My feed

to access all these features

Join our Primary Education forum to discuss starting school and helping your child get the most out of it.

Primary education

Is anyone else fed up with the way the class trophey/star of the week is worked out?

29 replies

lunamoon2 · 25/04/2009 21:38

Just a small moan in the scheme of things but here goes:

Had parents evening several weeks ago and all was ok. Felt that I had to mention to ds teacher that ds has never won the class trophey (this is given out either for the child who has put in a lot of effort or done well at school that week) and is allegedly supposed to encourage All children and so I would have thought given this that at least once my ds would have won the trophy.
Anyway even my ds has commented on the fact that even though he is regularly the only child in class to be given extra maths sheets and the only one to finish them (he is very bright at maths)he has never got the cup. He also commented on the fact that X got it for taking part in a race, (not winning) when my son is ALWAYS asked to represent the school at every sporting event. Whilst I am under no illusion that he is a perfect angel, why oh why is achievement not recognised why is it only the lower ability children or the ones who can only behave for 5 minutes in the entire week who get the trophy. I even mentioned to the teacher that my ds has started to comment on the fact and therefore there is little incentive for him to try harder. She said that she will note this and make sure he gets the trophey. Anyway, after again representing the school at a team sporting event and being congratulated by the head and other parents on his good sporting nature and fairsportsmanship I thought he might have got the trophey but no it has gone to one of the usual suspects!! By co incidence another parent happened to mention the same thing (her ds is in a different year, and she said that when she raised the subject with another teacher at the school she was told that her ds would not be getting the cup "just because she wanted her ds to get it!!" and her ds has since never got it!

Sorry for long post but I am now feeling that perhaps the teacher was paying lip service to me.
I really don't know what to say to ds when he mentions the subject
btw he is no angel (but not "naughty" either but is doing well in everything.

ps his work is rarely on displace I can guarantee the Girls whose work is on display at EVERY single oparents evening.

Thanks for reading this post.

OP posts:
twinsetandpearls · 25/04/2009 21:41

I think that rather and make this about your child you need to ask the school about their reward policy.

I agree that there is a tendency to reward effort rather than achievement and that too often naughty students get rewarded for behaving for a few seconds, but I think times are changing and both get rewarded.

HumphreyCobbler · 25/04/2009 21:43

Most teachers have a class list and work their way through. I expect that as you have mentioned it your ds will come home with the trophy soon. If not, speak to the teacher again.

lunamoon2 · 25/04/2009 21:57

Thanks for your replies. I don't want it to sound like my child is fantastic or anything but surely they could make something up about helping the school to win at such and such an event etc.
tbh on several occasions I, or his dad, have had to take him after school to these events in our own time, and I am beginning to think well next time they can shove it!!

OP posts:
Stayingsunnygirl · 25/04/2009 22:34

The school needs to encourage all the pupils. I do think that it's difficult for one scheme to reward everything.

My dses infant school used to give out certificates to the pupils - there was a space on the certificate where the teacher had to fill in what it was being given for, and every child got one during the school year - but the parents and children all knew that you got one because it was your turn, and the teachers sometimes had to scratch their heads to find something to give the certificate for.

I preferred the system in the juniors, where each child took it in turn to be Star of the week, and the class contributed to a poster saying what they liked about the star, and what things they thought he/she was particularly good at. I felt that this was positive for the children.

I can see why you are upset - yes, the children who are doing poorly or have behavioural issues need encouragement and lots of praise - but if those who work hard and do well aren't rewarded, they will become demotivated - as the teacher from the other class you mentioned should have realised, rather than fobbing the parent off with that nasty statement 'he's not going to get it just because you want him to'!!

TheFallenMadonna · 25/04/2009 22:37

No. It doesn't bother me at all.

And the Head did congratulate your son on his schievement, so it hasn't gone unremarked. DS swoons with delight if the Head says something nice to him.

lisalisa · 25/04/2009 22:43

I am in a slightly similar situation although my ds doesn't shine at anything particularly but is very well mannered . He does however get disruptive in some lessons and we are working on this and have had a lot of positive feedback from teh school about his effort etc. So you would think ds woudl be the type of child who would get the star of the week in OP's example. but, no. In our school it goes to the very bright or well behaved kids all the time. Ds hasn't had it this year at all. Also thinking of mentioning it as after a while it does have a negative impact with kid thinking " am I really so bad that I can't win star of the week even once?"

loving the idea of taking it inturns and each child making poster about what they like about star of the week chi8ld.

piscesmoon · 25/04/2009 22:50

Generally they make sure that everyone has a go-someone has to be last.

