My feed

to access all these features


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:
Fannyupcrutch · 15/07/2015 20:57

I think its importnat that schools run these things fairly but at the same time I can see how kids can think it's unfair. I remember when I started working in a school setting, one of the children had very severe behavioural issues and would trash the class room, spit, swear etc. Then one day we had a special event that really engaged the children and involved them, that one child smiled the entire day and was a pleasure to have. They completed their work and didn't make a single step out of line. I had no issue at all in recommending that child for the weekly SEAL award despite the fact that other children may have worked harder for longer etc. And that award given in an assembly made the word of difference and the behaviour improved for around 3 weeks.

On the other 4 children are all very high achievers. My autistic son is very gifted in maths and science and has won the maths award at senior school and is involved in dramatics and public speaking. My youngest daughter is simply fab, the youngest in her year2 group and academically is leaps and bounds above her fellow students. Her confidence is amazing and she was given the lead in the school play last year and is the go to girl for biggest parts in all school performances. She is very recognised for her efforts and always has a certificate, star of the week etc. I do feel that she is a little blase about it now, it seems to come to her so easily that she ( like her older brother) doesn't really see it as anything but what they would normally do! I would like to see other children getting recognised a little more. ( but im still a very proud mum!)

It's very difficult to say how it's fair and I know some children must really struggle with it. I think the awards ceremony at home is genius! I may do that myself.

downgraded · 15/07/2015 21:00

Wow what a bitter op.

We have award for progress and one for academic achievement. There are max four awards per year group per year.

That's an awful lot of "overlooked" kids. Except that's kind of the point isn't it? Who wants a prize if everyone gets one just for being there?

Zippitydodah · 15/07/2015 21:10

I can understand how you feel. My 7 year old told me he was rubbish and would never win anything the morning after giving out cups - X would always be better at English and Y would always be better at Maths.

He cried because he felt he was not good enough in the eyes of the school (not because his friends won cups - he was actually pleased by this).

I felt very sad

threenotfour · 15/07/2015 21:33

Yes I agree. My DD will never achieve any of the awards that the school give decent prizes for as she is simply not clever enough. She can try as hard as she likes but her ability will prevent her and enable children with a much higher ability to win these prizes. She receives prizes for effort such as house points and the occasional certificate but so do lots of children with all abilities in the school. She then never gets the chance to stand out or achieve anything not achieved by other students. She is not academic, musical, or creative. She is kind, loving and practical. These are wonderful qualities but none that are celebrated within the school. I don't have a problem with her not winning prizes but I think the negative effect that it has on children who are not celebrated as they achieve less academically is serevely overlooked.

threenotfour · 15/07/2015 21:37

downgraded - The op doesn't sound bitter at all. She has a problem which she is explaining. It's a AIBU chat board. What do you expect?
Your school sounds a lot better organised as they have only 4 awards per year group. That makes sense to me. Our school has awards and prizes constantly. They only focus on the higher achievers and it's extremely frustrating.

downgraded · 15/07/2015 21:47

But Zippetty there is very likely to always be someone better - what should the school do?

downgraded · 15/07/2015 21:56

I don't know why we frigging bother looking at this thread.

So, according to MN, there are too many/not enough awards which only go to the good/naughty kids and only the academic/sporty ones ever get recognised.

Damned if you do, damned if you don't.

Vickisuli · 15/07/2015 22:05

Haven't read all the posts but I think it is ok to award kids who have shown particular progress, and ones who have achieved highly, though there will always be people who think their kid must have tried just as hard and should have got an award, but as many have said, you can't always win in life.

At our school they have lots of different types of awards - for sporting achievements, academic achievements, effort, achieving in spite of adversity. A fairly small number get these. Also they have Citizenship awards where kids have to have shown various different things over the year like determination / caring / kindness / fairness etc. Again, not that many can be bothered to fill in the booklet and find examples of when they did all these things.

Throughout the year there are star of the week awards which get spread through the class so everyone ends up getting recognised for something they did well.

The only awards I really object to are the ones they give for 100% attendance. All that is doing is saying, "Hey, well done, you haven't been ill all year!" Surely that's the lucky kids? They didn't choose not to be ill did they, just like the ones who were ill didn't choose it either. Term time holidays and truancy are a completely different issue. If they awarded all the people with 100% attendance APART from sickness, it would be most of the school. This kind of award also encourages kids to want to go to school when sick, which then spreads their sickness around others.

DeeWe · 15/07/2015 22:23

It isn't a real prize, and they realise pretty quickly, if they all get one. I remember being rather embarrassed bemused by receiveing a 5m swimming certificate in year 5, which clearly (looking back) was entirely given to make sure everyone had a prize.
I was bemused because I'd got my 800m aged 6yo.
I was really somewhat embarrassed because I knew that I hadn't had to work at all at it, and other children had really had to work at it. I really would have preferred not to have it, and had nothing.

In year 6 they had about a dozen cups for various things from academic, sports, music, but also things like caring, effort and more subjective ones .
They had a rule that no one could have more than one cup, which is fair enough.
However in my year there was one child who had been top in both sets of exams and had achieved the furthest in musical instruments (which was how they usually awared both). So the person who was second got the academic cup, and pleased though they were, at the same time they knew that they'd only got it because the person who "should" couldn't. Difficult really.

