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to be proud of my daughters achievements

(61 Posts)
mamatiger83 Tue 20-Dec-16 16:24:17

So, my daughter who is 10 is an extremely bright young girl (I'm not just biased) and her school invited her to take part in some extra-curricular work that involves visiting universities and working with phd tutors, resulting in a piece of work that if they pass they will have a sort of graduation ceremony. The idea is to show that from a young age it is possible to aim high and work hard to achieve something. I am very proud of her this and she has worked her socks off. There were another 11 students chosen for this also, they were selected based on teachers recommendations, behaviour and marks achieved in school. I see no problem with this. However, when speaking to a group of friends the whole scheme was widely criticised for favouring the 'smarter' kids over the kids who may not be as academically minded. While I don't disagree that there is more then one kind of intelligence and every child is unique and special I feel that this was really awful. In my experience it is the children who do not perform as well at school, or do not behave as well that receive the most rewards, i.e - headteachers awards etc. I am not stating that as a fact, its just an opinion based on the schooling my children have received. My son for example, he is not interested in school work and will find any reason to avoid it despite being imo very clever, he made very little effort, however, when he did he was given praise and rewarded with certificates and such. My daughter who loves to do school work and consistently scores high on spelling/maths tests or does her homework as soon as she is assigned has never received a single reward. (I hope this making sense!!).
So, for me, this opportunity for her was some sort of validation that yes she is being noticed which I thought was great and very deserved.
I tried to convey this to my friends but I'm rubbish at confronting and ended up leaving sad
What does everyone think?

Gileswithachainsaw Tue 20-Dec-16 16:27:55

I think you should be bloody proud.

Alot of these reward systems are geared up to help those who struggle be encouraged. Which is great. However it does seem to mean that all those children on the middle who don't struggle with their work or with how to behave and all those who excel are kinda just left to get on with it and go un noticed.

DierdrePewtey Tue 20-Dec-16 16:28:21

The sun shines out of my DS's backside. However school have not given him the opportunity to show off this magnificent feat of nature at the Christmas concert. I will be writing to the chair of governors to complain.

HOHOHOvariesBeforeBrovaries Tue 20-Dec-16 16:31:14

Rewards schemes have always been more of an incentive than an actual reward in schools. It's a great thing in itself, but it's often at the expense of rewarding the achievers, who then become fed up at putting in all the work for it to go unnoticed, and stop working so hard.

You should be very proud of your DD smile

Hoppinggreen Tue 20-Dec-16 16:33:13

My DD is VERY VERY academic. Her Primary school didn't acknowledge it really and her achievements weren't really mentioned, all the end of year awards were for effort rather than attainment. When her teacher stood up to speak individually about each child she said that DD " often helped tidy the classroom"
She is now at Private Secondary and it's very very different. I dont know if it's just her old school or the State system. Obviously effort should be rewarded but so should achievement.

The80sweregreat Tue 20-Dec-16 16:33:45

I would say well done to your daughter!
you may have a few jealous friends but I bet most people will be pleased for her that she is doing so well. Its tough, I just learnt not to say anything at all about my ds2 as I knew that someone would shoot it down. When a friend asked me how he did once ( she asked I didn't volunteer any info) and I told her about his ~GCSE's her reply was ' oh well. they don't count for anything these days' ouch!! kept quiet after that! I know where you are coming from op!!

mamatiger83 Tue 20-Dec-16 16:34:44

It is lovely to see some like-minded responses, I do feel as has been said that the rewards are more of an incentive and to a degree that is unfair to the children who enjoy school

Glittermakeseverythingbetter Tue 20-Dec-16 16:35:25

OP I agree with you entirely, having a gifted child myself and working in schools.
Also feel there is no shame in boasting on social media about your child's swimming medals or football skills, but if your child ranks amongst the highest nationally for English and maths, then shush - keep it to yourself otherwise you'll be 'that' parent confused xx

OurBlanche Tue 20-Dec-16 16:36:35

Just smile and think "Bollocks!"

There is sod all wrong with being able and having opportunities to stretch that ability, whatever it is.

Everyone has a special ability, a smile, a hop, skip and jump, a run, an intellect, hand eye coordination, creativity, being friendly!

Don't let the cold water pourers dampen your DDs joy or achievement! Just Sod 'Em!

mamatiger83 Tue 20-Dec-16 16:42:49

I don't want my post to read that I'm not proud of her, I am so proud I could pop. I guess I'm just feeling ranty because it was such an unnecessarily negative view on something that was designed to be a positive experience for her.

corlan Tue 20-Dec-16 16:42:50

You should be very proud.
If I was talking to your friends, I'd tell them that being bright for your age is a 'special need' as much as having a learning difficulty is and those children need nurturing and their minds need stretching so that they do not lose their love of learning.
I have worked in schools where academic achievement is admired by other students and I have worked in schools where it will mark you out as a 'geek' and bring you nothing but scorn from your peers.
(Of course, if it was my own child, I'd probably not say much and just be quietly proud!! )

BdumBdummer Tue 20-Dec-16 16:45:38

Well done your dd. My dd's school was pulled up by OFSTED for not challenging more able students enough. They are trying with dd to give her extra work but this seems to be without actually teaching her and assuming she'll get it because of some innate ability.
So we do what we can to give her new stuff to try, to make her unafraid of setbacks (not working confused) and generally challenging her to the best of our ability. And to make sure she has fun with pals just chilling out. What your dd is doing sounds great and grumbly naysayers can go [bleep] if they can't be happy for you.

