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PostPosted: Fri Jul 08, 2011 11:21 pm 
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Last night we were at our daughter's school for the Y6 awards evening. This is the first time they've had one; I was expecting a wishy-washy "everyone gets a prize" affair but it turned out to be surprisingly elitist. There was one award each for maths, English, music and art, everyone who represented the school at sport during the year got a medal, there were two awards for basically being outstanding members of the school, and about half a dozen each for behaviour and effort. This from a year group of 90.

Today's Y6 newsletter says "We do understand that a few people were unhappy that not all of the children received awards - however we do also believe that this is a reflection on real life. Next year we will take into consideration all of the comments made. Please bear with us, this was the first awards evening we have ever had and so of course we too are learning."

So what do you think? Is 11 too young to be exposed to life's harsh inequality? Were those "few" parents right and everyone should get an award just for turning up (as in the sport awards), no matter how much or little effort or achievement they've demonstrated? Or did the school get it right with the more academic awards - the winner takes it all, only the single person identified as best in a given field achieves any recognition, and everyone else is passed over, no matter how worthy their endeavours? Or does equity lie somewhere between the two extremes? Or should the school just not have bothered?

Mike


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 08, 2011 11:46 pm 
We attended speech day last Wednesday at DS's school; philosophy is that everyone gets something. I personally would like hard work and top marks get rewarded but if this becomes a procession if 2 or 3 kids then it quickly becomes disheartening for the others. To see the smiles as all queued to get their prizes was nice.


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 09, 2011 7:23 am 
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Location: East Kent
we do 'Oscars' for year 6 which are presented at Assembly. They cover a wide range of stuff not just academic ,every one ends up with something it may be the Maths Oscar or Story Writer Oscar or even the Smiliest child Oscar. Haven;t so far given one for Child who Gave Teachers the Most Headaches though...


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 09, 2011 9:09 am 
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Joined: Mon Mar 15, 2010 2:45 pm
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We have about 10 cups for 60 children for art, sports, drama, biggest progress since year 3, most helpful etc. Teachers sometimes donate another one when they leave. No-one has a problem with it, maybe because there are so few.


Last edited by scary mum on Sun Jul 10, 2011 7:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 09, 2011 1:28 pm 
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As much as I'd like to wrap them all up in cotton wool, I'm all for winner takes all I'm afraid.

We could put off the realities of life every time something like this arose and they'd end up being mollycoddled all the way through up to and until it's job time - oh what a shock they'd get then!!

No, learn about life as it arises,and no pussyfooting around. The sooner they understand about it, the better, I think.

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 09, 2011 2:08 pm 
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Perhaps I should have added that last year we gave them all a "graduation" certificate at the leavers party with something funny about each of them on it "smiliest person " etc. So I suppose they did all get a lighthearted something but not at the main leavers assembly and "prize giving".


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 09, 2011 2:57 pm 
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remember going to a speech day for about 18 leavers, there were about 12 cups (no one got more than one each :roll: ) so potentially 6 wouldn't get one... school decided to create more prizes so everyone got one ... got really silly! Prize for "helping with the infants" etc etc.


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 09, 2011 3:33 pm 
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Joined: Sat Oct 16, 2010 12:20 pm
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I am going to my daughter's prize giving ceremony at her school on Monday and can't wait! She is going to receive a prize for academic progress in Year 10. This is the first award that she will have received at secondary school acknowledging progress made and, for me, makes it all the more special. Because only a few are handed out each year, I know how hard she has worked to receive it. I don't think it would mean the same if every student had a prize every year (just my opinion).

I think that, if children realise that they can't all be awarded prizes from an early age, they appreciate their achievements and successes more as they get older.


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 09, 2011 4:24 pm 
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Sometimes I think the everyone-gets-an-award system is a bit silly, especially in a big school. Children know who are acdemic or good at sports so can usually see through the 'fake' awards. Children should be recognised for good work, sporting prowess, good achievement etc but I think it is PC gone too far for eveyone to get a reward. however, everyone child gettign a Leavers certificate is a good idea, and then at least everyone gets a reminder of school.


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 09, 2011 5:28 pm 
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Joined: Thu May 26, 2011 8:37 pm
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Our school doesn't have a prize day but it does have regular achievers' assemblies. I've noticed my sons are picked out roughly once a term (never more, sometimes less - though some children are picked more often) and they get a certificate for something very specific, like regularly needing maths extension sheets because they've finished the classwork, or for writing a play for class assembly. Sometimes they are for social skills. This works because it is specific and particular and focuses on genuine efforts each individual child is making. It's not everyone's a winner, but it does truly reinforce whatever every child does well.


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