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AIBU to think that Graduating from Reception class isn't really a thing?

44 replies

Est2011 · 15/07/2015 11:39

So, my friend's child has just "Graduated" from their reception class. AIBU to think this is a bit silly? I'm all for celebrating success and enjoying our children's achievements, but I don't see what the achievement is in moving from reception class to year 1 - if I am missing something then please do point it out to me!

This also makes me think I'm not sure we are helping our children in having 'everyone's a winner' days instead of sports days. I don't see what's wrong with some healthy competition and learning about sportsmanship. I think it also helps children to learn that they don't have to be good at everything.

By celebrating non-achievements and by telling children they excel at everything they do, are we setting them up to deal with real life? Also, if we have Child A who is very good at sports but not academic, yet on sports day everyone wins regardless, are we diminishing Child A's strengths and achievements? Are we telling them they are not good at anything?

I think every child should be celebrated for their achievements and what they do best, be it sports, academia, or for having huge EQ!

OP posts:

TychosNose · 15/07/2015 11:42

It's just a bit of fun for little kids. none of the parents in dds reception class took it that seriously.


bonzo77 · 15/07/2015 11:46

YANBU. These children will grow up expecting a big fanfare at every non-event. No one fails to "graduate" from reception.


CoogerAndDark · 15/07/2015 11:48

It's part of the transition to Yr1 and slightly more formal education


VacantExpression · 15/07/2015 11:49

If they are ordering Limos and made to measure frocks then YANBU at all, that's ridiculous.
A bit of a party atmosphere, bye bye reception, aren't we getting big, its just a bit of fun for them and it is a big deal for them me . Not sure about the term "graduate" though.

Everyone's a winner sports days- rubbish. I'm glad our school is a competitive one (and neither of my kids will ever get on the podium!)


CherryBonBon · 15/07/2015 11:50


It's just another stupid Americanism that the UK has adopted.


WorraLiberty · 15/07/2015 11:51

I've not heard of graduation from Reception class.

However, WRT sports days, the earlier years are spent team building and developing new skills.

It's not about competition until they're a bit older and I think that's a good thing.

Plenty of time to compete once they've been taught those skills.


JohnFarleysRuskin · 15/07/2015 11:55

We have graduation from pre-school.

We have leavers assembly for reception.

We have big ceremony at end of term football club - for er doing football.

In Juniors, if they attend clubs, they get to have a graduation ceremony (with the children's university.)

I think its all a load of shite.


ginghambunny · 15/07/2015 12:01

I'm not keen on a lot of Americanisms, but graduating from reception is just a bit of cute silliness

You could argue that it normalises the idea of graduation for them and will help them to aspire to higher education when they're older


Est2011 · 15/07/2015 12:03

Glad to see it's not just me.

I'm all for them having a leaving party or disco, I think it's great the kids can enjoy an end of year party (I love an excuse for a party, as do my kids!), I just think terms like graduation and other such achievements should be used correctly. If it's not adding any value to the children it's unnecessary to have a ceremony, just have a party. If it's taken too seriously by all parties involved then children don't appreciate the value of it going forward when it's much more difficult to achieve. Almost like setting them up to fail.

I've not thought of sports days in a team-building aspect or building blocks for basic skills before, perhaps that is what's trying to be achieved. For my children I'd like them to have the competition as I think it's great for them to cheer on their friends and celebrate the winning of others. As well as learn to try their best, they might not win but they can still have fun.

OP posts:

Est2011 · 15/07/2015 12:08

And of course if they do win, that's great too!

OP posts:

Vagndidit · 15/07/2015 12:19

"Graduation" from reception makes absolutely no sense. It's not like they're going anywhere.

While I think it's a bit silly, graduation from pre-school/nursery or even Y11 makes much more sense. That's a big transition, and many children go off in different directions afterward.

Personally, I'd rather see the faff and melodrama surrounding the end of primary school done away with.

Signed, The American


Vagndidit · 15/07/2015 12:23

And as for the argument that graduation from preschool, reception and the like diminishes the importance of a proper graduation down the line---Like they remember what happened when they were 4. FFS, people.

I suffered through a pre-school, kindergarden, 8th grade "graduations" before properly finishing high school and university--and none of the previous celebrations made the "Big" ones any less special.


Heels99 · 15/07/2015 12:26

At least 50% of the class statistically will never actually graduate so let them enjoy these parties and call them what they like


HeadDreamer · 15/07/2015 12:34

It's just a bit of fun.


NewFlipFlops · 15/07/2015 12:38

It's ludicrous.


