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How does your school celebrate academic success?(20 Posts)
My son attends a private school and he is achieving well academically, consistently gaining 90-100% in exams. He is dyslexic and works incredibly hard to get these results. He was top of the year in four different subjects in the end of years exams this year, and in the top 2-3 in two other subjects. No other child in his year has put performed him academically.
Fast forward to prize giving and speech day and my son does not get and any recognition from the school of his efforts. The best sportsman got a prize, the best musician, the best actor, some children who I have no idea what they have done, but not the best academic student!!
I know this sounds like sour grapes and it is!! But why doesn’t the school celebrate academic success? How do other schools show children that their studies are worth it?
I just breaks my heart when I know how hard he has worked.
Also there is no way to raise it with the school without it sounding stupid “why didn’t my son get a prize?” But I do think it’s an issue for other children going forward. Other children in the school tease my son for studying and call him a “Sweat” and I feel that by not celebrating academic achievement it feeds down to other children that studying is not important.
My DS's school have 2 different academic awards; they have "academic excellence" prizes for the top performers in the end of year exams, and "excellent learners" awards for students that show fantastic effort, nominated by subject teachers.
That's slightly odd. My ds prep school does academic prizes as well as the music and sports ones. Prize giving literally goes on and on and on....
My ds has never had a single prize and is never likely to (we are not one of the "favoured families"). However I just tell ds that doing well is your reward in itself and he doesn't need to hold a trophy for a photograph. We usually go out somewhere nice after the torture that is speech day!
That's really sad, but sounds quite like my husband's grammar school which only valued sporting achievement. As a matter of policy the prefect body was the 1st 15 rugby team, the 1st 11 cricket team, plus one token academic!
My daughters' comprehensive gives two prizes for every subject, in each year group - one for pure achievement and one for effort and commitment. There are also some major prizes in the sixth form which include academic excellence, sportsmanship, artistic endeavour and a whole range of other worthy things.
There are also regular things like postcards and phone calls home from teachers when a child has shown particular merit or effort in a subject.
DC's (state) school does not celebrate academic success - it gives prizes for effort and progress. Which tbh I think is the right way round - my niece who is naturally mathematically gifted gets the maths prize at her (private) school every year simply because she got the highest mark in the exams; which she freely admits she doesn't really have to work for.
My DD's (different but top indies) give a handful of prizes for both achievement and effort in each year. They then have some specific prizes for academic excellence in certain subjects, and sport, music, drama etc.
What I am quite surprised from your post, it that you know that your son is top in the year/subjects. I haven't ever heard of anyone being told that, you may have an idea he is in the top few, but I don't know any schools who would identify the absolute top performers by name.
DD's School similar to what others have described - an achievement and an effort prize for each subject in each year group. I'm not sur ehow "inspiring" it is - we only found out this happened when DD got the effort prize for German in Year 9!
The school I went to gave out prizes - we all had to go to Speech Day and it was a chore - same girls won every year - I'm not sure it was very inspiring although very nice for the girls that won of course.
My DDs former school did two academic prizes for each year 7-11 and then 2 effort prizes as well. So 4 in total. All subject prizes were for the 6th form. Hence prize giving was 90 minutes including speeches. The other prizes were for sport, music, drama and various attributes, due to specific prizes named after people, and these were widely abused so favoured parents DC got them. Also various other “good egg” prizes. One girl got 7 prizes in the 6th form. Widespread disbelief. She wasn’t academically special but Dad was Chairman of KPMG.
Most subjects have a prize awarded for each year. There’s also Star prize chosen by head of year , for children who have excelled as a role model and contribution to school life; a sort of ‘most improved’ type prize, and the usual sports and music prizes.
My son has received his colours for sport and drama and won the Star prize. My daughter, who has achieved much more academically, has never received a prize. She’s good, but not brilliant. It’s a fact that if you are brilliant and top of the class one year, you are likely to be brilliant next year too! And they get the prize.
Our school has one academic prize per subject per year. They also can get an effort prize. Approx 6 per class get that i think. It varies from class to class.
There are prizes for contributing to school music and sport. A form prize and house prize.
Our school in years 7-10 at speech day has a mention for one child in each class for overall academic achievement & one for contribution to school life (kindness/role model). There are two musician and sports mentions per year (m/f). Subject specific only comes in year 11.
DS & a couple of friends recently were called up in assembly to receive certificates for strong performance in an external academic exercise which was nice recognition.
Thanks for all your feedback it’s really interesting to see how other schools do it.
Silent Sister - why would a school not tell a student they were top of the year in a subject? Just wondering what the benefits of that are.
With regard to students knowing they are top in the year, I think it's rare these days for schools to reveal rankings in a public way. But it's more common than people realise for teachers to tell an individual child that they are the best in their year at a particular subject. I know that DD1 is the best in her year at two specific subjects, because her subject teachers have told us that at a succession of parents evenings. But it's not something I shout about in real life because it would complicate my friendships with other parents who are more competitive than they think they are!
At ds school (state) they have a prize for academic excellence in each subject and also one for most progress for each subject. They also distribute certificates for sports and music and for external competitions like UKMT
Our school gives certificates to the top 3 attainers and top 3 for progress in each subject every year. DD has had a lot of certificates over the years, to the extent that I think we're all a bit jaded about the idea of going to the ceremony again this year.
We just assumed the two academic prizes went to the top two academic girls each year. As the results of assessment and exams were not public knowledge that could not be verified! So open to abuse but not as much as the other dubious awards. Some children get recognised for everything. It’s like they are on a roll. Other, just as good DC, simply don’t get noticed.
My dd had the same problem. She has attained level 8s and 9s in her GCSE PPEs. She worked incredibly hard throughout year 11 staying up all hours revising.
She then tearfully watched her friends on Twitter at the school Celebration Evening last week receiving awards. She has never been invited to this evening as it is the same favourite pupils getting awards every year and actual achievements don't count for anything. I wish they had a more inclusive evening where children aren't excluded.
My DD's school had "best" in each subject, she got nothing because someone pipped her in each subject even though her predicted grades were amazing despite dyslexia, just the way it is, don't stress
Well Twitter is optional. Watching it every year by being there was compulsory for DDs. It did become a big parental grumble. We did realise it came down to a number of factors but that it largely meant donations to the school by prizes winners families for the less obvious awards.
Ds school had 2 prizes per subject. Then form teachers award for attainment and effort.
It was a science school, so also sponsored STEM award. They also gave out certificates in assembly end of term.
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