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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

willyoulistentome Wed 17-Jul-13 11:54:58

.. snd by the way just because these kids win doesn't mean that someone else didn't TRY harder... or that coming 8 th wasn't a HUGE achievement.
I am thinking of keeping my son off school on the last day. He is in y5 and had AS. I know he won't be getting any awards as I haven't been invited to assembly. . And I also know I am going to have to field questions all summer about why he wasn't picked. What am I meant to do? Lie? Or tell him the truth. I hate being put in that position. The golden ones already have enough luck
They don't need their huge egos boosting any more. .

onefewernow Wed 17-Jul-13 11:55:21

I have another perspective . One of my kids is one of those leader plus sports plus way above on grades. He DOESN'T win much at all. Yesterday he brought home a school one pager showing him to be level 8 as opposed to 6 on most things.

There was an awards day this year and he won nothing. He said it was because awards were for the most improved kids. He was quite happy with that. To be honest I think he is too confident to care much.

My younger son is less confident and more likely to need encouragement for effort.

So I like that system to be honest.

People should not only receive reward for achievement, especially when it comes so naturally to them. Others do need it.

Most larger families have a mix of personalities anyway.

I can remember when the older son was very young, he needed 4 merits to win some ultimate badge or other, but said he wasn't bothered to win it. I asked why not, and he replied that " first I'll have to be naughty, and then good again, and I just can't be bothered!" We all thought it was funny, and so did he.

Remotecontrolduck Wed 17-Jul-13 11:55:38

Nothing wrong with the best person getting picked for stuff. Some kids work hard and are good at everything it seems!

What gets on my nerves is favouritism though. At DDs primary one girl was picked for absolutely everything music/drama wise. She was good, but no more exceptional than many of the other children. She was the blatant favourite though so got picked above equally talented and committed DC. That is very unprofessional and wrong.

HerculePoirotsTache Wed 17-Jul-13 11:56:07

YANBU. I've noticed its the same children being picked for things too.

showtunesgirl Wed 17-Jul-13 11:56:07

Why is always assumed that the kids who win awards must have pushy parents? confused

freddiefrog Wed 17-Jul-13 11:56:28

I hate things like this.

DH is a school governor, I'm on the PTA, so I'm sure you can image the tutting, eye rolling and comments we get every time one of my kids get picked or win anything - "ooh, her again, it's only 'cos her mum's on the PTA/Dad's a governor". DD1 won a place in an art show run by the National Gallery, but oh, no, she only won because her Dad's a governor. Not because she's actually quite talented or anything. The competition judging had absolutely nothing to do with the school.

My eldest is kind and thoughtful and works hard. My youngest is dyspraxic so has to work twice as hard as her classmates. But no, they've never achieved anything off their own bat, they only win because their Dad's a governor hmm

And actually, if these people actually looked at the back of the school newsletters where they list award winners each week, and compared who wins what, my DD's haven't been picked or won stuff more than anyone else.

<rant over>

cory Wed 17-Jul-13 11:58:04

The most important thing is not whether your ds gets an award but how you teach him to deal with whatever he gets or doesn't get.

My dd has loved the theatre and dreamed of a career on the stage since she was 4. She never got picked for any main parts throughout junior school. I could have treated this as a terrible injustice and encouraged her to feel hard done by.

Or I could do what I did- I pointed out that not everybody could get main parts, that every part matters to the whole of the performance and that doing the very best you can as a minor angel or chorus member is just as important.

And then I made sure she had other opportunities to learn and develop: I signed her up for ballet lessons and then for youth theatre. And encouraged her to think along the same lines: it doesn't matter what part you get, it matters how much you learn from it.

Dd is about to start A-level drama and hoping to audition for stage school after that. Doing the fifth angel from the left in the nativity play has done her absolutely no harm.

EvieanneVolvic Wed 17-Jul-13 12:00:29

Why is always assumed that the kids who win awards must have pushy parents?

Because I was one! Not taking anything away at all from my DD who got the school record prize at the end of primary school and very likely deserved it on her own merits, but I was that mouthy interfering completely hands on mother with a finger in every fucking pie and I know is was as much a thank you to me as a well done to her. You will be pleased to know that I am much less narcissistic now!

TantrumsAndBalloons Wed 17-Jul-13 12:00:44

I don't see any "face fitting" and certainley no "alpha parent" with ds1.
I had to go to his school for an event on Saturday and I didn't even know where the bloody main hall was, that's how involved I am with the school.

Is it so hard to believe that some DCs are rewarded for being the best at whatever the award is for?

exoticfruits Wed 17-Jul-13 12:00:46

I was going to comment and then saw that cory in the first reply you got said it all. I also agree with her last post.

Souredstones Wed 17-Jul-13 12:01:33

Yes, my children win awards because their parents, who both work full time and don't do the school run and aren't on the PTA or board of govenors, faces fit. Yes that's it. Nothing to do with their effort and attainment at all. No.

Dededum Wed 17-Jul-13 12:02:09

Actually I find this thread really depressing all this - look at my son, daughter, work really hard, great at everything why shouldn't they get all the rewards blah, blah, life's not fair, why shouldn't people learn that sooner rather than later....

Back in the day, there were a couple of sporting and academic awards - now it is expanded to a ridcolous level with people getting more than one award. So not required and makes the majority of kids feel like s**t. I would actually like the majority to feel good rather than the uber achievers ps:who will continue to get all the goodies.

exoticfruits Wed 17-Jul-13 12:02:43

You must still be a bit narcissistic if you still believe that now Evieanne!

exoticfruits Wed 17-Jul-13 12:05:00

As a child I would find it very patronising to be given a prize because 'it was my turn' when I knew that there were DCs who stood out as better.

