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Prizes for achievement at GCSE level

(24 Posts)
heatheranneelizabeth Tue 18-Nov-14 22:09:11

Just wondering what other schools do....
DS has just left his High School and moved to a different sixth form; likewise a handful of his friends have. As far as I can tell, it seems that these kids have been excluded from getting any prizes for academic achievement at GCSE including the highest performing student in the year (not my DS!). I know that the academic prizes are often given for students who have well exceeded expectations and not necessarily the high grade achievers but at some point surely there needs to be some recognition for someone actually achieving better than the rest? It would be wrong for the same kids to always get the prizes if they execlled at something. I do get that, but sometimes these kids miss out completely and I don't think they should.

So, my question is this.... do other schools recognise students who have already left the school or do they give prizes only to whom they deem suitable from those remaining at the school?

SugarPlumTree Tue 18-Nov-14 22:11:44

DD's school does give them to children who have gone elsewhere for 6th form.

Luciferbox Tue 18-Nov-14 22:16:52

My school award the deserving student in each category. If they've left to attend another school/collage/start Uni we invite them back for the evening.

PiqueABoo Tue 18-Nov-14 22:31:23

"sometimes these kids miss out completely"

That point can be found in the latest version of the Ofsted school inspection recipe:

"teaching helps to develop a culture and ethos of scholastic excellence, where the highest achievement in academic work is recognised, especially in supporting the achievement of the most able."

DD is only in Y7, but based on her school history it's quite common for them to miss out. It's a large part of why I get annoyed by the fashion for Dweck's "growth mindsets" because that is usually the excuse: "Well if you label them by rewarding them for being 'clever' then they will crash and burn and other children will be sad". It's clearly not that simple.

Leeds2 Tue 18-Nov-14 22:45:50

At DD's school. the GCSE prizes are given out at the end of Y11, so after the exam has been taken but before the results are out. May be given to students who, for whatever reason, decide to leave elsewhere for Sixth Form but on Prize Day they are technically still students at the school.

BackforGood Wed 19-Nov-14 00:36:59

So far only have experience of 1 dc having got past this stage. All pupils were invited to a 'celebration' towards the end of the Autumn Term. It was fairly informal and I don't remember prizes being given out particularly, but it was seen as a nice chance for everyone to meet up again a few months down the line, so, in his case, no, everyone was treated the same.

AtiaoftheJulii Wed 19-Nov-14 07:22:32

At my daughters' schools they have a presentation in the late autumn after the GCSEs, and everyone from that year is invited, whatever they're doing by then. I don't know about prizes - dd1's school gave out prizes for every subject plus a few more extra ones, but I don't know whether the recipients had stayed on at their 6th form or not. DD2's hasn't happened yet!

Hakluyt Wed 19-Nov-14 07:31:09

Don't quite understand your point- are you saying that the high achievers have missed out on prizes because they've moved schools, or because they are high achievers and high achievers don't get prizes?

legallady Wed 19-Nov-14 09:15:47

DD has just had her prize giving. Lots of the girls have moved on to other sixth forms but everyone is invited back as they are all given their gcse certificates by the guest speaker (it's a very, very long evening wink .)

All the girls are eligible for prizes and there are a huge variety awarded. Academic excellence for all girls getting at least 10 A*s, one prize for every gcse subject, progress prizes, one form tutor prize for every form and a variety of leadership, citizenship and extra curricular prizes (e.g. sport, music and drama.)

Lots and lots of the girls get some sort of prize, but of course there are always girls who don't get anything and some that end up with multiple prizes. Don't really know what you do about that though.....

skylark2 Wed 19-Nov-14 11:23:55

DD's school had a "leaver's evening" at the end of the summer term. They all got called up to pick up an envelope of their prizes / certificates etc. which were listed in the booklet but not read out. Obviously some had more in the envelope than others (there were things like sports colours, and head's awards, and subject prizes) but everyone had at least something as the AS results were included.

I thought that was a nice way to do it.

TalkinPeace Wed 19-Nov-14 13:19:33

Schools here finish at 16 - presentation evening for the former Year 11 was last week.

