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Teachers, Have you ever had a parent complain their DC hasn't got an award at prize giving?

(19 Posts)
christywhisty Wed 02-Jul-08 23:07:01

and how would you answer them

Can't believe a friend has had the nerve to do this

DocBunches Fri 04-Jul-08 11:11:05

I'm not a teacher, but wanted to reply anyway...

I have a DS at secondary school who is quiet, hardworking, well-behaved, achieving well academically, never late, no detentions, etc; but, he will never, in a Month of Sundays, EVER be awarded anything at his school's various prize-giving events. Last year, I was secretly hoping he might get something for woodwork (which I think he is really good at) - but no, it was one of the 'really clever boys' who was given that as well! hmm

However, I wouldn't dream of complaining - I tell my DS he needs to try harder and 'put himself about a bit more', although tbh he doesn't seem bothered at all.

At the end of the day, there are only a limited number of prizes that can be awarded, but it does sometimes appear to be the same kids every time.

christywhisty Fri 04-Jul-08 13:22:01

We are all new to this and only Year 7. There seemed to have been a lot of invites sent out and it turns out my ds and her son would have a clash of commitments.
I automatically assumed her ds would get something because he is a very high flyer,
I thought ds was probably going to get a certificate for swimming as he one his race in the house competition.If that was it then he would attend the other commitment.

Emailed back explaining my problem and got an almost instant phone call back saying DS is getting 2 good awards.

That evening asked friend what she was going to do and she told me no invite and she had emailed asking why he wasn't getting anything.
School did ring her and said most of the awards were for attendance and they only give out 2 awards per subject, one for attainment and one for effort . She was placated by that. The school is very proactive at recognising hard work and often gives out certificates through the year and send notes home to recognise good work.

I still have no idea what ds is likely to get, they are probably effort ones, but it could be any subject except MFL and sport.
My Ds is like yours very quiet and well behaved, never gets into trouble and a high achiever but at primary usually was overlooked.

PrimulaVeris Fri 04-Jul-08 13:39:56

I have a Y7 dd too! I think it's different at Secondary - even if you're best at primary level you can go up to a school where there are many as able as you, or more so.

I think a couple of children from her primary who went on to independent selective schools have found the past year very hard - suddenly no longer guaranteed top scorer in every test.

christywhisty Fri 04-Jul-08 13:53:12

I wouldn't win any awards for spelling that should have been "won" not "one"

Agree with you Primula , I think this boy has struggled with this, unfortunately my ds suffered the consequences of it, but that is another story!

DocBunches Fri 04-Jul-08 14:22:03


Your DS has obviously done really well and is deservedly getting some good awards, so well done to him!

Re my DS: although doing well at school, he is never going to be 'top of the class', nor was he ever at Primary school. But his Secondary, which is a comprehensive, seems to reward the very high achievers or those who are struggling and perhaps a bit naughty. Also, like your DS's school, they believe in loads of positive praise, certificates, commendations, etc throughout the year - but not much comes my DS's way unfortunately! (although, to his credit, he definitely doesn't get envious of children who are very bright and get plenty of recognition).

clam Fri 04-Jul-08 18:30:02

We've had this today. Just looked down the list and the same names keep cropping up. One kid went up about 6 times. The various subject teachers clearly picked their "best" student and didn't consult. Part of me wondered what reception that kid got when they got back to class. "Well done for getting 6 awards?" Or huddled groups in corners, muttering, "they got the bloody lot."
This set me thinking, as it wouldn't happen at primary level. We always try to spread out awards. This is OK for younger kids, but it does subscribe to the "all must have prizes" school of thought, which some say devalues the merit. It may be that, come Year 8, they'll pick different kids, but am wondering if, at secondary, prizes are awarded on merit, regardless of how many there have been before. Otherwise, this kid has peaked at Year 7 and won't get any more recognition for the next 6 years. Might bring out the competitive spirit in the others..... or the bitchiness.
What do you all reckon?

