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To think school awards are always a bit unfair?

(46 Posts)
Stickladylove88 Mon 11-Mar-19 18:35:43

We have house points at our primary school and you get badges for every 25 house points you get. Trouble is a lot of the points are achieved through doing homework, getting 100% on spelling tests and reading three books a week at home. Surely this disadvantages children whose parents can't or don't get involved in learning at home? What system do you have at your school and do you think it is fair?

mangolover Mon 11-Mar-19 18:51:53

Homework, spelling and reading are standard things. Not additional things. So I don't see how that's not an even playing field

LJdorothy Mon 11-Mar-19 18:57:54

It's almost impossible to get a totally fair system. If parents aren't helping their children at home, then schools need to try to encourage self-directed home reading and self-study. Books can presumably be borrowed from the school library. Lots of pupils children whose parents won't/can't help do make the effort for themselves, either for awards or because they actually enjoy reading!

Purpleartichoke Mon 11-Mar-19 19:02:19

The 3 books a week disadvantages advanced readers who have moved on to novels. Better to count minutes.

Schools have to have some minimum standards. It doesn’t sound like the school was asking for anything unreasonable.

nos123 Mon 11-Mar-19 19:06:52

I think it’s bad for the confidence of some children. I was an awful speller and struggled up until I was around 16! I did try but I was used to spelling in another language and found that I always reverted to the phonetics of that language when spelling in English. An award system only benefits those who are doing well in any case. Those who need more help just end up loosing confidence and motivation.

Crockof Mon 11-Mar-19 19:12:30

At our school the kids who can't behave get all the points for doing things like sitting at the table not swearing 🙄

Heratnumber7 Mon 11-Mar-19 19:18:27

There is no fair way. IMO awards should be abolished.
DD1's friend got an award for "never missing an orchestra rehearsal". DD never missed a rehearsal either. angry

WeBuiltThisBuffetOnSausageRoll Mon 11-Mar-19 19:43:12

I hate attendance awards and I can't believe they're still allowed under anti-discrimination laws.

If there was a foolproof way of acknowledging children who turn up as opposed to those who can't be bothered and decide to play hooky instead, then I'd be all in favour of them.

The reality is that children with disabilities and/or chronic illnesses will never get a look-in. Any children who have a genuine illness either miss out or feel pressure to go in, when they really shouldn't be there, often infecting others. If they've had D&V, the school tell them that they must take two days off, but then punish them for having done as required.

Also, certain children from underprivileged backgrounds whose parents don't see school as a priority miss out through no fault of their own.

I have no problem with awards for DOING something special which the majority of children will not be able to or want to put the practice in for if they DO have the potential; however, to give an award for NOT DOING something routine (i.e. being off school), which may well be beyond your control, is horribly unfair and divisive.

If 4 out of 30 kids get awards for reading, dancing, hockey, being recycling monitors, being on the school council etc, then fine; but to have an award that's purported to be available to all, and should be the default unless you wilfully disobey, but then maybe 26 out of 30 kids get, the others being disabled or having had chronic or ad hoc illness, is outrageous.

It's about as fair and makes as much 'sense' as giving children an award for not being black or not wearing glasses.

TabbyMumz Mon 11-Mar-19 19:44:57

They are all subjective anyway. My son got loads of points for reading, but his teacher never let him put them on the all the other kids were getting bronze, silver and gold awards and he wasn't....because the teacher didn't need him to as he was reading well. However the downside was he stopped bothering then started to say he didn't care anymore. It used to annoy me though.

MadMillie Mon 11-Mar-19 19:45:31

At our school the kids who can't behave get all the points for doing things like sitting at the table not swearing 🙄

It's the same at our school. They also get staffroom cakes/biscuits/home baking if they're 'upset' 😡

TabbyMumz Mon 11-Mar-19 19:49:21

Yes.a child at our school hit my son in the face, leaving a long scratch mark, but because he was good for the rest of the week, got a golden award. My son however, just ended up with a scratched face!!!

Intohellbutstayingstrong Mon 11-Mar-19 19:54:06

At our school the kids who can't behave get all the points for doing things like sitting at the table not swearing

I know. It's appalling isnt it..... teachers to manage and put right fucking shit parenting and out of control kids hmm
You would also be whinging if same kids were tearing the place up and disrupting the rest of the class.

What would YOU do?

