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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

AlanMoore Thu 18-Jul-13 09:03:04

I used to win stuff and get picked for stuff because I was articulate, could learn lines and was reliable and hard working.

I was bullied by the children of people with attitudes like some of the ones on here to the extent that by the age of 10 I was deliberately under performing in tests.

Try and remember that the children concerned are CHILDREN with FEELINGS just like your pfb, rather than 'overachievers' with pushy parents (mine were not at all).

Nobody wants to see their child disappointed but I was made ill by the bullying so please remember that the teachers make these choices and your ire should be all for them if you think its unfair, not the children, they don't deserve scorn.

MadeOfStarDust Thu 18-Jul-13 09:18:05

I'm now torn totally - DD just had her end of year 7 assembly yesterday - and came home with 4 certificates.

one of which was for "Outstanding Performances and Compositions in music throughout the year" So she went through primary school TOTALLY ignored for musical ability (the thing SHE feels is her main talent) amongst 60 kids - and felt miffed when the playing in the school plays/ceremonies etc always went to someone else... but now she has been given top of the year - 240 kids - by the music teacher and asked to perform in Y7 assembly.

So I'm chuffed to bits that she got an award, but at the same time wary that there may be someone in the position she was in in primary school - just not being noticed....

JakeBullet Thu 18-Jul-13 09:18:19

My DS' s school gives little awards throughout the year.hThey also give each child credits each term for things like attitude, behaviour, kindness etc. Those who are not doing well get support to make changes.

At the end of the year all the credits are added up and the children get an award based on their credits. Thosein the hhighest group get a trip to a theme park, the next group go bowling, the third group get a voucger and the final group get a certificate of merit. Everyone gets something but all want to be in the top group.

Last year DS got bowling and he was furious grin.The school told him what he needed to do in order to achieve higher marks and this year he has done it. As he is autistic this is not always easy for him but the school adjust their expectations for him based on this.
So he is off to a theme park on Monday much to his delight.

Pigsmummy Thu 18-Jul-13 09:23:49

Surely that's like saying that you don't want the gold medal being given to the winner. Life isn't like that.

In the same way that if a pupil shows talent in a sport they will get extra coaching, sometime at county level, a child that hasn't got the same ability won't. It's not unfair on either and unless it continues then we won't get sporting greats in the future.

Dixiefish Thu 18-Jul-13 09:30:02

My Dcs' school has prizes for all sorts of things as well as academic excellence, eg courtesy, service to others, effort, love of reading, love of performance, effort by SEN kid - potentially there's something for everyone, which is good. Even so, some children win more than one award, some win nothing.

There's always going to be kids who excel at many things - and it's NOT always the ones with the pushy parents by any means – and good for them. It's hardly fair not to recognise their achievement. I tell my DC that's life and shouldn't stop them trying their best.

AngelinaCongleton Thu 18-Jul-13 09:32:21

I think teachers do seem to often only see the more confident children. I think some kids are good at everything at primary level. It is tiresome to constantly have to make the kids feel better when they don't get picked or win or whatever. My daughter goes to a massive school, so chances of her winning or getting picked is always slim. Luckily she goes to some extra curricular stuff that seem to strike the balance of celebrating winners and giving all the kids a sense of achievement. Something that our massive (but great academically) school is not so good at.

NoComet Thu 18-Jul-13 09:34:07

YANBU, schools can be very lazy.

DD2 has a huge stack of certificates for English. Yes she is good at English, but surely someone else's child had tried hard that week too.

(DD is the granddaughter of two English teachers and has pocked every literacy gene they passed on to her dad. I'm not certain she has to try very hard in English lessons)

lainiekazan Thu 18-Jul-13 09:34:54

I agree that schools can't get it right.

Ds plays the piano fairly decently and by the end of primary school was Grade 5. But - he was not allowed to participate in the end of year concert because he had learnt piano out of school. I sort of understood where they were coming from, but ds was a bit put out.

I tell dd that academic success is its own reward (not sure if this is true!) as she never receives any praise. She is very quiet and I hope one day someone says, "No one puts Baby in the corner" to her [hopefully not holiday camp dance professional though grin ]

ZingWidge Thu 18-Jul-13 10:39:12

yabu and sound a bit jealous

if those kids are talented or the best at that sport they should win and get the awards.

and a confident child still might get stage fright - so what? doesn't mean they don't deserve the award or special activity or whatever for their talent.
(your comment about that was a bit mean, you are not in a position to judge why they got the special trip)

you win some, you loose some and some people never win.
even if that's unfair it's a good lesson to learn, because life is full of disappointments and kids need to learn how to suck it up and carry on.

I do hope your children achieve to be great or the best at something one day - but maybe it will be something that is not awarded with a medal.
like being kind or generous.

ZingWidge Thu 18-Jul-13 10:52:14

my DS3 had an excellent school report, he is more than significantly above average so he had SAA+ next to most of the subjects.

and for improvement? the teacher couldn't apologize enough that she had to put C or N/A - she said he is working on such a consistently high level that it can not be expected that he improves on it further, but there's no way to reflect this!

he is in year 3. has 4a for most subjects, and A+ for effort, yet it looks like he didn't improve much since the beginning of the school year!grin grin grin grin
just hilarious.

but otherwise I agree, grading effort and improvements as well as the actual grades give a much more balanced and realistic result.

Lilicat1013 Thu 18-Jul-13 11:11:17

I never won a thing as a child, I was averagely intelligent with undiagnosed and dyspraxia. I was quiet, well behaved and ignored.

It is gutting to know no matter how hard you try you no one will ever notice or reward it. I am sure that is a good lesson for life but it seems cruel to have it pointed out so early on. As an adult I know I am pretty useless but it would have been nice to have a few years where I could have believed that I could do it if I just tried really hard.

