Is this normal for a school?

(8 Posts)
Taffy85 Mon 24-Jun-19 09:54:51

As well as the usual reward systems at our junior school like house points, certificates, teacher's star of the day for something exceptional etc, our school also has a weekly reward called the respect award. It's given for being kind, respectful and generally nice, helpful to others etc.
It's like a small trophy and the child gets to take it home for the week on a Friday.

It's not the teacher who chooses the recipient though, they ask one child at random to choose who they think should get the award. It can be that a child chooses their friend, or someone who let them borrow their rubber, the reasons can be very simple as they're 7-8 year olds.

The issue I have is that the teacher has said a small minority will not receive the award. The reason given is that there aren't enough weeks in the school year for all 34/35 children in a class to each "have a turn". So out of that many kids in a class, only 4 or 5 will not receive the award by the end of the year (in a few weeks time).

It's got the 7 children left in our class that haven't received this award yet worried they'll be one of the very few who don't get it, a girl and boy of 7/8 were both in tears when it was given out the other day. They're desperate each week now to be "chosen". Some other children have said you have to do this or that for me otherwise I won't choose you if I get asked by the teacher. These children think if they don't get this award it means they're not kind, respectful etc and that the other children don't like them. It just seems really harsh!

Is this a usual type of award / reward in primary schools? It doesn't seem to be the fairest when so few get left out, don't they all deserve a chance to be shown they're "respected"? One little boy has ADHD and hasn't received it, he is very kind hearted but is quite isolated because the others don't understand his impulses and reactions that are part of his ADHD. How is that going to make him feel if he doesn't get chosen? It isn't very inclusive and the school are supposed to be aware of things like self esteem / confidence building, I guess it's mental health. It just seems wrong to me. Or is this a normal type of reward in junior schools, and it's not a concern to a school that a few will never receive it based on how popular they are?

OP’s posts: |
iwantittobesunny Mon 24-Jun-19 10:02:52

If they don't have enough weeks, they should have given 2 award instead of 1 at certain point. If only small numbers are chosen, that's life. But only a small numbers of children are left out, I think it's a bit mean system for such a young children.

BackforGood Mon 24-Jun-19 10:12:25

Where are you, that there are more dc in the class than weeks in the year?

However, that is an aside. Surely if the dc have been choosing it, then it hasn't worked out that each child has had it once, anyway confused

If it has, then it makes the whole award completely pointless and might as well be called "the trophy we pass round the class in turn" like a the take home teddy bear or something.

Taffy85 Mon 24-Jun-19 14:42:49

No you can't get it twice, the child who chooses someone has to pick someone who hasn't had the award already.

I agree either give it to fewer children, or give it to everyone as a confidence boost thing so that they ALL feel they deserve respect. Leaving around 4 children out of 34/35 because there aren't enough weeks in the school year for everyone to have a "turn" is my issue. The teacher says it's just one of those things.

There WOULD be enough weeks in the school year for all 34/35 children in classes to "have a turn", but our teacher has sometimes not been in on the day it's given out, and because of a couple of inset days and school events on that happened on the same day over the year, we now have 7 children yet to receive it, and only 3 and a bit weeks of term left. That means 4 will be left out. They're 7 and 8 year olds so I feel it's pretty harsh especially when they're getting visibility upset. I asked the teacher if we should explain to those left out the reason they didn't get the award was because it hasn't been done every week and so we've run out of weeks now for everyone to get it. She said no they don't need that explained and "that's life".

OP’s posts: |
underneaththeash Mon 24-Jun-19 15:37:09

We have that in my daughter’s class. I think it’s a lovely idea.
I do feel however, that it de-values awards when everyone gets one.

BubblesBuddy Mon 24-Jun-19 18:14:23

It’s a bit like not celebrating birthdays at school when they are young because they are a late July or August birthday. They just get swept under the carpet.

I’m not really a fan of all these rewards and leaving perfectly decent children out. We didn’t have them when DC were at school and I too think it’s divisive. What’s the point if DC just choose their friends anyway? Pointless.

I think most DC get they are not the cleverest, the best at sport or the best musician but most are kind and well behaved and that gets overlooked too. Get the stand in teacher to award the award and then it’s solved or get the whole thing dropped!

BackforGood Mon 24-Jun-19 18:56:34

Well, to answer your question, that's not normal, no.
Whether you want to bring it up with the teacher or not is up to you.
I think it is pretty poor practice. If the dc are being told they can only choose from the ones who haven't had it yet, then it is pointing out each week that they haven't had it, unlike most weekly award systems, where nobody remembers who has / hasn't had it before, which makes it poor practice.


iwantittobesunny Tue 25-Jun-19 11:00:40

Tell them to give 2 awards for last few weeks of the term. It's life if 5, or 10 children out of 35 gets it. It's not life if 30+ gets it and only 3, 4 doesn't.

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