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My daughters school has really let its children down

(108 Posts)
jude3184 Wed 25-May-16 14:30:21

I guess I'm writing for some reassurance really. Reassurance that I've not suddenly turned into one of those mother that moans about anything and everything.

Friday just past I received a letter from my daughters school (as did every parent) stating that on Monday there would be a school treat into the woods to build dens etc. Wonderful I thought. What I lovely idea. It wasn't until I read the letter a little more indepth that I realised that actually, the trip was only for the children that had earned enough dojos (or merit points for those wondering what dojos are). grin

My daughter wasn't really bothered either way as she only needed 3 dojos to make it on to the trip ao she made sure her homework was handed in 5 days early that time. She was proud as punch and really looking forward to the trip. She even took a change of clothes in her bag.

Well, I picked her up that afternoon and she was very upset. Apparently her (and 3 others) were made stay behind as she hadn't made the 'grade', so to speak. The entire school left and had a wonderful afternoon together whilst the poor ones left behind were made do maths for the afternoon.

I'm by no means a mother that feels that my daughter should go just because she is my daughter, I'm also not against her losing dojos of she doesn't deserve them. My issue is the fact that these poor children were left feeling that they aren't good enough by the schools standards.

I feel it sends out a really negative message, especially when she had tried so hard to be allowed to go.

I spoke to the school headteacher who firmly sticks by it being a perfectly acceptable thing to have done. I asked whether the same would have happened if only one child hadn't earned enough points and she said she would have left them behind also.

I have no issue with something like this being a class or team effort whereby the whole class misses out of they don't all work together but to single children out just seems very dated and wrong. I feel it's going to make children feel that their best isn't good enough.

I also raised the point that when I was in school, sports day was held and there were winners of a race ranked 1st-4th place. They abolished that system because they didn't want children to feel like losers if they didn't win so instead just gave everyone a certificate for taking part. So why is this the case when quite clearly they're happy to let children feel bad about themselves by leaving them behind.

Another point my daughter raised was that some children that she considers naughty (she's only 8 so she means children that have challenging behaviour) are rewarded these points or dojos simply for 'behaving' so In turn, got to go in the trip, whereas a child that in to the school considered 'normal', that behaviour is expected so goes unrecognised.

I'm so very frustrated and I am seriously contemplating taking the matter further but I don't want to sound ridiculous so please, don't mince your words. If you think I'm being silly please let me know. blush

Thanks in advance.

PonderingProsecco Wed 25-May-16 14:49:48

I agree it is a crap system.
How do you plan to take it further?
Is this part of the school behaviour policy? [Should be on website].

jude3184 Wed 25-May-16 15:02:39

The head teacher said that she felt it was a good way of rewarding the 'good ones'. Don't get me wrong, I think it's lovely that they recognise good behaviour but in such a negative way it worries me.

I was thinking about speaking to the school governors for starters. Children are impressionable so to be so dismissive when children aren't 'good enough' is so wrong.

And further more, if the reason for the lack of points is down to something so simple as not reading enough at home or for homework for example (as she said to me) them blame the parents for not informing it at home. It's not the kids fault.

jude3184 Wed 25-May-16 15:03:47

Inforcing* it at home

ProfYaffle Wed 25-May-16 15:05:30

We have dojo points too, I loathe them. In our school they're totally subjective, literally handed out on the whim of the teacher. My dd hardly gets any simply because she's quiet and well behaved in class, she always gets overlooked.

Claraoswald36 Wed 25-May-16 15:06:42

That's awful. Yanbu at all!

GreenTomatoJam Wed 25-May-16 15:11:03

No, I hate this, and it's certainly unfair, and unproductive

Especially since the only way you can counter this (since your daughter does sound like she's as well behaved as any other child) is by telling them that it doesn't matter and doing something yourself - ie. disengaging from the school and its rewards system, which also feels wrong - you should feel like you can support the school and its decisions.

I went through this at school, and TBH it was a contributing factor in my school refusal - I didn't feel like anything I did really mattered or was appreciated/noticed

jude3184 Wed 25-May-16 15:11:38

I have just looked at the behaviour policy and it states that rewards include :
Verbal and written praise
Stickers or stars
Dojo points
Celebration assemblies.

