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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:
G1veMeStrength · 15/07/2015 11:03

Kitsandkids your mum sounds ace.

I don't want to out myself with too many details but this has helped me think, thank you everyone. Even if you said IABU Smile

One of the 'unfair awards' is a one off. The other is an award for a certain annual project. The running of the project was a shambles really so I think I may offer to help the school as I have some experience and work contacts that could improve it. That's more helpful than just complaining I guess...

OP posts:
G1veMeStrength · 15/07/2015 11:04

Oh Pishdorf just seen that. That is such a good idea. We do treat the DC when they have good reports etc but I love the idea of doing it with a bit of ceremony!

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NeedsMoreCowBell · 15/07/2015 11:13

This morning I ran a workshop with Y6, all school prizes and awards were given out last week so today as a class they 'awarded' each other with messages.
Each pupil was given the name of a classmate and described how that classmate made the last year of primary school special for the class.
Always smiling, helped with maths etc.

Was really nice to watch them realise how their contemporaries saw them Smile

Longtalljosie · 15/07/2015 11:19

Hmm - I tend to agree. DD gets star of the week every year at sports day. She's got motor skills issues. Her reading, otoh, is never rewarded. I get that you reward effort but it must be very confusing for the children eg to see a kid who's always fighting rewarded for playing nicely when they play more nicely than that every day of the week...

GoblinLittleOwl · 15/07/2015 11:24

‘everybody has won, and all must have prizes.’

mollyonthemove · 15/07/2015 11:28

I was incredibly proud when ds received every single award from his out of school football team. It had never been achieved before. He got Players player (voted by the players) managers player (voted by the managers) and outstanding moment in a match. I also felt really concerned for the others and worried that I may be thought of as some pushy mother (not even a bit, I loathe football Grin )but the joy on their faces was lovely. they recognised his efforts and were happy for him to get them all

TinklyLittleLaugh · 15/07/2015 11:30

Feeling your pain OP. DD1 (19 now), never got one single prize through the whole of her school career. She is reasonably bright, reasonably well behaved and reasonably talented in her chosen subject area (Art).

She is a fantastic, quietly self confident girl though; we used to make light of her constantly missing out and she is totally unaffected by it.

SideOrderofChips · 15/07/2015 11:32

DD1 didn't go on the 'ipoints' trip this week. She didn't get enough points to go. She was understandably gutted but as we explained to her, you can't win everything.

ReallyTired · 15/07/2015 11:33

My daughter has had loads of rewards at school and I feel it is not good for her. She is top of her class, but her class is very low ablity. I wonder how she will fare when she goes to secondary school and meets children are brighter than her. (ie. the Mythical mumsnetters children who are free readers in reception.)

I feel that rewards for achievment encourage a [ fixed mindset]] There are lots of rewards for the SEN kids and lots of rewards for the high achievers. Well behaved middle ablity children get left out.

00100001 · 15/07/2015 11:44

I remember feeling slightly Confused about the 'effort' marks my twin brother and I got in our reports....

We had Attainment (A-E) and Effort (1-5, 1 highest) so you'd get a result such as C1 or A2

I used to get A1/A2/B1/B2 on everything (brighter twin, so no effort really required)
He used to get D4/D5/E4/E5 (not as bright, but tried hard)

I pointed out to my teacher I should have to got a 5A and 5Bs and DBro should have D1/D2/E1/E2

She wasn't impressed by that :/

Not a boast, just mocking the 'effort' grading system!

BoyFromTheBigBadCity · 15/07/2015 11:45

Have to agree with the pp about the kids who struggle always getting rewarded. I remember getting made to stay in at play to write my one mistake in a spelling test (of 20 words) 30 times, and someone who got 3 out of 5 in the test getting to move up the award ladder thing. Now I'm not 10 I can understand the rationale behind it, but as a well behaved hard working kid it felt very unfair.

00100001 · 15/07/2015 11:47

and I also got pissed I didn't get my Science Gold Award - To get it, you were supposed to have earned Bronze and Silver, and then have however many completed full/high mark homework, attend a weekly club and do an independent science project - I did ALL of that and never got my bloody award :(

