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School Prizegiving

(75 Posts)
Bathsheba Thu 30-Jun-16 15:53:46

Been on the verge of tears most of the day...

School prizegiving day today...prizes going to disruptive, badly behaved children (no SN - small year group, know the parents socially etc) who have "turned it around" (my DD has been petrified in that class for the last 2 years because of their violent outbursts) rather than any acknowledgement made of the children who haven't HAD to turn anything around as they have always sat and pleasantly got on with their work.

Academic prizes give to those who "try" rather than those who excel.

Sport prizes being most important.

Absolutely gutted for my well behaved, hard working, focused children.

Gileswithachainsaw Thu 30-Jun-16 15:59:19

I k ow what you mean BUT some kids find it hard to sit still and behave and turning it around would have taken alot of effort and that deserves some credit.

a prize for a child who finds something easy would be meaningless.

however prizes should be awarded to all children for something. it's very poor they can't find something to credit all kids with.

ButtonBoo Thu 30-Jun-16 16:01:25

I'm with you OP. I'm all for recognising improvement etc but not at the expense of children who have always been well behaved, focused, hard working, etc and have achieved well.

Bathsheba Thu 30-Jun-16 16:04:33

They reward natural sporting talent (some children find running fast very easy" for example) - why is rewarding natural academic talent (my child's flair for numbers and maths) "meaningless"..??

MrsJayy Thu 30-Jun-16 16:10:53

I know its annoying I know its irritating but children who just bob along tend to be forgotten its a real shame but if they rewarded all children then it would be meaningless really awards and certificates are nice and give the children a boost but you really need to let this go im assuming they are primary age you have years of this dont let the resentment bubble away in you.

ButtonBoo Thu 30-Jun-16 16:13:29

And what MrsJayy said. Tough though

Gileswithachainsaw Thu 30-Jun-16 16:19:15

to me it would be meaningless. I don't think.my child should he rewarded for her equivalent of writing her name on a page u less writing her name on a page was a real challenge and something she's had to work at.

I've had the same conversation with my dd. she behaves and gets on with her work ajd yes she found it hard to see the girl who she's had issues with rewarded for something she knows and does all the time. bit I did try and explain that she should be thankful she finds that so easy to do

but as I said, no child is good at everything there is always something that they have had to work on, reading or handwriting or joining in discussions etc and i do think that should also be recognised..

MrsJayy Thu 30-Jun-16 16:19:36

DDs were middle of the road Dd2 has sen they hardly got anything or a nod 1 teacher in secondary didnt even know who dd1 was she had been in her class all bloody year the parents night was interesting

downright Thu 30-Jun-16 16:21:46

Wouldn't every most parents whose child didn't win anything feel like that?

Not everyone can win. I'd expect to have to point that out to the kids, not the parents.

MyLlamasGoneBananas Thu 30-Jun-16 16:27:22

It always was the same 3 or 4 super stars at my DC school that got the awards.

There were awards for every sport in every year group but if Jane Smith got the Hockey cup then it was a for gone conclusion that Jane would also get the Netball, Tennis, Rounders and Swimming cup too. Like wise in music and drama. Even in the academic subjects the brainiest kid in the form would get a prize for pretty much every subject. Also you found that Jane Smiths siblings would get similar awards in their year groups as well.So the Smiths were a sporty family and no one else rarely got a look in for a Sports cups and prizes.

I used to sit there thinking why bother to invite the full 400 odd kids families to sit here and clap the same small group of say 20 kids in the entire school. I used to sit there clapping and resisting the urge to shout out "give him/her the rest of his/her prizes whilst their up there collecting that one". It was just a pointless exercise of watching whilst clapping my numb hands, the same few kids walk up, shake some toffs hand, collect their cup/prize and sit back down repeatedly.

I am not one of these people that thinks everyone should get a prize just for turning up so no one feels left out but this was extremely boring and predictable. There were other kids probably achieving very well in their sport or subject never got a look in due to the super gifted few that won prizes in bloody everything. After 6 years at the school Speech day and prize giving was just so bloody dull and painful. The highlight was guessing which special few would get the prizes each year before the event!!

redskytonight Thu 30-Jun-16 16:33:05

My niece gets the maths prize at her school every year.
She is lazy and coasts (by her own admission as well as in the opinion of her parents and teachers) but is naturally gifted.

I'd much rather prizes were given for effort.

StringyPotatoes Thu 30-Jun-16 16:35:03

I agree that prizes should be awarded for effort and determination and a child who has "turned it around" deserves recognition HOWEVER there is a lot to be said for acknowledging those who are actually achieving highly even if it comes naturally.
As OP said, sporting ability is natural and recognised so why not recognise a natural ability in writing or maths?

