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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:
TheHormonalHooker · 16/07/2015 00:00

They've just done the awards at DS2's 6th form. In one of his subjects he dropped one mark in his AS exam last year, the teacher has been telling us for the past 2 years he is "gifted" at it and should be doing it at degree level. The best in subject award went to another pupil who got an E in her AS exam, and the effort award went to someone else. [comfused]

DS2, along with another pupil, arranged a leavers' do at the end of exams. They collected all the money, sorted the venue, food, disco, etc. never got a mention.

When DS1 left school at the end of Yr11 he won awards, he was their top performing boy at GSCE so they couldn't not really. When they were reading out what the year had achieved they said "the English dept. won the County Young Writer of the year two years running, and went on to win the a Regional Young Writer of the year in X year." I was really annoyed at that, because DS1 won that with his work, not the fecking English Dept and they couldn't even mention his name.

I'm glad I'm out of this award ceremony crap now. I don't think they've ever been fair, especially to the quiet, well behaved, hard working children.

Maryz · 16/07/2015 00:30

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

TheHormonalHooker · 16/07/2015 00:57

Neither of ours got a detention, suspended, put on report, or an incident sheet either Maryz. I hate the fact that a lot of schools don't give some of the great kids a bit of a pat on the back or a well done.

But at the end of the day I think fuck 'em. My kids are intelligent enough to see through the bollocks that these awards really are. It's the younger ones, and those that can't, who I feel sorry for.

ByronBaby · 16/07/2015 01:51

Don't look at FB, don't presume that you know the whole story behind why a particular child has won an award and prepare your children for life's disappointments. Emailing the HT will make no difference to the outcome and to be honest, you just embarrass yourself. And 'having a word' with a teacher is simply sour grapes. I think you need to get over yourself to be truthful. Children and some adults should learn that we need to be glad for other people when something nice happens to them and not sad for ourselves - oh, and life is rarely 'fair'.

chaiselounger · 16/07/2015 07:32

Most of these school awards are really wrong. But I think it's pointless complaining.

DontOpenDeadInside · 16/07/2015 08:26

I think the way dds school did the leavers awards was a good way. They did the "big" awards such as maths, english, high SATS result, pupil of the year, but then they did smaller awards like friendship, school service etc where 4-5 kids got one but usually including one of the "high flier" kids so it doesn't seem meaningless iyswim. So every kids got at least 1. 1 child got 7 and one 5. But the kids are all really supportive of each other and don't feel hard done by. When the pupil of the year got their award, my dd was chuffed for them!

addicted2cake · 16/07/2015 08:35

It's the same with the house points system at my ds's school. He is in the middle of the road group for most things, I feel that this group are heavily overlooked. The top children get praise and lots of house points all the time, the ones at the bottom get praise for improving and house points for that, my ds and some of his friends are good kind kids who try hard but this is not recognised and as a consequence he won't receive his certificate for getting 100 hps as he he hasn't got them! Grrrrr

Lancelottie · 16/07/2015 09:06

TheHormonalHooker, we've just had something very similar to your 'English department' winning prizes. DD took part in a competition to design a piece of artwork for a public space, submitted via school art club, and had her design picked. The school have chalked it up, in the school magazine and local paper, to 'the combined efforts of our wonderful art club, run by our lovely Mrs X'.

Humph, grr, etc. DD is philosophical about this and says they probably did it to encourage the others in the club. Plus, it would never have happened without 'lovely Mrs X'; fair enough, I suppose. It would just have been nice for (overlooked, middlish) DD to get some credit for once.

DontOpenDeadInside · 16/07/2015 09:17

Forgot to say, there was also trophies for most improved.

jeee · 16/07/2015 09:28

I'm 42. And I'm still bitter about the fourth year History prize. I was top of the year in the exam. That prize was mine. Mine, I tell you. Only they gave it to someone else.

I got the only A in GCSE the year after. And I got the only A at A level.

Follow my lead, OP, and encourage your child to bear a grudge for the next three decades.

WhattodowithMum · 16/07/2015 09:37

It's a hard balance to strike. Giving enough awards to spread the glory, but not to cheapen the awards because there are too many. Recognising effort but also achievement. Some areas are necessarily subjective and therefore never completely fair.

It's not perfect at our school, but there is an awards night that you are only invited to if you are receiving an award in the first place. That helps a bit. You may not get the award you want, but you will get something. And those receiving nothing don't have to sit and politely clap for an hour for other children.

Dancergirl · 16/07/2015 09:42

jeee at my dd's secondary school they give subject badges at the end of the year. One badge per subject per year group. One of the teachers said they are awarded for many different reasons and not always because a student excels in a particular subject.

It could be the History prize was awarded to someone who made the most progress rather than someone who has always been top.

Dancergirl · 16/07/2015 09:44

Neither of ours got a detention, suspended, put on report, or an incident sheet either Maryz. I hate the fact that a lot of schools don't give some of the great kids a bit of a pat on the back or a well done

Sorry but not getting a detention is not something schools should be awarding. Are you honestly saying you want recognition for your child not getting into trouble?? These are things which should be expected as a very minimum.

jeee · 16/07/2015 09:56

Dancergirl, I don't want someone giving a reasonable explanation. I want to indulge my grudge. After all, I've held it for 28 years. And I've no intention of being remotely reasonable about it now Grin.

Dancergirl · 16/07/2015 09:58

Fair enough jeee Grin

bettysviolin · 16/07/2015 10:01

I hate them too. One DS wins every prize going. The other wins nothing or the equivalent of: It's July and you haven't yet been Star of the Week all year despite class bully getting it three times in one term. Here you are - have a certificate for being nice at carpet time. (Yr6.) The effect is that DS2 quite rightly doesn't give a toss about awards. He's learning that enjoying what you do and doing it well to please yourself is the thing to focus on.

