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To be cross about school awards?

143 replies

G1veMeStrength · 15/07/2015 08:42

I have an overlooked child and have just found out that today is the fecking school awards.

I know this from Proud Mumz on dreaded facebook.

One child who left in Spring is coming back to get an award. Child went on a sponsored jolly / adventure of a lifetime which everyone else is sick of hearing about. Nothing to do with the school except they gave him time off.

In other awards, the team whose parents helped them with the 'child effort only' project unsurprisingly won that competition and get a fancy prize.

I just get so sick of the unfairness of it all. How can the teachers who organise all this be so blind to the messages they are sending? None of it is about effort or achievement. Just an exercise in shitting on children's self esteem right at the end of term.

OP posts:
AnyoneForTennis · 15/07/2015 09:05

isn't there more than that one award tho? you sound overly bitter

so what if a deserving child gets an award? are you 'sick of the unfairness' then?

Heels99 · 15/07/2015 09:11

Have you discussed it with the teachers or head? I wouldn't seethe in silence I would raise it

TTWK · 15/07/2015 09:13

None of it is about effort or achievement.

What on Earth are the awards given for, if not for effort and achievement? Tell us more.

mummytime · 15/07/2015 09:15

Sounds like a crap awards set up.

bluebell345 · 15/07/2015 09:16

I know how you feel.
I spoke to my dc's teacher and told dc feels efforts are not being recognised and feels very upset.
It helped.

MumOfTheMoment · 15/07/2015 09:17

I agree to an extent. There is a fine line between rewarding those children who have done something outstanding and hurting the self confidence of the ones who don't "qualify".

At my dc school there are loads of trophies at the end of term. About 8 per class. Some kids get more than one. I think this is too many.

And I sat this as a parent of a child who has received one in the past.

TantrumsAndBalloons · 15/07/2015 09:18

It helped how bluebell?

Did the teacher give your dc an award because you had a word and said he was upset he was overlooked?

Isn't that also unfair on the children that are also working hard and being "overlooked"

TheMoa · 15/07/2015 09:19


Is your child at all inclined to put themselves forward/organise/throw themselves into a 'sponsored jolly'?

Do you devote time and energy to helping with school projects?

Sitting around passively and expecting opportunities to fall into your lap won't really get you very far, in terms of school awards, or life.

On the other hand, my children's school goes the other way.

My son had the grace to be mortified and slightly pissed off when the school awarded him the prize for 'best behaved in the dining hall'. Take about scraping the barrel in order to award something to everyone Grin

TantrumsAndBalloons · 15/07/2015 09:20

Tbh I agree with mum

I think there are too many awards and I also say that as a parent who's child has received more than one.

What's the answer though? You either "overlook" everyone and no one gets recognised for anything or every child gets an award of some sort which makes the whole thing pretty pointless

Lima1 · 15/07/2015 09:21

I actually agree with you. My DS1 won 2 awards in school, one for exceptional effort and one for an achievement. While I agree with the achievement one, the effort one is misplaced. He didn't put loads of effort in he is just naturally very intelligent. DD put far more effort into her school work this year and got nothing. She was very upset about it. It's hard to please everybody though.

howabout · 15/07/2015 09:22

YANBU especially about the child who has already left. I would not complain as the danger then is that you send the message to your DC that what is in fact a pointless set of prizes actually has some merit. Unless there are actual exams I think prizes for some but not all is a minefield.

WorraLiberty · 15/07/2015 09:28

My DC's senior school runs a 2 tier system, so they give separate awards for effort and achievement.

But having said that, they're still very difficult to get because there's only one effort/achievement award per subject, and there are roughly 150 pupils in each year group.

So no doubt there will still be moaners. You can't please everyone but the parents always appear to be more bitter than the kids.

SomewhereIBelong · 15/07/2015 09:28

We treated awards the same as "Star of the week" - my 2 were always overlooked because they were middle-of-top-group clever, polite, well behaved, quiet and did their extra curricular activities outside school.

I just told them that some children needed them more than others - they didn't all get praise and rewards at home, so getting a certificate to say they were good at something was the only way that some children's talents got recognised.

That my girl's teachers knew they were great at stuff, they themselves knew, we parents knew, their family knew, they didn't need a bit of paper (however much they coveted one) because they were lucky enough to be surrounded by people who care.

PaintedTshirt · 15/07/2015 09:32

Schools can't win, whoever you 'award' someone will complain.

And if you don't give out any awards, parents complain about that too!

One big PITA.

mummytime · 15/07/2015 09:35

My DCs junior school used to basically give everyone in year 6 an award. I thought this was good. Everyone can be praised for something, and it was part of the whole "goodbye" thing. However the trophies didn't get returned etc...
Then only some got an awards, but it was too many and made it more "obvious" if you didn't. Also some people got more than one (often sport and academic).
They did then cut it down again, and everyone get a certificate with a rubbish poem, but only some people get awards.

