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Inspire/Aspire activity - anyone else had to deal with this little number??!

(4 Posts)
schoolvolunteer Mon 24-Mar-14 12:47:45

My son is in P5 (Scotland so equivalent to Y6). He got sent this home to do as the "teacher didn't have time to do it in class". In case you've never heard of it, it's a 4 page leaflet (which they annoyingly refer to as a poster) with questions on it and space to fill in answers/comments/thoughts. The link to it is here

Now bearing in mind that the children are 9 years old, the first question or "Activity" was to put the following strengths in order ie. 1 being the strongest quality and 7 being the quality they possessed the least. So the first one: Principled, Persistent, Positive, Optimistic, Reliable, Cheerful/Joyful and Generous. We spent 20 minutes with our son agonising over whether he was better at being Positive than he was being Optimistic and then whether that was more important than being Generous or Reliable. WTF??!!! I asked him if they had sessions about this in school but he said no. There are a further 3 sections where you are to order certain groups of qualities and for each section you then have to write about what is your strongest quality and what is you weakest (and how you could do better) AND THAT IS JUST THE FIRST SECTION! There are another 5 or 6 including writing about an inspirational figure, inspirational quotes, inspirational fictional character and (why you find them inspirational) hopes for the future and reference to YOUR PERSONAL ARC OF DESTINY!!

Rightly or wrongly, I could not hide my frustration with the whole project and my son was absolutely hacked off, frustrated, confused and overwhelmed. I could see the value of discussing these separate character attributes in the classroom, bouncing off each other's thoughts and ideas under the guidance of a teacher. But just to dump this in a bag as standard homework which is supposed to total 4 nights of about 20 mins max plus reading?? Grrrrrrrr.

Now if you look at the link you can see all the previous "winners" because by going on the website you learn that it is in fact a "competition". There are lots of photos of blazered youngsters (mostly S2/Y10 onwards) with their medals and lots of examples of previous winners. I was just left with a feeling that it was like a job application where the kids end up writing down what they know the judges want to hear rather than what they actually feel.

Anyway, I'm probably ranting away to myself here but just thought I would post on the off-chance someone else was sharing this joyful experience. Oh and it's all linked through to the Commonwealth Games (which might give you a bit of a clue to the City I live in !!)

Oh and before you say anything, I AM going to have a word with the teacher about it who will probably think I am a right royal pain in the arse grin

schoolvolunteer Mon 24-Mar-14 20:03:59

And it's not just a Scottish thing either. There were finalists on the site from England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

QuiteQuietly Mon 24-Mar-14 20:12:31

I am no help at all, but feel your pain! It sounds like a cross between a corporate away-day and some woo self-help guffle. Perhaps the teacher finds it equally bone-crunching? Commiserations nontheless.

schoolvolunteer Tue 25-Mar-14 13:36:16

Guff is the very word that kept springing to mind QuiteQuietly grin I'm all for teaching kids to self-reflect and to aspire to greater things but this reminds me too much of the minor deceptions I have to indulge in every time I fill-out a competency-based job application! I would dearly, dearly love to submit a sure-fire winning "poster" but my DS's has already been submitted and told that it was not "good enough". Perhaps it was because he was HONEST and said he wanted to be a professional YouTuber making Minecraft tutorials when he grew up?! I think some of the prize-winning applicants said they wanted to be pathologists or work for charities in Third World countries. I felt the guiding hand of many a Middle-Class parent behind many of them grin

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