feeling that my children are never going to get opportunities to meet their potential at this school. sad

cory Wed 17-Jul-13 10:17:35

Firstly, it might help to try to understand the school's rationale. If they are chosen for sports days and sports awards, might it not be because they happen to be good at that particular sport? If they are chosen for extra-curriculum activities, might it be because they are g & t children whose needs are not met in the ordinary course of lessons?

Secondly, even if the school's rationale is totally incomprehensible or even utterly wrong, you still have to face the question of how you help your ds to deal with it. Your first job is to parent him in such a way as to enable him to deal with any obstacles in life. If you spend too much time pondering the injustice of it all, he may pick up the vibes from you that there is not point in trying because they're just going to be unfair anyway. And that won't help his confidence.

The awards for resilience sometimes come later in life. But they are great.

At no point, in school or the wider world, are there any awards for

pinkr Wed 17-Jul-13 11:21:06

Sorry but yabu. That's just life...maybe these kids are just better at whatever it is than your kids...not everyone can be a winner and it does a disservice to show your kids anything else.

willyoulistentome Wed 17-Jul-13 11:28:39

OP I'm with you on this. I hate the fact that our primary school has a head boy and girl and about 4 other house/ sport captain type awards. It will be the same small group of over achievers (with pushy parents who rule the pta)very fucking time. Primary age is to young to realise you don't measure up.

TantrumsAndBalloons Wed 17-Jul-13 11:29:07

You'd be talking about my Ds1 in that case.

He won 6 awards for sport last week, has represented the school for football, cricket, athletics, basketball, and rugby.

He wins the awards and gets selected because he is good at sport
Loves any type of sport, trains every single day, runs 3 miles before school, etc etc.

Funnily enough though, he also manages to be articulate to the point of representing his year group at the student council.

I hate threads like this.

The reason for winning an award or being selected for a team is because, I would imagine, the children are actually good at what they do.

Is that a bad thing? Are we supposed to feel guilty because someone else's DC didn't get an award?

givemeaboost Wed 17-Jul-13 11:29:20

YANBU however it happens everywhere and is not always as black and white as it seems, as others have said maybe some are g&t or SEN.

My son gets to do activities at school that most others don't and gets funding from school to go to summer activities, this may seem unfair but he had a terrible start to school and only 3 yrs into his school life is he starting to catch up with his peers academically & socially, his extra-curricular activities do have purpose- helping him socially and also getting him to participate in hands-on stuff rather than just academics, which he struggles with the "normal" amount his peers do.

All I can suggest is put you dc in for as many activities etc as is on offer and think about joining the pta-that group seem to be first to know about things and seem to get preference ime, hope that helps.

Souredstones Wed 17-Jul-13 11:30:21

You're talking about my DC there.

Why shouldn't the school reward hard work, effort and achievement? That's how the world works.

MidniteScribbler Wed 17-Jul-13 11:33:31

And what award would you like your child to win?

fancyabakeoff Wed 17-Jul-13 11:37:15

I'm with you OP. There are three girls in my daughter's year who get picked for every bloody thing. They are not particularly bright or exceptional at anything other than being a bit loud, bossy and in your face.

I for one am sick to death of giving her the 'life is hard and unfair' mantra when she works bloody hard, is well behaved and loves school.

Fakebook Wed 17-Jul-13 11:37:23

I don't have much experience in this as my dd is only 5 and going into year 1 next September, but she won 6 out of 7 races in her first sports day and I'm flipping proud! She was better than the other children so it could just be that the children who win the awards are just better? I really don't think children who do well have pushy parents either.

LessMissAbs Wed 17-Jul-13 11:37:26

Some children, like adults, are just more talented in certain things than others. Sport is competition and that's the way the world works. Are you suggesting that the school should pick less successful athletes to represent it?

You do realise that most Olympians start showing promise at school and work their way through junior competition, under 18s, under 18s, under 20s etc on the learning process to becoming successful seniors. To miss out on this development process to make some children's parents feel better at school is short sighted.

There is a learning opportunity here. Encourage your child to find out what the successful children at sports are doing and copy them, or do more. Are they eating a better diet than your child? Are they training more in their own time than your own child? Are they simply working harder? Is your child more of a long distance runner than a sprinter, or a thrower rather than a jumper?

If, as you say, the level of competition at this school isn't that high, your child should be able to work on what is necessary to succeed and do so.