No where does it state that they will exclude children from activities if they aren't considered good enough. So cross about it all.

claraschu Wed 25-May-16 15:14:55

Sounds like a terrible policy. I detest the way schools turn inappropriate things into competitions and make a few kids feel awful. I also detest schools which punish kids for their parents' choices or abilities. Also it's idiotic for a school to make extra maths feel like a punishment. Also it's hideous to let a child come in on the day thinking she is doing something special, and then to tell her she can't come.

I actually think that some things are naturally competitive, like races, or chess. If a school wants to announce that someone ran the fastest mile or beat everyone at Monopoly, I won't get worked up about it.

Good behaviour is not competitive, and neither is reading. It is stupid to turn these things into a competition.

jude3184 Wed 25-May-16 15:15:13

I know it may be seen as wrong but I pulled her out of school for the day yesterday to spend the day showing her She's absolutely good enough. A day of hair, make up and nails. This also promoted the phone call with the head who rang me to tell me I shouldn't have done so. All of this after I asked for a phone call back Monday morning only to be told By the receptionist that She 'may or may not call me back'.

I felt that making a child feel bad about themselves is a dangerous game to play so I wanted to make her feel better smile

RattusRattus Wed 25-May-16 15:15:24

So are you saying that only 4 children out of the entire school were left out of this trip?

How may are in the whole school? (not essential information but just out of curiosity and the full context of their decision)

jude3184 Wed 25-May-16 15:16:29

I agree. Healthy competition is completely normal and a part of life.

jude3184 Wed 25-May-16 15:17:19

Yes, only 4 were left behind. There's approximately 100 pupils.

Bolograph Wed 25-May-16 15:20:07

My mother, a career teacher, is of the opinion that teachers end up with the mentality of the group they teach. It's very, very true.

Bolograph Wed 25-May-16 15:20:21

mentality of the group

the age group

jude3184 Wed 25-May-16 15:24:51

That would explain it grin

sockrage Wed 25-May-16 15:26:30

Our secondary offer something similar only think theme park day out, tv, bike, iPad prize.

My problem is in our case the kids who are quiet, shy and academically middle of the road are a bit invisible and have very few merits while the ones who are a pain in the backside have merits thrown at them at every opportunity to encourage them.

In regards to the reward trips you have to pay here (nearly £30) so the kids who cannot afford don't go anyway.

Kitsa Wed 25-May-16 15:39:57

When the numbers are skewed that far it's not really rewarding the good ones, is it? It's punishing the few who didn't make it. Rubbish.

NedStarksHead Wed 25-May-16 15:43:04

That is awful.
Truly awful.

I don't remember school ever being like that at my age and it's threads like these that are making me absolutely dread DD going to school.

These days it just sounds horrible.

WriteforFun1 Wed 25-May-16 15:45:15

I think is not on
And I'm one of the type who doesn't think everyone should be rewarded for everything, I was bloody awful at PE but don't see why every child needs a certificate for being there on sports day, or why children all have a prize on prize day....

But seriously, points given out at random which then add up to a nice trip? Not on. I'd complain. How old is your daughter btw? You mention a day of makeup etc so I'm wondering, hoping rather, that she's old enough to just say screw them and not worry if they keep doing this every year.

WriteforFun1 Wed 25-May-16 15:46:34

Just saw this was in primary education topic...oops. I saw it on trending so didn't realise.

MrsGuyOfGisbo Wed 25-May-16 15:47:22

Also it's idiotic for a school to make extra maths feel like a punishment
Really ill-thought out on so many levels hard to know where to begin.

bombayflambe Wed 25-May-16 15:47:44

Years ago I pulled one of my Dcs out of a primary where the HT gave everyone a biscuit for doing well in the school play except the two who laughed at one of the Mums making faces in the front row. They were in Reception FFS.
I cannot u7nderstand the mentality of this kind of school/teacher or how they can justify such decisions. That said, in your shoes I'd have taken my DD out into the woods to catch up on what she missed....not sure how nail varnish is compensation for missing campfires and dens.

LemonBreeland Wed 25-May-16 15:47:45

Everyone should be allowed to go on a trip unless they lose it for very bad behaviour. And that should only be if notified well in advance.

This is a completely bonkers way to do things. Especially when these points are seemingly given out in a random manner. I would take this to the Governors if you get no further with the Head.

OddBoots Wed 25-May-16 15:49:21

I have heard of schools removing rewards for having too many negative behaviour points but not for not getting enough achievement points (however they name them), that feels instinctively wrong and very much compounded by only finding out that you didn't make the grade on the day of the trip.

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