I don't have a problem with 100% attendance. Some children are lucky, but actually for some it is an achievement. Dd1 has had 100% for the last 6 years. Dd2 and ds will never achieve it as they have medical appointments and also have conditions that mean they miss due to illness too.
But dd1 does work hard at her attendance. This year she went in for a week with toothache, and she had a bug over a weekend that she had recovered but was still pale and wan and I'd have happily phoned her in sick, but she decided she wanted to go in. She had about 3 days where she came home and went to bed, but was determined to keep going through school. Dd2 and ds would have made the most of those and stayed at home as long as I'd let them.

pontypridd · 15/07/2015 22:26

Our school doesn't give out any awards ever. Parents and children seem happy with that. In fact - I'm wrong - in the infants school they give out attendance awards and that annoys most parents. But there are no awards for anything else ...

SarfEasticatedMumma · 15/07/2015 22:26

At my DD's school they have citizenship awards each week where children are rewarded for being nice, kind and decent. I really like that these traits are valued, and all the children seem to get one at some point during the term.

pontypridd · 15/07/2015 22:30

Yes. That's a good idea Sarf. I wouldn't mind if our school did that. But I'm glad it doesn't do the other awards people are mentioning here.

lem73 · 15/07/2015 22:34

As I tell my dcs, the 'same old faces' who win awards every year won't necessarily do well in the real world. My db won awards every year because he was always the golden boy (I'm not at all bitter ????) and grew up to be an arrogant entitled twat. I never won anything at school but won every award possible at university because it was based on merit, not having a face that fitted. Actually my middle child is that kind of person. He always seems to win things and be picked for everything at school. We actually warn him not to expect that in the real world.

Singsongsung · 15/07/2015 22:41

When my dd started reception she was a fluent reader- the only one in the class. She reads every day, always has. She didn't go onto the reading scheme and was a 'free reader' from day 1. She never, not once, got the 'Reader of the week award' which always went to those who were still on Biff and Chip.
I tell her regularly that teachers generally award those who need awarding and that actually, working hard at school as she does will bring her huge rewards in the long run.

fitnessforlife · 15/07/2015 22:45

Actually my middle child is that kind of person. He always seems to win things and be picked for everything at school. We actually warn him not to expect that in the real world.

do you congratulate him at all?

lem73 · 15/07/2015 22:50

Of course Hmm. It amazes me how people on MN can nitpick. I don't want him to take things for granted.

chocolatespiders · 15/07/2015 23:00

This was me last year when DD was in year 6- my daughter was a high achiever in football, cricket and Athletics, The football and cricket team were involved in the County finals and did very well and my dd scored the majority of the goals in the football. At the end of year awards the PE teacher said she was only awarding boys with sports awards for that particular year Shock
My dd who struggles in everything except sport was so disappointed and I really feel it would have done her confidence the world of good going up into secondary school.
Its a shame really as she hasnt done as well since moving schools but I guess more kids means greater competition.

I did write to the head teacher and voice my disappointment in the fact that no girls were recognised for sport in the awards when 2 teams had achieved do highly. Sadly I did not get a reply Sad

Greenrememberedhills · 15/07/2015 23:05

One of my kids tends to win things. He was very funny once in primary school as they had a badge system and he had the penultimate one and was a couple of points off the top. I asked him if he planned to work to get a couple of extra points by the end of term.

He said "oh no mummy, I can't be bothered! You have to be naughty and then good again, and I can't be bothered!"

LePetitPrince · 15/07/2015 23:12

I feel your pain OP. I think the whole awards system is terrible for young children. Our school gives term awards so we go through this 3 times a year but the awards evening in summer is the worst by far. You get sports, best improver, a "values" style award and child of the year. Every year my kids end the term gutted that they haven't won yet again despite showing "value X" or whatever.

Frankly I would prefer the old system of maths, English etc based on results as at least it's something you can explain to a 6 year old.

My school had no rewards and was all the better for it.

MamaMotherMummy · 15/07/2015 23:17


I received countless prizes throughout school through no effort on my part, just because I found academics easy. It never did me any good except made me feel I was 'oh so clever', and made my friends feel inferior although they worked much harder than me. I was bored stiff during most lessons. Stupid, stupid school.

fitnessforlife · 15/07/2015 23:17

lem73 Not nitpicking. Your post didn't exactly present a balanced view.

WankerDeAsalWipe · 15/07/2015 23:22

At my sons primary the only awards ever given were to the sporty kids or ones in the football team etc.

Nothing for academic achievement to the point where DS2 came 1st in the region in a maths competition (first time anyone in the school has ever placed) and he didn't even get a mention . DS1 came 2nd in a chess competition in the first year the school had entered - no mention. I am sure my children aren't alone in this but I only have my own examples

ciyoa · 15/07/2015 23:32

I have issues with this at school.
There are up to 6 certificates (highly coveted) given per class per term. Many children in DNS yr 4 class have received it more than twice, only 3-4 never received. Did talks regularly about aiming for one. Never had one. These are for effort, trying your best, caring attitude etc, all subjective criteria.
Why on earth would you award the same child 3-4 times and a very few not at all?
All children are individuals with their own abilities. Where is diversity taken into account
. I have sadly had to often explain to my ADHD dd that he's trying her best may not always be recognised as such comparatively but WE know how hard she tries to bring herself back to task. Sadly she already notices that she gets negative comments for being distracted but no one notices how often she manages to re focus

avote4commonsense · 15/07/2015 23:39

So welcome to a lesson in life then. Life isn't fair. It's good for children to learn that quite often you can work extremely hard and get sh@t on from a small height. Wait til they get to the workplace! Or wait until you become a mother in fact! Honestly get over yourself and start to help your kids live in the real world.

ciyoa · 15/07/2015 23:48

So much compassion on this thread.
I am proud to be an idealist and do not think we should simply accept that 'life isn't fair' and 'live in the real world'. I think we should be trying to change the inequalities we see, one at a time.
Yep, I really am that naive ????????

Please create an account

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.