TheFallenMadonna · 25/04/2009 22:53

But quite a few children won't have had it yet this year though will they? Even if they do it in rotation (which I'm pretty sure happens at my DC's school). DS has, DD hasn't. She says, "I'm good, but other people are sometimes better", which I think is almost certainly correct

lunamoon2 · 25/04/2009 23:14

Yes I do understand about the rotation but he never seems to be first in any of the classes. Maybe I am being over sensitive but he dislikes school as it is so he does need all the encouragement he can get.

my dd is at high school and she has pages full of rewards as they do seperate for achievement, attitude, attendance and positve behaviour which seems much fairer.

OP posts:
snorkle · 25/04/2009 23:23

If he already knows he's best at maths as he's the only one doing extra sheets, there's no real need to reward for that and the sports stuff is always noticed by all the kids even without the head highlighting it and is kind of a reward in itself (being in the teams), so I can see that the school would tend to use the trophy to reward other less obvious achievements. That's the message I'd give to him too - tell him the reward usually goes for less obvious things that aren't as fun in themselves as team games and maths sheets, but that you are still fantastically proud of him anyway and that if he continues to do his best at school he stands as good a chance as anyone of winning it in the future. I know it's annoying (have been there too), but not everyone can get the trophy and the distribution will always be subjective and is never going to be completely fair. Don't over worry about it - be happy you have an academically very able child with a lot of sporting ability .

piscesmoon · 26/04/2009 07:13

I would have thought that as he is noticeably the best at maths and is always chosen to represent the school in sport he is already getting accolades and if he is then one of the first to get the trophy then the rest are apt to give up and think there is no point xxxx is the best at everything.
I expect that the teacher wants to encourage a DC who isn't very good at anything. Very often there is a thread on here saying that the same DC gets all the prizes because they are naturally good at everything and it isn't fair!
I prefer something like names in a Gold Book because you can put several names in at a time and get through them quicker. With a trophy or Person of the Week someone always has to wait until last and 30 weeks is a long time to wait!

sarararararah · 26/04/2009 14:18

This is why we don't have a reward or sanction system at all at my school. The subject has been discussed before -here

Lots of people agree with you.

lunamoon2 · 26/04/2009 17:24

Yes I tend to agree with what has been said especially about having a book where lots of children can go in it in any one week, thus reducing the "waiting time". The thing is I am trying to encourage him more in Literacy, he doesn't like writing even though the teacher says there is no cause for concern. But why can't she give him the reward for having a go like she has done for having a go in Pe with kids who don't like that subject?
Just to check I casually asked him last night "Oh who won the trophey this week?" and he replied X for his improved attitude in maths, don't want to sound bitchy but a notoriuosly "difficult" child with "challenging behaviuor" his mum is a good friend of mine though .
I am very aware that he has never been in the first half of the class to get the trophey (he is yr 5 now!). Once again I know there are probably more important things in life to worry about.
Off now to look at the link.

OP posts:
dancingbear · 27/04/2009 11:30

These awards annoy the life out of me, I'm not convinced they motivate anyone.

The star of the week is a pile of rubbish, imo.

We've been told to explain to our kids that failing to receive star of the week, is not a negative reflection on them, so the kids realise it just gets rotated through the class and you have to wait your turn - once you've had your turn, it really doesn't matter what you do cause you won't get it again for another year...don't see how that works.

I have downplayed its significance, even when my kids have received it, they often have not fully understood why.

dylansaunty · 27/04/2009 14:23

We have this sort of system in my DD school too. She is in year 1, and never once in year R or this year so far has she got "Star of the Day" She gets so upset, cries and once told me that she is not good, however hard she tries she is never good enough.
It makes me cry to feel she thinks this about herself. I don't want to ask the teacher to give it to her, as she can't have mum stepping in to help her every time something gets difficult, but I wish I could think of ways to boost her self esteem.