unlucky83 · 15/07/2015 12:28

I totally get this and my children's primary school didn't do awards.
The secondary does but a couple for the whole year group of over a hundred so I think that's better than a few out of a primary class of 20-30. There has to be many, many overlooked children.
Also at secondary everyone who behaved well for the whole year got an award too...(they had to collect a stamp after each lesson - they needed a certain number of stamps to get a bronze, silver or gold award. DD didn't because she didn't bother getting her book stamped at first and then found out you needed a gold award to go on a treat trip and she couldn't get enough in time so she had to stay at school whilst all her friends went - that was her loss, but I do think it should have been explained better at the start)
My gripe is that the same super confident 'star' children or ones with the pushy parents are also always chosen to be the lead in plays or do readings in assemblies etc. I do understand every class teacher wants their performance to be the best. And some children would hate to be the centre of attention. But the middle of the road children (like my DDs) never get a chance to even try, increase their confidence -they become the less 'popular', shy children. And I don't think it is justified - my DD1 had to do a couple of readings in church for Sunday School - she was great - clear voice, confident etc. (not biased, was really surprised at how good she was). She definitely could have done well at readings in assemblies etc but never got a chance.

HearTheThunderRoar · 15/07/2015 12:44

Another one who's child has yet to receive any awards at year 11 :( I don't think she's even received a fucking certificate ever, instead she was berated at primary school for not knowing the answers in certain questions in maths.

DD was almost in tears at last year's prize giving, it really does suck not to be recognised. But it's because she's in the middle, always well behaved so can't get the good behaviour award and is average academically so can't get the good achievement, this means she can't get good effort as she middle of the range in everything other than maths which she is bottom.

Thank goodness she has been recognised in sport.

Heels99 · 15/07/2015 12:50

Dds teacher last year gave every child a fiction book which had a personal message from her in the front cover saying how proud she was of them. Year one this was.

Our school has no end of year awards just the usual class mascot etc which everyone takes home the same number of times it is scrupulous!

Heels99 · 15/07/2015 12:53

Also at our school every child gets a speaking part in the plays and it's the same number of lines per child. Some kids do it brilliant
some stumble through it doesn't matter they all love having a go.

00100001 · 15/07/2015 12:57

what? no main roles???

NKfell · 15/07/2015 12:59

DS is nominated for "Outstanding Pupil" and to be honest, I'm chuffed! It's voted for by the kids and that makes it extra special.

DS isn't particularly clever but he tries hard, is very polite and friendly and he's good at team sports. He's only 6 and considering he spends a lot of time in class with his hand up because he doesn't know the answers, it's nice to see that the fact he tries hard and is well behaved is being recognised.

Pleasepassthewine · 15/07/2015 13:08

YANBU - I too am the parent of an overlooked child. He was at this school for six years. Other children were constantly praised, given awards, certificates etc but not my DS. He has ASD and tbh they didn't want him, just the funding his statement brought. He tried so hard. I spoke to school about it, asked if he could miss the awards one year as he was in tears - they said no! So he had to sit through it and watch the same few children be praised, year after year. School simply didn't give a shit! He was crushed. Anyway we had to move with DHs job, new school fresh start. Within a couple of weeks DS was 'mathematician of the week' . All I ever wanted was for him to be treated fairly, it not too much to ask is It?

Dancergirl · 15/07/2015 13:10


Come off Facebook for starters. Anyone who posts bragging stuff about their dc just makes me cringe.

How do you define 'unfair' OP? The vast majority of children won't get an award throughout their school life. It doesn't mean they haven't worked hard or done well etc. It's important to teach dc to accept not getting an award with good grace but to let them know you are proud of them.

0x530x610x750x630x79 · 15/07/2015 13:31

Thanks. If they were for effort and achievement by the children I wouldn't be at all bitter.

completely agree, there was recently a competiotion in our village to decorate something, the 4 year old child who won, is either sooo talented he will be a famous artist by 12 OR his parents helped an awful lot. Whereas my 4 year olds offering was a right mess :)

G1veMeStrength · 15/07/2015 13:38

I define 'unfair' as school sending a letter home about the project and stating that it must be the children's work. Parents of team then having a 'parents meeting' one even to plan the project, using resources from their jobs that other children don't have access to.

Kind of like the task was 'Build a model of a plane using junk'. Winning team's parents include an aircraft designer who takes them into her office and trains them in CAD, and Dad is the presenter of Scrapheap Challenge.

OP posts:
G1veMeStrength · 15/07/2015 13:39

'one evening'

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Casimir · 15/07/2015 13:42

This is ideal life lessoning. Effort and achievement only sometimes correspond to reward in life. Except in sport. oops, forgot Lance Armstrong.

Icantbelieveitsnotbutter · 15/07/2015 13:48

My son left primary school 3 years ago.
They had an awards evening too. The same child won 4 trophies.

The winners were the ones who were always picked for the best parts in plays etc...

They even had a trophy for most money raised for the school!

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