Basicbrown Tue 20-Dec-16 16:46:26

Of course you should be proud. They sound like competitive twats who can't stand it when someone is cleverer than their precious Tarquin.

It's a great opportunity smile

Gileswithachainsaw Tue 20-Dec-16 16:46:53

I don't have gifted children op

But neither of mine have so much as made star of the week despite never being in trouble. Despite being kind to all the other children and helping others. It's horrible having invisible children.

I think it's fab your dd has been picked for this and don't you dare let them bring you down.

mamatiger83 Tue 20-Dec-16 16:52:45

Thank you everyone for your responses, I'm happy to see it's not just me that thinks this way, although I am sad to read that it's a recurring theme where some children are overlooked for simply behaving well and working hard.

OurBlanche Tue 20-Dec-16 16:53:00

Giles your kids have crap teachers!

I taught FE, even with 16+ year olds I was always aware of the quiet ones, those that went unnoticed.

I sat down at the end of one really trying, loud, shouty day and said to a student whose name I always had trouble remembering "Thank you for being here with that smile. You've made a long day much shorter" The smile on his face...

Every teacher can and should remember to take a little bit of time for those invisible students!

DixieWishbone Tue 20-Dec-16 16:59:15

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Gileswithachainsaw Tue 20-Dec-16 17:01:16


DD1 used to express disappointment at first. I tried to just explain that she is very lucky in that she is able to behave at school and can sit still and listen and that a certificate/sticker fir something she finds so easy would be meaningless. Which she seemed to accept

This year has so far seen her "picked" fir sporting events so she's happy now grin

They aren't really achievement based or behaviour based or ability based really but she loves sport and at least feels like she's won at something.

Makes up for being amongst the forgotten middle.

mamatiger83 Tue 20-Dec-16 17:05:11

Giles, I know exactly what you mean about them being invisible, this was the same as my daughter up until this opportunity. It's so disheartening for them to see others picked repeatedly instead of them. Your little one sounds like she has a fantastic attitude and mature head which is far better then any certificate xx

harderandharder2breathe Tue 20-Dec-16 17:08:30

Yanbu, well done to your DD

This sounds like something ideal to motivate youngsters who are bright and high achievers. There are (or at least should be) other schemes to motivate the struggling ones, often industry partnerships are aimed at the less academically able children for example. Other children will have sporting achievements.

dollydaydream114 Tue 20-Dec-16 17:11:56

However, when speaking to a group of friends the whole scheme was widely criticised for favouring the 'smarter' kids over the kids who may not be as academically minded.

Well, it's an academic scheme, isn't it? The whole point is that it's designed to suit kids who are academically minded.

If it was a music scheme or a sports scheme, you'd expect it to favour the kids who more musically inclined or gifted at sport, so why wouldn't an academic programme be geared towards the academically gifted kids? It clearly involves some work that's extra-curricular and more advanced than her usual school work, so of course it makes sense to pick the kids who will be able to cope with that and who will get the most from it. Different kids have different strengths and it's completely understandable that schools will take that into account when choosing children to take part in the various schemes and programmes available to them.

I think people are just jealous, really. Well done to your daughter and all credit to her for her hard work. You're absolutely right to be proud of her.

GreatFuckability Tue 20-Dec-16 17:13:13

I do think its unfair that only the really bright kids get this opportunity, yes. And I say that as someone who was that very bright child. Being extremely academic brings its own reward in that life is a hell of a lot easier for you. There are plenty of kids who knuckle down and work their socks off, who never get rewarded....and also are never going to do great at school. Be thankful.

Mrskeats Tue 20-Dec-16 17:15:21

Of course yanbu.
I'm a teacher and agree that there is too little praise for high achievement.
You should be very proud- who cares what others think?

lovelearning Tue 20-Dec-16 17:19:23

extremely bright young girl
extra-curricular work
visiting universities
working with phd tutors
graduation ceremony

mamatiger83, what's not to be proud of?

If only more young people aspired to academic excellence.

TheCuriousOwl Tue 20-Dec-16 17:42:02

GreatFuckability, I was also that very bright child and it was mostly shit.

Being bullied for being 'a swot' and 'a boff'. Being ridiculed if I ever got anything wrong, EVER because the 'rules are different' if you're clever, you have to get 100% every time or you face ridicule but for anyone else it's fine to get 50, 60, 70%. Being bored out of your mind in some lessons but in anything you found difficult, ignored because you are 'clever' and so expected to get on with it.

I wouldn't have expected to be picked for sports teams over someone better at sport than me so it's pretty crap to say that someone less academically able should be given an opportunity that would have been more suited to someone like me because otherwise it's 'not fair'. Should I have been given the lead in the school play even though there were others better than me, just because I was sad I wasn't chosen? No.

People are good at lots of different things. Nobody ever ridicules you for 'only being Grade 5 clarinet' or 'only getting picked for the B team to represent the school' yet if academia is your thing then you are somehow fair game.

I was simultaneously not challenged at school but also made to feel like there was something wrong with me for being how I was... but that if I changed then I would be worthless because my only 'thing' was to get good marks. I never really learnt how to learn something that didn't come easily and A levels were a shock to the system. I went to uni feeling like I didn't deserve to be there and although I've got a lot of qualifications I still feel like if I'd gone to a school where my ability level just 'was' instead of it being an issue, I would have had much better self esteem and probably would have achieved more in some ways than I have. Although I'm pretty pleased with how it's all turned out; but I wouldn't want what I went through for my children.

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