As Tantrums and Balloons says above, her child is running 3 miles before school. You don't need pushy parents to do this as a child - I worked out at age 12 that my cross country running would be improved if I spent my lunch break running instead of queing up for the ice cream van!

tapdancingelephant Wed 17-Jul-13 11:38:50

my dd is that child. well, apart from swimming - she'll never be selected for that.

she is, however, picked to represent at everything else - music concerts, choirs, sports, academic/presentation stuff.

she gets parts in school plays because she speaks well and clearly, can learn the lines and sing in tune. she gets picked to speak at assemblies because she can be relied upon to be in the right place at the right time, speaks clearly, remembers the order of things, etc.

she gets picked to go on the curriculum extras (science trips, mathletics challenges etc) because of all of the above, and she can eb relied upon to show the school in a good light.

why should she not be picked, when she makes a conscious effort every day to work hard, listens well, and tries her best at whatever she is doing (even when it isn't her favourite subject).

sickeningly Pollyanna-ish, I know she sure as hell doesn't take after me but it is just how she is. Why should she not be rewarded for being consistently a top performer and achiever?

willyoulistentome Wed 17-Jul-13 11:40:08

If course it's ok to be proud of your high achieving kids. I just hate it when everyone else has their noses rubbedin it all the time.
They seem to laud these SAME kids all the time for winning making all the average ones feel like shit

Souredstones Wed 17-Jul-13 11:41:44

Again, life is like that. Work hard, try hard and you'll win.

I never won any prizes in school because I was average, we didn't have awards for effort like you do now. Didn't bother me other than to make me work harder.

Sunnymeg Wed 17-Jul-13 11:42:43

DS's school give awards based on effort as well as ones for being the best at xyz. It is really nice to see children being recognized and praised from all abilities.

tapdancingelephant Wed 17-Jul-13 11:43:10

but if the same children are winning all the time, how can anything be done differently?

Souredstones Wed 17-Jul-13 11:44:14

So the children who work and are the top should be ignored for fear of upsetting other children? What message does that send?

TantrumsAndBalloons Wed 17-Jul-13 11:45:11

Exactly abs I have never pushed him to run or swim or train for anything.
I'm not on the PTA, never have been.
I work full time, have done since he was 1 year old, I am about as far from a pushy parent as its possible to be, the only thing I nag them about is homework.

But he loves any type of sport. He researches what he should be eating to stay fit and healthy. He wants to excel in every sport so he researches and trains and works bloody hard

Why shouldn't he get recognition for that?

BlackeyedSusan Wed 17-Jul-13 11:46:08

it is a difficult balance between awarding achievement and effort, without discouraging others who could be trying as hard, be more shy etc and may be bloody good at something given the encouragement.

Souredstones Wed 17-Jul-13 11:47:12

Tantrums, one of mine is like that but academically. Shit at sport mind but they try. I'm the same as you too, I work full time and always have done.

Morgause Wed 17-Jul-13 11:48:22

You're also talking about my DCs. Both very academic, both won a lot of year prizes in their time.

One was an excellent actor and always got a leading role in school productions and the other was good at sport and in most teams.

Why shouldn't these two hardworking young people who were always prepared to put in the extra time and effort not be rewarded? Eldest didn't resent youngest's sporting success and neither did youngest resent his brother's success in drama.

OH is still bitter because he wasn't given the prize for English Lit in his O level year. He got the best results in the mock and his classwork and homework was consistently better than anyone else's. Everyone knew he should have won it. He didn't because the head thought he "had won enough already".

Ask any of the three of them to put up a shelf that stayed up or cook anything edible and you'd be waiting forever. That's not where their talents lie.

NellysKnickers Wed 17-Jul-13 11:48:33

YABU. It's life, they are winning the awards because they are the best. In adult life you will get the job because you are the best, not because you didn't get the last two you went for, therefore its your turn now. Life isn't fair, IMO its better dcs learn this early on.

EvieanneVolvic Wed 17-Jul-13 11:50:32

Why shouldn't the school reward hard work, effort and achievement? That's how the world works

Soured you dear sweet thing you! If only what you say were true.
Regrettably too often it's the face fitting syndrome and the alpha parent effect. I have no problem at all with genuine talent and effort being rewarded.

Eyesunderarock Wed 17-Jul-13 11:50:53

I think that the idea is to have as wide a range of possible awards and achievements a s possible. I never won a sporting awards in my entire school life, that was offset by the fact that I won a lot of academic ones.
Good citizenship/eco awards cover a multitude of areas, as do effort awards.
The point I'm trying to make is that winning something isn't an entitlement, it should require some effort on the part of the winners.
So what sort of achievements and awards do you think your children could contribute in, and what isn't the school offering to cover that?
It is becoming an increasingly competitive system, and if the pressure is placed on jobs, pay and outcomes to rate a school, then that will impact significantly on the fluffy 'No one loses, everyone wins' approach of many schools up to this point.

Dededum Wed 17-Jul-13 11:53:22

Yes, but at primary a bit of imagination would be good.

My sporty son did not get picked for the local school sports athletics. No, they have 2 or 3 exceptional athletes who then get picked for 3 or 4 events each. We win the school competition in all age groups, we always do. But why not branch the competition out so they can only get picked for 2 events to allow my son and others, who are on the edge of being picked, to represent the school.

Often we talking about natural aptitude at primary, not hard work per se and how old you are in the year. The kids who get picked for sport tend to be autumn born at my son's junior school.

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