SparkyTGD Wed 17-Jul-13 12:06:59


My parents were the furthest from being 'pushy' you could imagine, very WC & very surprised & delighted to have bright children.

I got lots of prizes at school for academic things, that's life.

tiggytape Wed 17-Jul-13 12:07:45

I think this is where the move from primary to secondary has really helped.
For one thing the year groups are so much bigger so if 11 boys are selected for a football team, that represents a tiny minority of the year group - it doesn't mean one third are selected and two thirds miss out.

Also at secondary school, parental involvement is much less so there's no pushy parent / PA influence. Children are taught by specialist teachers so the maths teacher chooses children for maths things, the P.E teachers select the sports teams etc. If one child is flavour of the month with one teacher, it doesn't mean they get chosen for everything as it can do at Primary.

My DS is quiet, reliable and academic but not 5 years ahead or anything astonishing like that. He gets chosen for loads of things now even though Year 7 is so much bigger than Year 6.
In early primary he was invisible in the wake of mega confident types who muscled their way into everything and made sure they got noticed. Secondary schools seem to go a lot more on ability and reliability than lazily keep selecting the same person over and over just because when they were 7 they could be relied upon not to mutter, forget their lines or make a show of the school. I do remind DS now to be grateful for the chances and to do his best at enrichment opportunities or be pleased at getting awards because he remembers how it was when he was the one never noticed at all.

SparkyTGD Wed 17-Jul-13 12:08:57

Great posts by cory

EvieanneVolvic Wed 17-Jul-13 12:09:41

I don't see any "face fitting" and certainley no "alpha parent" with ds1.

I have to admit you make a fair point Balloons and present it well. Let's face it there are going to be opposing anecdotes across the board here (including mine!) so interesting, but not much use in terms of proving anything.

Having said that I really feel that OP is NBU nor is the one (sorry I just can't find it now) who is thinking of keeping her son off school on awards day. It must surely be possible to dream up some sort of scheme that recognises progress/ability etc in all areas so that there is a whole range of children being included, not just the usual suspects.

And well spotted Exotic I'm well and truly rumbled!

Cherriesarelovely Wed 17-Jul-13 12:10:03

I don't think you are BU at all. I work in a school where all children's different "gifts" are truely valued and acknowledged. We spend alot of time thinking of ways to help EVERY child to have the opportunity to shine. An example of this is that we send some teams to sports events that are picked on ability and some that are picked on giving children the experience. We do talent shows that are just for fun and a free for all and one that is "judged". It's not so much nobody loses, everyone wins, it's a firm belief that we are all talented in different ways and that it is important to celebrate that, particularly in children.

I work in a small village primary school but my Dd goes to a large city Junior school which has several hundred pupils and they STILL manage to find ways to let lots of different children be recognised and to participate.

Dededum Wed 17-Jul-13 12:10:22

My son is about to get his first prize for chess. He is NATURALLY really good at chess, has done a bit of work and goes to chess club. But really he is quite lazy and this prize is for his talent, winning not his effort.

SueDoku Wed 17-Jul-13 12:10:33

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

So how does that work if there are 30 children in the class, 15 of whom do the above - and there's one prize...?

exoticfruits Wed 17-Jul-13 12:17:54

My DSs went to a large primary where all were valued and recognised -however a prize for the best should go to the best- otherwise why have one?

HazelnutinCaramel Wed 17-Jul-13 12:17:55

Doesn't your school have a range of awards? Surely a school should have awards for sport bit also for maths, art, most improved, most books read....I don't know. Bit something to ensure that not only one type of talent is always rewarded.

tapdancingelephant Wed 17-Jul-13 12:18:01

I don't think my dd is entitled to win all the awards, just because, but if the school has awards for XYZ and dd happens to be top/win at XYZ then yes, she should win.

Her achievements are just that: achievements, for her. Is she any better, as a person, because she wins loads of school awards? Of course not. And neither she, nor I, think that she is. She doesn't have a huge ego, and doesn't expect to win, but is quietly confident of her own abilities.

She is as pleased, btw, when her sister (severe learning difficulties) earns a school award for 'nice listening' or 'good sitting' or works her way through ORT level 1 (her sister is in Year 4), as she is when she herself is awarded a prize for consistently working 3 years ahead in maths or literacy. Because she recognises that different people have different strengths a d weaknesses, and that a certificate for 'good listening' is probably harder for her sister to achieve than the maths prize is for her to achieve. But that doesn't make either of the awards more or less valuable, just different. And we celebrate the ones that dd1 earns (even though they are 'easy' for dd2) just as much as we celebrate the ones that dd2 earns (even though they will never be achievable for dd1)

OnTheNingNangNong Wed 17-Jul-13 12:20:13

My sons school offers award certificates twice a year for some spurious reason The children know this is how it works and so it doesn't encourage achievement.

The muttering children who have fronted the assemblies and school productions since they started did get a complaint from some parents, no one could hear a word he said as he always spoke too fast and mumbled. There should be the opportunities for all to have a good go at it, rather than picking the favourite.

This isn't to say that those who have talent shouldn't be shown, they should be proud of their achievements, but it is against the blatant favouritism that is shown in DS1s school.

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