The message I took away from primary school was I was stupid, invisible, unpopular and ugly. I was basically a defective human being and there was really no hope for me. It is something that I have carried through till adulthood.

This was in part due to being constantly bullied and I also didn't get a lot of encouragement at home but someone telling me that there was something did well would have meant the world to me.

I don't think there should be prizes for everyone but I think they should be some prizes that everyone has a chance of getting. Stuff like fastest runner or best at maths should go to the children that are. There should be stuff like best at helping, kindest to others or most improved that all children could potentially obtain if they put the effort. They should still be earned and should still mean something but it they wouldn't be out of reach of anyone body who wanted to be aim for it.

No matter how hard I tried at school I would never have been best at maths/spelling/running etc no matter how hard I tried but I could have worked hard to be the most helpful child.

It is a sore subject to me, not only because of my own experiences but because my oldest son has autism. He will start school next year and it is very unlikely he will be best at anything since he will already significantly behind his peer group.

This is why I am not pushing for him to go to mainstream school. I would prefer him to go to a special school where hopefully they will encourage him and make him feel valued rather than have to learn he is considered less than his classmates early on.

Shellsbelles01 Sun 30-Nov-14 17:01:28

As a psychologist who has spent the last 12 months researching this very subject, my research is now internet based. (Hence I stumble on here 18 months too late and probably most people who posted on here will have long forgot end of year reports, prizes and rewards) But some of our findings were interesting. We asked a number of school to reward those who were in the top 10-20% academically, and some to reward purely on effort. Our findings were interesting: end of year scores revealed that the 10-20 percent group had almost exclusively rose to the top. Those rewarded for their efforts gained at least 4 sub levels in the AY. As a side issue we also found that children whose parents were on the PTA, helped at summer and Christmas fates and those who offered services to school were 90 per cent more likely to gain awards that those children of parents that did not. Of course there is an element of academic ability and like ability but it is not the full picture!!

raltheraffe Sun 30-Nov-14 17:08:05

Are you an academic psychologist then rather than a clinical one? It what you do a University based project?

FoodieToo Sun 30-Nov-14 20:36:49

I disagree that it is always the 'best' kids who are chosen.

But I think schools can be guilty of picking the more confident,' in your face' type kids.

Ever child has talents and it is up to schools to seek out and nurture these talents but sometimes they just don't have the time and pick the easy option of the more obviously talented children.

Funny I remember at school I loved to sing and was a good singer but I was fairly quiet and never got picked to perform at anything because the school had decided that 'Mary' and 'Joanne' were the good singers so nobody else ever got a look in.

I think it's quite mean spirited of parents to assume that just because their kids get picked for everything that it's because they are the best.

It's not necessarily the case.

skylark2 Sun 30-Nov-14 20:41:13

I know the OP is very old, but I'm rather confused by it. First the OP complains that the same confident children win everything and get all the opportunities...and then she complains that one of the children who was given an opportunity is inarticulate and this means the school has low aspirations for its pupils! Both can't be true.

Tron123 Sun 30-Nov-14 20:56:35

There have been studies and books written that give evidence shows that the birth date has a great deal to do with success. Given the nature of the school year at primary and even lower secondary I would suspect that the high achieves for the most part have birthdays in the earlier part of the academic year. The early success and awards like this merely give them even greater an advantage.

TeenAndTween Sun 30-Nov-14 21:29:22

Shelles did you determine the link between PTA and awards to be causality or just associative?

Do kids get awards because parents are involved in the school, or are parents who are involved in the school more likely to encourage good effort, participation and achievement from their offspring?

notplaygroundmafia Thu 17-Mar-16 22:01:15

Well said! Totally agree

DonkeyOaty Thu 17-Mar-16 22:06:45


IloveAntbuthateDec Thu 17-Mar-16 22:18:34

You are talking about my daughter and nephew (Who I have brought up) here. My 15 year old dd works her socks off at gymnastics and is currently being coached to represent her country in the next Olympics. She trains before school 3 days a week and at weekends. She always wins the "Outstanding Achievement for Sports" Award at school. My 14 year old nephew currently grade 8 ABRSM for singing and grade 7 London College of Music award for piano and violin. Why would he not be eligible for the School Music Award? How could a child of similar age who is just learning violin/piano/vocal compare? Why would the school not deem my nephew the most worthy of receiving the Award?

Iliveinalighthousewiththeghost Thu 17-Mar-16 22:21:57

I know what you mean. It's the same faces up constantly getting recognition,
I remember I went to DD class assembly and the same children where up and down. Like bouncy balls.
It's like that in every school across the globe though. I don't doubt.

notplaygroundmafia Thu 17-Mar-16 22:29:02

It seems to be so, but it still hurts....

Sallyhasleftthebuilding Thu 17-Mar-16 22:32:52

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

actually the children are the best in their school year -

Usually loud bossy kids with loud bossy parents (or those who pretend they're not pushy)

Boy in DS class has been threatening a younger boy - long story but as Head Boy he should have the privilege withdrawn - he will no doubt win countless prizes at end of year -

DonkeyOaty Thu 17-Mar-16 22:34:48


<sounds ZOMBIE alarm>

upthegardenpath Thu 17-Mar-16 22:52:56

jacks365 were you at our school, by any chance?!

That is exactly what we have to endure: pointless and frequent award ceremonies, during which mainly badly behaved kids get recognition for not posting about for a whole 10 minutes, or whatever.
DD1 and her friends are convinced that you usually get an award if you are a child who mucks about, but you're unlikely to ever receive recognition if you get your work done and behave well.
Great lesson to learn hmm

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