Prize giving(11 Posts)
Ds's prize giving last week, with about 40 prizes given out in each year group. He is year 7.
He didn't get one, which is fair enough. There are 160 boys in the year. He works hard, gets excellent marks, behaviour exemplary, has achieved maximum number of merits possible in the year etc. He captains the cricket team, played in the football team which won the borough and county cup. It is a particularly high achieving year of boys according to the head of year. ( and is an ordinary boys comp, which has gone through a difficult time but is now on the up)
But some boys got upwards of 3 awards.....one boy got 7.
I just feel that's not particularly fair......he is a bit quiet about it, as he was the only one of his friends not to get something. What do you think?
I think the different departments don't collaborate about who gets the awards to ensure that they are fairly distributed, and instead merely give the individual awards to those they think most deserve it.
There is great excitement <yawns> every year at our school when we try to work out who is likely to get the prize For Being Head Boy This Year Just Gone.
I think if you are going to give a prize for the "highest achiever" in each subject, then - IMO - the fairest thing is to give that prize to the student achieving the highest marks in the end of year assessment. Even if that means some students get several prizes.
In athletics if someone wins gold in 100m, then win 200m as well, they don't get skipped over cos they've already got a prize. It's life I'm afraid.
My boys' secondary school has worked this way in the past. ds1 is cheesed off because he's been second in the year in maths for 3 years running, so doesn't get the maths prize. But he's cheesed off cos he keeps getting beaten by a couple of marks, not cos he doesn't get the prize. He'd be horrified if school said, "Oh, let's give ds1 the prize for a change as J has had it for the last two years."
Most schools that I have experience of give the bulk of their prizes at the end of each key stage, so to Y9, Y11 and Y13. Form prizes may be given for highest average exam marks and effort. However, if there are 30 pupils in a form, then it is a long shot to get those prizes. If there are odd cups for specific year groups, then you child is in a pool of possible 180 pupils.
It is hard to always come second or third, but that is life. There may be a 'school spirit' award for such pupils at the end of the key stage.
At my DS's school, their prize giving is by year group up to year 9 and everyone gets something (they have achievement, effort and progress prizes in each subject as well as bigger prizes). Other schools we have been involved in have been much more elitist. It's all part of the ethos of the school that you signed up to.
My daughter got nothing for years apart from the attendance awards everyone gets if they hit a certain %. She works tremendously hard to achieve average results, so appeared to go unnoticed. Until one day a few months ago. She was approached by pastoral care and asked why she had not applied to be a prefect and peer mentor. She said she hadn't applied because she felt it wasn't a position you should apply for and that being done that way only encouraged the wrong sort. She was told that she had been nominated by the most teachers to be a prefect and peer mentor and they would like to take the opportunity to write to her then, to invite her to be one! She readily accepted and because she earned it completely on her own merits she is, rightly, very proud of it. Your son will get his day. It maybe a surprise, like my daughter had, or it may be on results day. It will happen one day.
My DDs prize-giving was much the same as you have described. DD too got a very good clutch of exam results - and marks on her report - didn't get a prize either, whereas her friend carried off about 5 (despite getting lower marks in some of the subjects she won prizes in). But they were teachers' prizes - and some teachers have their favourite pupils. Hopefully as Kez says - our children's time will come!! ;)
It's just the way it is unfortunately and is the major problem with prizes. Schools don't always manage to distribute prizes in a way that seems fair and some children do attract a lot of prizes (which can be uncomfortable for them too). As long as children feel they are valued in some way by someone, then I don't think missing out on prizes that you or they feel they were entitled to will cause any lasting damage. The alternative is either no prizes at all, or prizes for everyone, both of which also have drawbacks.
My step childrens school make a big thing of doing this and some kids get loads of awards while others get none at all. All in all there are about 200 prizes given out to about 40 kids. The school has been failing and I suspect this is done in front of parents to boost the schools image.
DS school does this but on a much lesser scale - about 15 prizes per year. I see this as being better as there is more "value" put on the prizes and it is done in school time and not in front of parents.
So your bright-eyed and bushy-tailed Year 7 didn't get a prize. He did everything right but didn't get recognition. And they wonder why teenagers get disillusioned with school.
This is where he learns that, although his mum may think he is wonderful, as far as the education system is concerned he is merely another chipolata in the sausage machine.
At DCs' school only those who are receiving a prize get invited to prize giving. My DS got two prizes in yr7 then nothing in yr8, 1 prize yr9 and prizegiving for middleschool is on thursday. He may only be presented with his prefect's tie.
I have noticed over the years that one year a child might get many and the next they get nothing.
The school only gives out 2 prizes per subject per year group and some form prizes for attainment, effort, progress and colours, so probably not much more than 60 prizes in all for 190 pupils.
They do give out certificates at the end of term for good work etc
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