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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:
Kaekae · 16/07/2015 12:23

Difficult one. My son has previously attended a school where they seemed to reward the children who were always misbehaving - if they showed an improvement the following day they got a reward/certificate. It got to the point where my quiet laid back child who just got on with his work and caused no issues just went under the radar. It was unfair, he went a whole year waiting and working hard for this one particular certificate and never got one, even though some children had received it twice?! How can that be?! He actually asked me whether he needed to be naughty to get a certificate!

At his new school they reward children who have been good all year and this is monitored. Of course, those parents whose children have been given warnings and detentions don't like this. There does need to be a fair balance. All children need some form of encouragement and praise, but from my experience the quiet children are usually the ones who go unoticed. I think it must be really difficult for teachers, they can't please everyone and there are so many children per class nowadays!

Twugaroon · 16/07/2015 12:25

It may be better just to forget the whole system, and to praise children from day to day as they do well/try hard.

amothersplaceisinthewrong · 16/07/2015 12:27

Do kids really want a "sitting nicely on the mat" award. I mean, really???? My kids would have rather received no awards than things like that.

What is it with this prizes for all culture that pervades schools.

Kaekae · 16/07/2015 12:39

Some of the rewards systems at my daughters nursery were awful, the children had no idea how they were supposed to gain points to reach a "pot of gold" at the end. I remember walking in to the classroom and seeing that some children only had 15 points leading up to this pot of gold while others had 50! How can one 4 year old have gained 50 points and then another only 15? This type of system just ends up seeming pointless because it is ultimately doing the complete opposite to what it is trying to achieve.

TheCuriousOwl · 16/07/2015 12:41

OK I was the kid who won all the awards at the end of the year.

I worked hard. I liked working. I still do, total workaholic. I was clever and academic (not sporty in the slightest although have had odd moments of trying hard just to prove to myself I could...)

At school I was bullied from the age of 7 to the age of 16 for being 'a boff', etc. Because I got good marks if I ever didn't get 100% on a test I wouldn't hear the end of it from my classmates for weeks. They used to make me cry if I didn't know the answer to something or if I didn't get the best in the class; I didn't care about being the best, I just wanted to be good enough in my own eyes and do 'well' not be 'the best'. But I was horribly bullied and my teachers said clearly nothing was wrong as my schoolwork wasn't suffering.

So when I got to secondary school and I got chosen for things or given awards, actually it was a bit of recognition that somewhere along the line it was worth it. Because when you're 14, and wish you were actually dead (start of major mental health decline), you would much rather be average and overlooked than singled out for abuse because you happened to be a girl and clever. Needless to say the boys in the same position were not picked on like I was.

I'm not saying it's right, and I think that schools (and parents!!) should be teaching children that prizes aren't everything and there are a lot of other ways to measure success. But there's other ways to look at it than 'the kids who get the awards don't deserve it'.

cornflakegirl · 16/07/2015 13:19

Our school does mini awards through the year. Younger DS has had two - both for mini projects that we have done at home on the topics that he was studying at school that term (and then taken in to share with the teacher / class). So basically he's had awards for having a pushy mother. I know he's doing well, and his teacher really likes him, so I try to take it as a good thing. But it does make me a bit sad that they aren't rewarding him for stuff that he has done at school. He's made really good progress this year, and he tries hard and is a lovely, friendly boy. Isn't there something in there to celebrate?

Littleham · 16/07/2015 13:20

It is the other way round at my dc's school. The ones that behave & get top grades get nothing.

Marynary · 16/07/2015 13:30

I have noticed that some children do constantly get overlooked for awards whilst others are unfairly favoured (particularly children of teachers and school governors, in my experience). It probably isn't deliberate but if it continues, I think that it would be a good idea to politely tell the class teacher that your child feels overlooked at the next parents evening. I did that a couple of years ago and it made a difference.

MsGee · 16/07/2015 13:50

I have some sympathy with you OP. On the surface my child is often overlooked as she is shy and keeps her head down. Normally she only gets the headteachers award in June when they realise that some kids haven't received one at all. Normally its a BS reason like 'trying hard at everything'. This year she hasn't had one at all which makes me a little sad.

However, being rational I realise that it might well be better not to get one than to get one just to even things out. She has had a tough year and struggled academically so I can see that they might not have reason to reward her. But I wish that they would reward where she has done well in other areas - overcoming her anxiety, going on a school trip that she was really scared about, taking part in the school play, even though she had nightmares about it.

Twugaroon · 16/07/2015 14:39

Hasn't your DC already been rewarded for those things, MsGee? If she enjoyed being on the school trip and enjoyed being in the play and the applause and well dones she got at the end of it, weren't they the real rewards that she deserved for confronting her fears?
My DD made a lot of progress at school this year, performed really well in several concerts, did really well academically, got no prizes, nearly all her friends got one and one of them got 6. Neither I nor she could give a hoot about that. She's aware of and proud of what she's achieved. The real rewards, eg feeling that you're starting to understand a subject you struggled with before, the achievement of learning a part in the school play and not forgetting it on the night even though you were nervous, etc etc, are what really counts. Forget the certificates.

Superexcited · 16/07/2015 15:55

It is the other way round at my dc's school. The ones that behave & get top grades get nothing.

Yes, that's how it is at my child's school too. The children who constantly misbehave get awards for a few mins good behaviour whilst the children who are good all of the time get no recognition for their good behaviour. It's the same for academic achievement - those who constantly get good grades and work hard get no recognition.

JaWellNoFine · 16/07/2015 16:20

Oh.. I don't even worry anymore.

I just tell ds to do his best and that in reality, when his 30, nobody is going to give a flying fuck what awards he got when he was 10. However what he will have is an ability to deal with disappointment and life is full of those. The ability to get back up and try again. And he will be better off for it at the end of the day.

PiperIsTerrysChoclateOrange · 16/07/2015 16:25

I always read my DC reports to them ( what the teacher and head teacher say)

To me that is enough,

lem73 · 16/07/2015 16:30

Ja well said.

Lurkedforever1 · 16/07/2015 17:06

Kids do feel unfairness though, and I just hate the current trend of it being disheartening for the child that struggles to ever win, so bless we'll just expect the child that actually did to suck up the unfairness instead. As an adult I get why it's done, but small children don't think of the massive advantage they may already have, they just think not fair. Dd doesn't particularly care about being acknowledged as the best in the area she is in her class, but certainly under the age of 8 she'd be understandably upset if someone else was given the award for being best in the area she knew she actually was. If they'd labelled it effort fair enough, but calling it achievement and awarding it to the struggling child/ one that cries when they don't win etc isn't on.

Longtalljosie · 17/07/2015 12:51

I think for the child that gets the award for effort / improved behaviour, it's probably an effective thing to do. But when the girl who'd been consistently horrid to my DD for two terms got a star of the week award for being kind (presumably she'd managed to keep a lid on it for five days) it did make DD feel confused, and as though the teachers didn't really understand what was going on.

Basketofchocolate · 17/07/2015 13:06

Trying hard not to rant about 'attendance' certificates given out in DS's infants to those with 100% attendance.

DS got upset in Yr R as didn't get one due to essential hospital appts (not docs that can arrange outside school) and one day off for tummy bug that caught from others in the class. Now he knows they're a load of b***ks and doesn't care.

user1465892746 · 14/06/2016 09:30

Awards are supposed to be the self-esteem and confidence booster. It’s not supposed to drag or be unfair to the children. Have you talked to the school administration about this?

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