Intohellbutstayingstrong Mon 11-Mar-19 19:56:35

teachers trying to manage....

QueenofmyPrinces Mon 11-Mar-19 20:00:59

At my son’s school, the children who frequently don’t go in will get certificates in assemblies for “improved attendance” (once they start coming in more regularly) whereas the children who are there every day don’t get anything to acknowledge it. It really irritates me.

DoomOnTheBroom Mon 11-Mar-19 20:06:11

At our school the kids who can't behave get all the points for doing things like sitting at the table not swearing

Or you could look at it as the teachers differentiating based on the capabilities of those children. If a child finds it difficult to sit still without being disruptive then it makes sense to reward them when they do sit nicely without disrupting the class as a means of positive reinforcement.

Thingsdogetbetter Mon 11-Mar-19 20:09:33

I'm a teacher. I HATE the sanctioned awards. Hate. Hate. Hate. They're decided by 'higher ups' who don't teach, and have forgotten what children are like, the disadvantages some kids have to deal with etc. I want most improved awards, most open minded awards, most helpful to others awards......

DoomOnTheBroom Mon 11-Mar-19 20:13:05

Attendance awards piss me off because it's outside of the child's control. Congratulations for not getting sick, having a disability, or needing a hospital appointment. Here's a certificate. What an achievement hmm

Individual awards are okay though so long as they're tailored to individuals, recognise different abilities and that not every child is academically minded. DDs school gives out certificates every half term to 5-6 children per class and they're for individual achievements such as working really hard to understand fractions or being really welcoming to the new kid in the class or putting together an excellent project for whatever their latest topic work was. By the end of the school year every child will get one and because they recognise individual achievements they mean much more to the kids than a generic certificate for having good spellings.

junebirthdaygirl Mon 11-Mar-19 20:13:08

My dad never learn a spelling in her life, got them all right as a natural speller and got loads of points. My ds who has dyslexia spent ages learning, got up early next morning to revise, said a few in the car then got a few wrong. No points. Poor lad. I hate those systems.

Order654 Mon 11-Mar-19 20:15:44

Thingsdogetbetter - my daughters school do awards for helping out and being a nice person. I think they call them hand of friendship awards. My daughter has loads of them!

Waveysnail Mon 11-Mar-19 20:22:31

Those "bad" behaved kids usually have home issues or sen. Iv dealt with so much shit from other parents because my son gets a reward sticker 3x a day for good behaviour then extra treat at end of day - why - because he has adhd and asd but doesnt qualify for special school. But then you have parents complaining about special treatment and rewarding bad behaviour. FAIR DOES NOT MEAN EVERYONEIS TREATED THE SAME

DoomOnTheBroom Mon 11-Mar-19 20:33:56


So true! I've had other parents make pointed remarks about DS being able to pick and choose which parts of homework he does (or doesn't do) without giving any thought to the fact that homework is almost impossible for him to complete due to ASD so some is better than none.

I like this picture as a way to show that fair is giving everyone what they need in order to have the same opportunities as everyone else, for some people this means minimal support and for others it means additional support.

TabbyMumz Mon 11-Mar-19 20:42:34

Doom on the broom.....Yes but that picture doesn't help those children who need to be stretched, it helps everyone to be the same, which is not right. Schools tend to give more support to those who need more help and less support to those who can manage, but that doesn't help them reach their full potential. Our school was marked down for not doing much for the gifted and talented.

LJdorothy Mon 11-Mar-19 20:46:07

It's also impossible to please everyone (by everyone I mean the parents). Teachers are accused of giving awards out 'to everyone so they're meaningless' or 'only go to those who can' or 'only to the naughty kids.'
We honestly cannot win and stopping all awards is the only answer, but then we'd get complaints about that.

IWannaSeeHowItEnds Mon 11-Mar-19 20:48:18

I hate these too. DD is as good as gold in school - works hard, pays attention, does her hwk. But some kid who is a pita all week and then does one good thing, gets the award and reward. That just tells kids like my DD that being consistently 'good' doesn't get noticed or rewarded.

FrancisCrawford Mon 11-Mar-19 20:51:00

All children need to be encouraged and have their efforts rewarded.

The keen reader deserves that just as much as the child with little parental encouragement. Or the polite, well-behaved child and the normally disruptive child who hasn’t sworn at a teacher all week

Children recognise when award systems are skewed and feel the injustice keenly.

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