christywhisty Fri 04-Jul-08 21:25:22

Actually it was interesting because I remember the list for last year , we saw it the parents open evening for the new year 7, and one girls name stood out for getting lots of awards. She is now also Head Girl for lower school.
I was always one of the top achievers at school, but I was always 2nd or 3rd in my year (usually the same two in front of me) and I never got any awards.I don't remember any bitchiness about it.

figroll Wed 09-Jul-08 21:21:29

Actually, Clam, my dd1 is in year 11 and her friend is a genius at maths. She has had the form prize every year since year 7 and it just seems ridiculous to me, as she lost interest in it after getting it twice. No one will ever beat her as she got into the Olympiad (or whatever it is called) and is a natural mathematician - she gets full marks on all her tests, etc.

It would be nice if the school did spread the awards around a bit, but they seem terribly blinkered and don't have any awards for effort. The school is a grammar school, so they are all bright, but there are some who are geniuses and these kids are given awards year after year after year.

allshallhaveprizes Thu 10-Jul-08 10:24:20

OK, I'll admit it. I've done it.blush Although it was the last year of Primary, not Secondary.

Like you Christy, my DD was always one of the best but never the best. In Y6 they had about 12 prizes to give to 18 children so you would like to think that there was a better-than-even chance of getting something, especially as she had in previous years had 'nice person' prizes. There were various subject (awarded for the best exam result) and non-curriculum prizes. My DD didn't get a prize despite finally getting the highest mark (98%) in one of the exams.
I was really disappointed for her and decided to ask the teacher because I knew that it would gnaw away at me forever if I didn't find out the reason. Apparently, for that one subject, they decided to award it on coursework. hmm

Did I mention that it was a private prep school and we were one of the very small number who weren't going to the follow-on Secondary school. hmm hmm

cazzybabs Thu 10-Jul-08 10:27:29

Yep I have parents complain...but then you see I always give it to the underdogs..those children who work bloody hard but will never be top of the class. Actually that is not true but I do give it to anyone who has worked really hard.

cazzybabs Thu 10-Jul-08 10:29:16

but the more funny thing is when they complain their child hasn't a speaking part in that year groups play.

herbietea Thu 10-Jul-08 10:37:56

Message withdrawn

allshallhaveprizes Thu 10-Jul-08 10:56:44

I do sympathise herbietea. How long until DS come to the obvious conclusion? - who gives a rat's a*se what teachers think anyway!angry


christywhisty Thu 10-Jul-08 22:32:13

Ds got his awards tonight. He got his form Tutors award for his excellent work. He also got the IT award

allshallhaveprizes Fri 11-Jul-08 19:01:41

Sorry, christy, I didn't mean to rain on your parade.blush
Well done to your DS. grin

claricebeansmum Fri 11-Jul-08 19:06:35

For this reason my son wanted to give his school "The Looser Cup" for kids who never win anything when he left! Wonder why....grin.

Starmummy Sun 13-Jul-08 15:33:06

lol Claricebeans mum

My ds (just finished year 7) has never won anything in any year ever. He is always at the bottom of the top third, has stopped trying his hardest because there is always someone who has tried harder. He will never be top of the class at anything (I wouldnt dare voice that opinion to anyone else except MN). Sports he is always in the second team, here he does try his hardest. He knows where he stands and is happy. However twice this year he has been let down, he did an amazing project, which the school has kept to show how it should be done, and his teacher told him he would get a prize and a certificate, never happended. Then he had an operation and was off school for a week just before exams so we did lots of revision and DS told me he had done more work than he would have done at school. Head of year saw me in the corridor and told me he would get a certificate for most improved report, nope he didnt get that either. Not that I would know because the only people going to awards evening were the ones who got an award, and yes 1 person in his class got 6, inclu drama. For some people there is no hope whatever they do.

Sorry for rant but feel desperate for DS and all the others.

DocBunches Sun 13-Jul-08 19:06:10

Starmummy, your poor DS. As you say, why bother?

Also, can't believe 6 prizes for one child hmm, personally I feel that is completely unnecessary, even if they are brilliant at absolutely everything.

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