Spartans · 15/07/2015 12:41

I can't say you are bu. But I think it is a bigish thing. It's transition into formal education. I think the transfer from reception to year 1 is a big deal for a lot of kids.

But I feel kind 'meh' about it. Not fussed either way


hazeyjane · 15/07/2015 12:44

My ds is having a little 'end of reception tea party' - he has achieved a huge amount in reception, although he is 'emerging' on every level except on verbal speech, where he is still on Early Years levels of 8-20 months.

He came last in every race in sports day, his teacher carried her on her shoulders for the end of the whole school race because his legs gave way and he couldn't stand up - everyone in the whole school cheered his name. He has his medal hanging up over his bed, along with his head teachers award for the achievements of his first year at school.

Ds is disabled, it is unlikely he will come first on sports day, or win any great academic reward in life. But he is a valued member of his MS school and all the achievements he makes, which may seem tiny to others, are HUGE to him. I am really glad that they have these little celebrations, that remind us to take pride in what we achieve, and that school can be fun. Life lessons don't always have to be about how harsh life can be.


thegreylady · 15/07/2015 12:47

I'd never heard of it. Here they just get to go into the 'big playground' for half an hour with the year sixes.


swimmerforlife · 15/07/2015 12:51

YANBU. This isn't a America, you don't graduate anything other than University.

I hate the fact we have to celebrate everything these days, everything warrants a party or "graduation". Whatever happened to moving up and getting on with it?!


Athousandtrees · 15/07/2015 12:56

YANBU!! My FB time line has been inundated with pictures of little kids in strange shiny gowns and mortar boards!

Im all for celebrating an achievement but I don't think gowns/mortar boards are necessary!


Lilicat1013 · 15/07/2015 13:01

I am not keen on the whole graduating thing but a celebration seems nice, my son's school have taken then all out on a picnic today with is a lovely treat and a nice way to celebrate.

With regard to sports day I don't really support a no winners one but I also think it needs to remembered that all children don't excel in either sports or academics, some don't excel in either. I was terrible at sports and an average student at best, not good at music or anything else where you get celebrations or prizes. I've never won a prize in my life and it was certainly reinforced to me through school I was a bit crap and useless. It didn't do much for my already lacking confidence.

I would like to see more prizes given out in schools that any child could win if they worked for it, probably along the lines of community service or school spirit. I was a well behaved child through my school career helping at the parent's evening, being a 'buddy' for new pupils, helping in the library. It would be nice if things like that were recognised.

Also it would be good if pupils improvement was rewarded. They don't have to be top of the class to have made a fantastic effort and worked really hard.

So I don't think it needs to be no winners/no prizes just a little bit more of a range in how achievement is measured so every child gets a chance to shine.


Ineedtimeoff · 15/07/2015 13:02

DD went to a private nursery that had a primary school teacher and completed her anti and pre-school years there (Scotland). She had attended that nursery since before her first birthday, had slept in cots next to some of the kids and, as you can imagine, had become very close to her small class of friends. Most of the kids attended nursery 8am - 6pm for 5 days a week from a young age. They had a graduation ceremony where they all sang and were presented with a book of their achievements that detailed their developments over the 4 years she attended. Graduation was the appropriate word as they were moving on to different school and on to new challenges.

DD has remained close friends with the group of girls that she went to nursery with. They have such a strong bond. It's really lovely to see.

Moving on to school was such a big thing for them all and I'm glad it was marked in the way it was.

I understand that not all kids have such an intensive nursery/pre-school experience and so may not feel the need to mark it in such a way, but for DD it was the right thing to.


KellyElly · 15/07/2015 13:20

It's a bit of fun for the kids. They like it. I personally see it as a complete non issue.


Nurserywindow · 15/07/2015 13:25

It depends how seriously it's taken. If it's just cardboard hats and a bit of a laugh that's fine. If it's treated very seriously with lots of rehearsing and so on then yes, it's silly and making too much of a relatively minor event.
Kids need to be able to distinguish between important and unimportant events and 'achievements', and turning everything into a circus doesn't help with that process.


Butkin · 15/07/2015 14:21

At our school all the children attend Speech Day where the serious awards are given out for sporting, academic and pastoral achievement.

All the Kindergarden children do go up on stage though to receive a certificate and shake hands with the head master. It may be the only time the get to experience this and it's all part of the ethos of preparing them for life in the spotlight - rather like having all the School Captains reading out their match reports at assembly from Yr 3 onwards. We don't consider it to be "graduating" though - that's silly.

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