At secondary a set number get "effort" awards (about 4 per form). There are 2 prizes per form. Then 2 year prizes. There are then Honours for those who do something at County level or above, or bravery (2 boys got one a few years ago for saving someone from drowning).
But as is made clear at prize giving - there are other awards, some given throughout the year, others like "raffle" tickets which can win real "prizes" and lots of certificates, postcards home, phonecalls home etc.
It seems to be much fairer than Primary school, and the year heads do look out for opportunities to rewards the less "obvious" pupils.

(And no one gets a prize for parents doing their homework.)

OurDearLeader · 15/07/2015 09:36

YABU. I think there is a lot to be said for teaching your child that they won't always win and they should be happy for other people when they achieve things. If your child had achieved an award wouldn't you want their classmates to be happy for them?

It's just life that you don't win them all. I think that if you teach children that they will never lose it's going to come as a great shock to them when they start work and they're in competition with others and are expected to perform for rewards.

G1veMeStrength · 15/07/2015 09:50

Thanks. If they were for effort and achievement by the children I wouldn't be at all bitter. These however are for things where the parents have made all the effort, done the organising, and not the child. The child hasn't achieved anything other than going along with a pushy parent. That's what I find objectionable.

My child is not a confident child - but puts in effort, and does all their own work. Every year we do of course have the cheerful 'some children need more praise than others' chat that SomewhereIBelong talks about. But its just so bloody predictable and what can you do? Talk to the school right at the end of term when the teachers are all past caring? Talk to the school at the start of next term and come across like you're holding a grudge?

OP posts:
fitnessforlife · 15/07/2015 10:01

If they were for effort and achievement by the children very subjective.
What exactly were these awards award for as in 'title of the award'?
How do you know it was the parents that put in all the effort and achievement in every single case?

For what its worth, schools can't just give out awards to all and sundry, its got to be for doing something/excelling in something and yes a child may win more than one award. The only other alternative, is for gifts to be handed out to all individuals every year and stop calling it "awards".

LilyMayViolet · 15/07/2015 10:04

Op it sounds like they have some silly awards. They shouldn't be about parent led things. At dd's school they had quite a few, academic, sports, music, progress, and one for contributing a lot to school life. in general children and parents are very supportive of other kids who win them. I can see that they have the potential to be decisive though.

LilyMayViolet · 15/07/2015 10:06

Divisive not decisive!

WorraLiberty · 15/07/2015 10:07

Some parents have always helped their kids more than others though. That's standard and will never change so no point in getting bitter about it.

Superexcited · 15/07/2015 10:11

I have no problems with children receiving awards for achieving something or making a huge effort. I don't even have a problem with one child receiving multiple awards if they are well deserved.
What I do get annoyed about is the children who are constantly well behaved and high achieving being overlooked for their achievements whilst the badly behaved kid gets an award if he managed to behave himself for more than 5 minutes.

Kitsandkids · 15/07/2015 10:12

I would definitely send an e-mail to the school pointing out that the children who were given an award for their effort were actually helped a lot by parents (as long as you know that for a fact!)and you feel this is unfair and doesn't motivate the children to complete their own homework.

I remember when my mum was a class teacher in a year 3/4 class. Every term the children in the 3 parallel classes had to do a project at home to do with that term's topic. About 3 children in each class were given a prize. The 2 other teachers always gave prizes to the beautifully typed projects that were obviously done by an adult. My mum (and teenage me) chose ones the children had written themselves (this was before most people had computers, or if we did choose a typed one the language in it made it clear a child had typed it) with slightly wonky photos stuck in, drawings done by hand etc. All the children in my mum's class were motivated to do projects to the best of their abilities because they knew that if they tried hard, even if they were in the low ability group, they still stood a chance of winning a prize (and my mum did try and choose children from all abilities - as long as the work was good for what they were capable of). The mums knew that too which helped them to encourage the kids to do the work themselves.

morethanpotatoprints · 15/07/2015 10:19

certificates and awards, surely.

So if it is something small you get a certificate and everybody gets one for something and an award of some description for outstanding achievements.

I know sometimes the differences can be huge. 2 of ours are adults now but when they were at secondary (different schools)
Ds 2 was awarded a book token for good work and ds1 a laptop for gaining 3 levels in Science in the year Grin

Pishedorf · 15/07/2015 10:46

I was always in the overlooked child group too and didn't get an award at all in primary school, despite being a quiet, well behaved child who was one of the top two in ability throughout my years at school. Words cannot describe how awful it made me feel every year, especially as I was severely bullied in school and my confidence was in my boots.

My parents always used to do a 'prize giving' for me and my brother at home in the evening after prize giving ceremonies. We were given a book to read with a nice message inside for saying how proud they were of us for trying our best that year. I do recommend that OP, your kids will appreciate that you recognised their hard work more in the future.

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