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Primary school sports day -DD only in 1 class race others in class are in 4 events

(11 Posts)
babiesandbirmans Sat 06-Jun-15 00:07:04

My 8 yo Daughter has come home from school and told me that at school they had races to see who was competing at sports day and the children that came 1st or 2nd will compete on sports day. My daughter will take place in 1 event, the class skipping race, when all the class race.

So she will be sat around watching everyone else race all afternoon and only have one chance at competing and one chance at getting a medal.

Not quite sure if I am being over sensitive but I think that's not fair, each child should run an equal number of races with the odd exception. I think sport is for all and the school sports day will still be competitive as every child will have their chance to shine in their own races.

Just wondered what others opinions were.......

ErrolTheDragon Sat 06-Jun-15 00:44:46

Sounds a bit like my primary back in the dark ages- tbh I was entirely happy to sit around watching, I wouldn't have won anything if they had made me compete unless there was an obvious duffers race which would have been embarrassing. So, yes I think you're being a bit over sensitive.

However- I do think there are better ways to do school sports days. DDs primary had it as an interHouse competition, there were lots of events and everyone took part in a couple of events. While kids had the fun of trying to win, the points were for the group, the parents were cheering the team not just their little Johnny - I think that sort of arrangement allows for a balance between allowing healthy competition and participation.

TheoreticalOrder Sat 06-Jun-15 06:56:01

I'm torn on this. I have competitive sporty children that attend a competitive sporty school, podium 1/2/3 for every race etc. We are at one end of the spectrum, where I recently heard of another school that has no races, just events where children run round in circles so there are no winners or losers. Which is obviously the other end of the spectrum.

BUT....and I guess this makes the difference, our Sports Day is all day, and with the number of pupils this means all children get more than one bite of the cherry - for example there is a 200m race where there is an A race and a B race , with the more able children racing in the A race, and more of a mixture in the B race.

So in answer to your op, I think no it's not fair, there should be more races and more opportunities. In general I am opposed to parents complaining about little Johnny not getting picked for sports events when he's not one of the more able, but in this instance, when it's a whole day and one skipping event, I see your point.

Kampeki Sat 06-Jun-15 09:25:54

At my dd's school, the kids choose which races they're going to do. They have to do at least one, but they can do more if they like.

Are you sure your dd hasn't just opted out of the others?

ragged Sat 06-Jun-15 09:37:51

I'm mixed, too. You can always take them for sports activities outside of school, too.

In primary, I'd prefer a system where everyone did approx. same number of events. But that will be torture for some who know they'll be last in everything, and it takes ages as a parent to watch the kids do events. DC primary actually kind of graded them, so the 4 fastest ran a race together & a 2nd 4 fastest had a separate race, made each event truly competitive but not demoralising, which was some help.

@ DD's secondary only a tiny number of kids do any actual sports on sports day, the rest are cheerleaders, organisers & support workers. I think this works really well; my very sporty DD isn't doing anything this year, either, btw.

TheyreMadITellYouMaaaad Sat 06-Jun-15 09:47:16

The important thing is how does your dd feel about it? Sure, sport is for all, but competing may not be. At your dd's age I would have been so happy to be the wallflower on Sports Day. My favourite Sports Day ever (and the only one of which I have good memories, rather than humiliating memories) was in Y6 when I got to hold the finishing line tape rather than compete.

My dcs' school does it better: they have a circuit of events/activities in which all the children compete (including those with SN) in mixed-year house-groups. That covers the 'sport is for all' aspect. Then, later in the day, they have the competitive races and A-team, B-team events.

Millymollymama Sat 06-Jun-15 17:28:28

My children were fairly unsporty but at Junior school they competed in House races. The better children had won House heats for the traditional events (behind closed doors) and the ones not selected did team races. The more competitive children could still finish last though - and no medal. Although our school awarded points from first to last place so everyone helped get the House points. I think one event is too little. It always makes me wonder why schools can't organise a sports event where all can compete, whether as individuals or in team races. The team races were cheered, loudly, and the children did not feel like failures. It was quite a big school though. There is nothing wrong with sporty children having their day in the sun, but at primary school everyone should have a reasonable chance of competing for House points, not medals.

Mandzi34 Sat 06-Jun-15 19:15:10

In our school they all take part as they are split into teams and so all do the same races for their individual teams.

We as a school compete in an athletics tournament with other schools and for this the class do races and they select the top 2/3. I can understand this as they will represent the school. For Sports Day though, all should have an equal chance.

ErrolTheDragon Sun 07-Jun-15 00:16:01

If they do it by teams, then they can do some fun team events. Obviously there's trad relay race for the good runners but also relay sack race (one sack so they have to help each other out and in) , cumulative beanbag toss (child 2 throws from where it landed from child 1's throw etc) , cumulative jump, and the grand finale yr 6 tug of war.

The thing is, for really athletic kids they should be participating in local, regional or even national events if they want medals - so school sports day can be fun and inclusive as I've described.

balletgirlmum Sun 07-Jun-15 00:22:10

I like the way ds's sporty, competitive school do it.

In lessons the children do trials of each event & from there two year groups are split into 6 groups from A - F (3 boys groups, 3 girls groups). The elite kids are in groups A & B & the less sporty in groups E & F

So kids are competing against others of roughly the same ability. They gain points for their house by taking part & their times/distances are recorded, the better their time the more points.

At the end of the day the 3 girls & 3 boys with the highest point score get medals.

3579little Mon 08-Jun-15 14:16:44

This sort of policy diminishes the importance of sport in school. We have a science day at school and if after the first 20 mins only the most able could take part people would be outraged. Yet to me sport is just as important as science.

At 8 years old how will she get better and more confident if not by having a go? There should be team events and relays etc to keep them all busy, learning and moving.

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