TheHormonalHooker · 16/07/2015 10:05

Read my 2 posts Dancer. DS2 should have got the best in subject award where he only dropped one mark in his AS exam because he was, well, the best! The kids wouldn't have got a leavers' do had it not have been for him and his friend but they didn't even get a mention.

I don't think they should get an award for behaving as they should, but when children get them who don't it's a kick in the teeth!

morelikeguidelines · 16/07/2015 10:05

This is always a load of crap and gets people upset on here. I have spent time making sure dd doesn't take awards too seriously for this reason.

Her two mates got awards this term (it's about four people per term) and upset her a bit by bragging about it. She had completely forgotten that she got one last term. She doesn't brag about stuff herself so I think that was what upset her more than not getting an award. But of course she would never have got one again.

Lurkedforever1 · 16/07/2015 10:36

Dds school seem to give them out as a form of encouragement, like a physical manifestation of their hopes, so the badly behaved child gets the behavior one, the pain gets the helpful one etc. Since about y4 though, according to dd the kids debate it afterwards and reorganise in their minds who should have actually got what, so in effect they would all have had awards still at various times if they'd actually been given out accurately in the first place.
It also needs to be aknowledged that if you're encouraging the child that's struggling in any area, by default you are discouraging the child that doesn't struggle. We're basically saying it's not fair if the child who finds it hard never wins, but as a child that finds it easy you should just suck up the unfairness of not winning. You can't expect young children to reason through why it's done like that, 6yr olds don't think 'actually the fact I find it easy to behave well/ achieve academially/ succeed at sports will ultimately serve me better than just trying hard and not coming up to what society deems an acceptable level' they just think 'Next term I'll misbehave/ say I don't understand/ play badly and then I'll get it'.
I do think kids need to lose, but not the current trend where only some kids are expected to suck up losing when they actually haven't.
I think for every effort award there should be an achievement award to at least even it up if we're going to con children into believing life doesn't involve losing

WhattodowithMum · 16/07/2015 11:01

My DD's sports team does something like that:

They have a player of the year award (achievement)
They have a most improved award (improvement)
They have a player's player award (voted for by teammates)
They have something else that I can't remember!

It's a nice balance. Still not everyone gets an award, but everyone is in with a chance on some terms and everyone understands the difference. The kids understand which award is for trying hard, which award is for sheer talent which award is for being a good sports person. It's clear and they are all valued. Our school could learn a thing or two.

unlucky83 · 16/07/2015 11:01

Trying not to out myself here - but several years ago I was quite junior and my boss was an alcoholic. They had a reputation as a 'leader' in our field. (They had a good back up team -including me!).
There was a competition (silly PR thing) for the best X - all the top companies in our field had been asked to enter. I was good at it, I made the X to my 'design'. It won. Officially it was the company that won but my boss had gone to the event and took the credit, not acknowledge me at all. It still rankles a little...but then I wouldn't like the attention.
(But I know I achieved it ... that counts for something! And it was actually a lesson learned)
I'm ashamed that a number of years later (as a mature student) I won the 'best A level science student' at a college and I didn't really care - didn't bother to go to the ceremony....this thread has made me realise that was probably insulting to the college and other students Blush.

SomethingFunny · 16/07/2015 11:14

Schools should have a reward for best behaved child. Every sitting nicely at carpet time, lining up quietly, getting on with your work, eating nicely at lunchtime etc. could be rewarded with a point and the child with the most points at the end of the year could get the prize.

I think that would be a really good way of making sure the quiet, well behaved and normally overlooked children get an award.

ValancyJane · 16/07/2015 11:23

I remember never getting the awards at school (I was nice, quiet, polite, hardworking etc) - it didn't really bother me because my Mum would always treat me to something when I got reports etc, plus I hated being the centre of attention anyway so really wasn't massively fussed. I remember not being meant to go on a trip in Year 8 as I hadn't got many credits (I really wasn't interested in collecting them - and I did get overlooked!) - my form tutor was furious on my behalf, wrote that I'd got the pre-requisite 100 on her form, and told me in no uncertain terms that I WOULD be going on the reward trip!

I had to choose a 'star of the year' from my form to get a token and some chocolate in assembly this week (secondary school) and I did deliberately go for a lovely girl who is quiet, well behaved, always organised and probably does get overlooked in comparison to some of her equally lovely but louder friends, but is always doing the right thing and has never been a bit of trouble. I'm hoping she will be pleased! Sometimes though, the problem is there are SO MANY of the lovely kids who are always doing the right thing, you can't always reward them all (though I do try to tell them often that they're stars and it doesn't go unnoticed!) - I can think of at least ten in my form who I could have put down for that award.

Lurkedforever1 · 16/07/2015 11:57

valancy raises a good point. In that example of the star award, you're sending the message to them all, including the more difficult children that you do value good attitude etc, and that while the other 9 haven't got it this time they do stand a chance in future, as does anybody else who consistently display the same qualities. But unfortunately you can only give it to one.
By contrast if it was given to the usually bad pupil that behaved once or twice, you send the message out that you take the behavior of the rest for granted, you don't value either them or their attitude and that they will never stand a chance of being awarded it

jeee · 16/07/2015 12:21

I'm a bit meh about a good behaviour reward. In theory, I think it's a good thing. In practice, I think it's likely to go to the person who in the words of a Tom Lehrer song, is careful not to do your good deeds, when there's no one watching you.

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