I was a naturally high achiever in a local comp in a bit of a deprived area and often ended up "forgotten" in amongst the badly behaved or struggling kids but receiving the odd certificate here and there was a boost for me. I could so easily have given up and stopped bothering.

Why not have awards for both effort AND ability?

monkeywithacowface Thu 30-Jun-16 16:36:08

You have well behaved, hard working, focused children who excel? Instead of wallowing in the fact they didn't get a prize be happy and proud about what you and they have. Learning doesn't come naturally to all, for many it will be a lifelong struggle, try to be more grateful that you're have a more natural ability to learn.

LouBlue1507 Thu 30-Jun-16 16:38:44

YABU.. I hate the whole concept of 'everyone should be rewarded'.. Life doesn't work like that and it's one of those (not so nice but essential) life lessons that children need to learn.

Children who have over come challenges, tried extra hard, made a massive improvement should be rewarded not children who fly through work because they find it easy. (I was that child in school btw and was never rewarded).

Euphemia Thu 30-Jun-16 16:39:59

You have children with huge advantages over many others. They manage at school, they cope academically, they have no SEN or barriers to learning. They presumably have a stable, loving family background.

They have huge advantages in life. School prizes are a huge boost to many that need it.

honkinghaddock Thu 30-Jun-16 16:47:18

You don't know if they have sn or not.

BossWitch Thu 30-Jun-16 16:48:16

Schools need to think about the prizes they give. One school I worked at had a real variety of prizes - there was a prize for contribution to whole school life, a prize for being, essentially, a ballsy, take-no-shit girl (all girls school) named after annex pupil who went on to be a very high up politician, and others I've now forgotten. If schools broaden the prizes beyond 'good at X' and 'most improved' then it tends to work. We also kept careful track of who'd had what, to avoid Jane Smith getting the performing arts prize 4 years in a row. It can be done.

BossWitch Thu 30-Jun-16 16:49:12

annex? an ex pupil!

MrsJayy Thu 30-Jun-16 16:50:33

Euphemia is right I know we all want our children to feel important though but it isnt always going to come in the way of a printed out certificate though

GrimmauldPlace Thu 30-Jun-16 16:54:57

DS's school have recently started rewards for "always children" alongside the awards for children who have excelled at something or good behaviour etc. It's for the children who are always quiet and well behaved and just get on with things. I think it's a good idea.

CordeliaNaismith Thu 30-Jun-16 16:55:18

I am going to go against the majority here and say YANBU. I have never understood why it is acceptable to recognise and reward natural talent in sport and music, but it is some how unfair to recognise academic talent.

No matter how much effort my DC put into their sport, they are never going to be given a sporting award. Meanwhile the hard work they put into their academic work (which, as they are also quite able, means they achieve well) is consistently overlooked too. Result: consistently no awards through primary school.

OP - one positive, my eldest DC who is now in secondary school, for the first time ever, is being given an award at Prize Giving which recognises outright academic achievement (which she would not have got without working hard as well as being able).

AChickenCalledKorma Thu 30-Jun-16 16:59:53

I like Dd's (secondary) school's approach.

In each subject there is one prize per year for "character" (ie effort and participation) and one for achievement. Then there are a whole range of "colours" and "half colours" in various subjects plus a selection of House prizes.

They seem quite good at sharing them out so that lots of people get something but without making it a meaningless "everyone a winner" situation.

GoblinLittleOwl Thu 30-Jun-16 17:02:48

Yes Bathsheba, I do agree with you; children who demonstrate improvement in behaviour are rewarded far more easily than those who maintain good behaviour consistently. And the effect bad behaviour has on the rest of the class is completely ignored; many of the children are terrified, and they have to put up with this year after year. I taught a Y3 class with a disturbed and violent boy who was eventually removed to a special school; the pupils had had to endure his behaviour for four years. Parent after parent told me how their children were happy to come to school for the first time because they were no longer frightened. The effect of this behaviour is far too often ignored, and no credit is ever given to the children whose school lives are constantly disrupted.

Bathsheba Thu 30-Jun-16 17:02:49

I do understand that my children find it "easy" to learn because they can sit and behave/the school system is set up for children who behave like that.

But we are talking under 12s here. No-one is reassuring them (other than me of course) that "we give prizes to those who struggle because they have a hard time" or "well for him it has been a big achievement"....the prize winners are just paraded in front of the school as prizewinners....

Bathsheba Thu 30-Jun-16 17:06:29

And to see the child who has terrified you and your friends for years being paraded, whilst yet again you sit quietly and clap is deeply demoralising for those good children.

Its not just me who is saying this - my 9 year old is bewildered why "those boys got prizes and we didn't - they can't behave and we are scared of the,. They never do any work and our teacher has to shout at them every day".

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