AtiaoftheJulii Wed 19-Nov-14 13:19:59

That is nice skylark smile

Hakluyt I read it as if you had gone elsewhere for 6th form/whatever, then the old school wouldn't even consider you for the RS or History or Helping Old Ladies Cross The Road prize.

itsaknockout Wed 19-Nov-14 13:46:15

We have a speech day when prizes for GCSE and A level work are given out .For GCSE, everyone who achieves a minimum od C grade at GCSE in every subject taken gets a prize (plus a few additional prizes).these apply whether the student has left or not
This year someone has very rightly raised the situation of a student who got 9A*s and a D would not get a prize, but someone who had got 10 C grades would.

itsaknockout Wed 19-Nov-14 13:46:49

..and that is in November

BrendaBlackhead Wed 19-Nov-14 15:14:37

yes, at ds's school there was a certificate (no prize!) for anyone who got all A*s and As. Yet the boy who got 10 A*s and one C didn't qualify. Ds got a B in one he took a year early but for some reason they forgot about that.

Actually most certificates were for those who were really into school, as it were, ie ones who were in the plays, concerts, or were helpful to teachers etc.

It was, as usual, a case of "academic success is its own reward".

heatheranneelizabeth Wed 19-Nov-14 19:58:40

Thank you so much for your responses. There seems to be a variety of ways of celebrating success. It does also seem, that on the whole it doesn't matter whether you have left or not, which is how it should be in my opinion.

As an aside, it did actually remind me that I need to contact the school to ask how we will get the certificates!

PiqueABoo, thank you for that quote! It might come in handy...

Hakluyt, yes, I am saying that the high achievers have indeed missed out on prizes because they've moved schools. From what I know they definitely have subject prizes but I think they also have 'excellence at GCSE' prizes which takes into account overal performance. I'm trying to work out if the school is playing fair! It is a huge school and they have three different sorts of prize evenings at different times of the year; these are 'academic', 'services to school and community' (= Helping Old Ladies Cross The Road prize evening!!!!!! LOL at that!) and 'sports'.

I do like the idea of inviting everyone back for their own 'Post Year 11 evening' so everyone can catch up.

I suppose there's no way of pleasing everyone!

MillyMollyMama Wed 19-Nov-14 20:17:34

In the 6th form where my DD went after GCSEs, no new girl got a prize. Only ones who had been there for GcSEs. Ability had nothing to do with it.

pieceofpurplesky Wed 19-Nov-14 20:25:00

How do You measure "achieving better than the rest' OP?
As a teacher that would be the pupil who made the most levels progress -which is not necessarily the pupil with 12 A*s. Who was predicted 12a*s - A pupil who gets 12 Ds when predicted 12 Gs has made much more progress and worked harder and in my opinion deserves the award. That's how it is done at my school.

pieceofpurplesky Wed 19-Nov-14 20:27:46

Apologies for typos - fat fingers on phone!

PiqueABoo Wed 19-Nov-14 21:50:34

How do you know child #1's predicted G->D required more work than child #2's predicted A*->A*?

You don't. Amongst other reasons that may well be because:

Child #1 is a lazy bleep who hasn't made much effort until now

Child #2 is one who as always slaved away at their work.

heatheranneelizabeth Wed 19-Nov-14 22:54:57

Hi MillyMollyMama. Oh no, definitely not for the new school! Just for the old school.

pieceofpurplesky, I understand and acknowledged your point in the original post. I just had a feeling that the kids were not considered at all because they had moved school and I wanted to know from others if that is what happened elsewhere, or whether kids might be invited back (if they deserved to win a prize against the school's usual criteria, whatever that might be).

'Achieving better than the rest' = 'higher grade(s) than the rest'.

I would love to post why I think that DS might just have deserved a prize but it's a bit unusual and might identify us.... it will make a good moan story for many years to come!!!

RaspberryLemonPavlova Wed 19-Nov-14 23:23:47

Ours is at the end of this term, GCSE and A level with all invited back, and a celebration social event afterwards.

It is our first, but will be DS1s 4th as he has played in the school Brass Group at all of them. From what he says, each class goes up to be presented with their exam certificates, and each class has also has awards for the highest achievement and something like 'best learner', but everyone is eligible.

pieceofpurplesky Wed 19-Nov-14 23:56:19

Pique - because as a good teacher it's my job to know. It's not rocket science to know who has worked harder to achieve their grades. Of course your scenario may be right - but I was answering the OP as to why the higher grades don't always win awards and have her a reason. Quite often the brightest of children don't have to work as hard as certain skills come naturally and the basics just flow - lower ability children have to revisit and revise the basics as well.
I do know what I am talking about - I am in charge of intervention and deal with lazy A* pupils who are underachieving as much as I deal with over achieving G grade ones.

pieceofpurplesky Wed 19-Nov-14 23:57:51

OP that could very well be the case ... Very petty if only their own win!

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