FabulousBakerGirl · 27/04/2009 14:27

My DD was in tears the first time they gave our certificates as she thought she had done something wrong. The teacher hadn't explained it would be 3 a week.

DD has had several since then but missed out on a 100& attendance certifcate for being 1 hour late after a hospital appointment. I had informed the school. She is only 5 so it is a big deal to her.

Actually, can you print of certificates for the net?

FabulousBakerGirl · 27/04/2009 14:27

off the net

giantkatestacks · 28/04/2009 13:10

Weirdly we have two things - 'student of the week' which is done on rotation - and for often spurious reasons - they get a certificate and 'star of the week' where they do a snakes and ladders type thing based on work, behaviour and helpfulness - that one they come home with a star with their name on it and the same child isnt allowed to win it 2 weeks in a my ds' annoyance...

giantkatestacks · 28/04/2009 13:11

Further up the school they do away with the whole lot and just have house points so anything good benefits a lot of people - we had this in our primary school as well in the seventies and it worked well - no stars of the week then...

newgirl · 28/04/2009 13:14

the school my dd goes to doesnt use these systems at all and it is a fantastic school (came in top 20 in sunday times list if that really means anything) - i think they know that it can do harm as well as good - not sure what goes on in the room all the time but every kid is happy and motivated

one of my mates kids is at a school that has golden books, clouds, stickers etc etc seems complicated to me

squilly · 28/04/2009 13:28

Our school does this kind of reward system and the kids in my dd's class (now 8) know that everyone gets a turn, so it's just a pointless exercise really with everyone waiting their turn.

Most kids don't even mention them to their parents as they mean so little.

My dd managed to get 2 in 2 weeks this year - clearly someone had cocked up badly there! - and that did make her feel good as it was so unusual.

I would say, though, that the class teacher operates her own stamp based reward system which is much more highly valued. Work is recognised with clear praise and an immediate stamp. It's been the best system we've seen in dd's 4 years at school.

If she does work at home she gets rewarded and if she does well in the tests she gets rewarded. The kid at the top of the pile, stamp wise, is one who has 'ishoos' at the moment, but that's probably a good sign.

I sympathise with you. Sometimes you just don't see your kids get the recognition you feel they deserve. It's good training for life though.

OrmIrian · 28/04/2009 13:33

In KS2 we get house points for good work and for good behaviour. But they also do star of the week not related to anything in particular. They make a booklet with a picture of the child on the front and everyone, staff and pupils write something positive about the child in it. So each child gets one.

In secondary DS#1 gets commendations which go towards the tutor group total. There's a cup at the end of each year for the highest number.

Maiakins · 28/04/2009 13:57

Oh yes, these star of the day/week things are ridiculous. In our reception class, they don't seem to remember who they've given the star of the day and there were a bunch of children who went the whole of the winter/spring terms without once being star of the day, while the usual suspects got it several times.

It was mostly given to the loud, disruptive ones as an incentive to manage their behaviour, while the quieter ones went under the radar. But just because a child is quiet doesn't mean they don't also need something to boost their confidence too. It's rubbish and I think can actually be counter-productive, as children think that if they are a bit loud and disruptive, they too are more likely to be star of the day on the occassions when they do behave. It can also lower some children's self-esteem if not done properly. I guess like anything, if done badly it is an unhelpful tool for education.

ShellingPeas · 28/04/2009 22:05

Star of the week awards are complete waste of time and total bollocks at my DC's school.

They tend to be awarded to children who are generally naughty and disruptive and then, for some reason, cease to be so for a short period of time. I can see the reasoning behind it (awards for good behaviour etc etc) but it does tend to overlook those children who are well behaved, but unremarkable elsewhere in their schooling (as is my DD) or those who are consistently at the top of certain academic or sporting achievements (as is my DS).

Oddly enough, I mentioned this to the Head one week and then, surprise, surprise, both my DCs got star of the week very soon after, but neither were able to tell me why.

OP I quite understand your frustration!

lunamoon2 · 02/05/2009 20:42

Good news. My ds came home Friday with the trophey, at last!

OP posts:
Please create an account

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