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Recognising well behaved, academic children.

(16 Posts)
nanapug Wed 15-Jun-11 16:54:10

Am I the only one who is concerned for the good, academic children 's self esteem at school? In my GS's school (which has an excellent Ofstead report) children get "stars" for doing better work and "stars" for improved behaviour, or not behaving badly. My grandson is a quiet, well behaved, bright little boy, and he says he has the least stars in his class. He has worked out (he is 6) that there is no point in putting his hand up as he is never asked to answer, as the "noisier" children get asked, and yet again he doesn't get acknowledged. His level of work is always high so of course he doesn't get the stars for improvement, and his behaviour is always excellent so again, no recognition for improvement. I am aware that it is modern policy to recognise and reward the more difficult children but what about my little fella? I can see he has given up and I asked him if he was sad that he didn't have many stars. He said "I expect I will one day Nana" bless him. I want to tell him to be naughty sometimes!! His Mum doesn't like to make waves at school so probably won't say anything. Has any one else had this issue? Would appreciate some advice. All I feel I can do is to tell him how great I think he is and praise him for his achievements.......

jackyann Wed 15-Jun-11 18:29:14

I think you are doing exactly what your job is, praise him, enjoy his company, and only talk about school if he wants to.
It would not make waves if, at the next parents' evening, Mum mentions his concern about getting stars, so the teacher is aware.

Littlelegs Wed 15-Jun-11 18:29:33

Hello Nanapug

I was until quite recently a govenor at the local school. The subject you describe was brought up - we decided that ALL children should be acknowedged, not just the ones who were improving or being good.

It also shows a child that has good behaviour or working hard gets their reward too. This could be a plus for the school too. It might be a suggestion you could make to his school.

Anyway tell him from me well done and keep up the good work.

baggythecrust! Thu 16-Jun-11 11:15:04

My daughter's school has tackled that problem by having awards for the children like your GS who are always good. Maybe this could be suggested at his school.

nanapug Thu 16-Jun-11 12:58:11

Thank you all for your comments. It has actually consoled me a little to know that I was not being an over protective nana, and this situation does actually exist. His teacher is excellent, and very nice, but newly qualified; so perhaps she has not switched on to this issue yet. There is only less than half a term to go until he moves to a new teacher, so I am hoping that the situation may be resolved next term. If not, I think I will encourage my daughter to make some of the suggestions you helpful people have made. Thank you again......

absentgrana Fri 17-Jun-11 12:31:30

I remember this situation very well with my daughter when she was the same age as your grandson. A bright, enthusiastic, generally well-behaved and polite child, she quickly became disillusioned when her efforts seemed to be ignored while the work of those less able was rewarded and praised. She understood that some in the class found some things hard and that writing half a page was far more effort for them than writing two pages was for her. Nevertheless, she felt ignored and consequently not only ceased to bother making any effort, producing shoddy and inadequate work, but became quite a disruptive trouble-maker. Even this didn't seem to have any effect on the teacher and when I had a chat with her, she told me that her priority was to concentrate on those who were struggling and that those who were more able could manage on their own. The teacher then had to have a lot of time off through ill health and a supply teacher was brought in. Apparently, she was warned about how troublesome my daughter could be and she turned the whole situation round within a couple of weeks. By the end of term, she was full of praise for my daughter's work, behaviour, general attitude and application – if a little surprised. If your grandson is shortly going to move to a new class, then I wouldn't worry for now, but if the situation continues, a word in the right ear will be required.

nanapug Mon 27-Jun-11 18:54:50

Thank you absentgrana. I am hoping that a change of teacher will improve the situation. It's so worrying isn't it?

daddydaycare51 Tue 28-Jun-11 02:45:47

Hi nanapug I am a single dad of 11 , four who still live at home with me 8,9,11 and 13 basically the same. All my children have gone to the same primary school , they have never been late , never had a day of in their whole school time ,and my 11 yr old son has a disability he is in mainstream school too. They have all been and are in the top groups for maths , english , science and the such my daughter 8 has been pupil of the year for the past 2 years out of 475 children , they all have medals and trophies for sports , certificates for excellent work done at school. But and yes there is a but smile , they to usualy get overlooked when also trying to answer questions in classes , this was a bit confusing for them as they love school. I approached the teachers and asked the reason for them being overlooked, and they said that they try to get other children who might be struggling slightly in the class to answer questions, so as to build their confidence and to make sure they are understanding the lesson and that they are able to do the work and keep up as not all children can work at the same pace. This answer satisfied me so I left it at that.

nanapug Wed 29-Jun-11 15:21:45

Sadly, daddydaycare51 that answer would make me very cross. I agree that less able children need to be nurtured and their confidence and understanding worked on, but not to the detriment of my GC. The teacher should have the skills to help all the children in his/her class. I am probably being politically incorrect but it is typical of today's government in that we must do everything we can for the underdog. I feel my GS's education is as important as any one else's. Why should all the children work at the same pace? They all have different abilities and these should be recognised and addressed I feel, whatever end of the spectrum they are in. Sorry to be argumentative sad

Annobel Wed 29-Jun-11 15:37:00

I was under the impression that in well-run classrooms the children do not all work at the same pace, nanapug. In the school where I was a governor for many years, the children worked in groups of roughly similar ability. I think this is also the case in my GCs' school.

baggythecrust! Wed 29-Jun-11 16:15:51

Annobel is right. It's not possible for a class full of kids to work at the same pace as they're all different with differing abilities. Any well run class will allow for this and have group work or individual work going on to suit different needs. In a badly run classroom some kids will start doing their own thing, more or less disruptively, if they are not given suitable work. This applies at either end of the intelligence/academic spectrum.

Magsie Wed 29-Jun-11 17:08:36

My grandson is also quite bright and would gladly answer every question if he could. He gets very impatient when the teacher tries to draw the answer out of a reluctant classmate but she does this for the reasons that daddydaycare gives. I do think my grandson gets asked his share of questions but the teacher goes to everyone in turn and has to spend a lot of time encouraging the less bright ones to answer, so it doesn't seem very much to him.

baggythecrust! Wed 29-Jun-11 18:16:45

Things may have changed but it certainly used to be the case, according to certain studies on the subject, that boys generally got more teacher attention than girls simply because, on average, they make more noise. The same difference may apply between quiet boys and noisy boys. From some of the comments it does sound as if teachers are trying to spread their attentioon fairly. Kids are usually very keen on fairness and quick to spot unfairness or favouritism.

Magsie Wed 29-Jun-11 18:57:55

When they showed Dylan Wiliam's "Classroom Experiment" on BBC2, he suggested that the teachers involved always called on the bright children to answer because they were the ones who generally put their hands up. The less able pupils withdrew and left them to it. He got the teachers to call on everyone randomly, whether they knew the answer or not. The less able children did improve and participate more but the bright children became demotivated and felt they were losing out. I don't think he actually explained how to deal with that!

Charlotta Wed 29-Jun-11 19:24:20

My GS is middling and does not seem overly upset when the teacher ignores him.
I saw a film once where the eye contact bewtween teacher and children in the class was counted ( I take it there was special equipment) The teachers made eye contact with the brightest BOYS almost double as much as the girls, whether bright or not. Perhaps these teachers are now trained to ignore the bright boys thinking they will make their way in life no matter what happens at school.

harrigran Thu 30-Jun-11 11:30:30

It's not possible to have a class working at the same pace. My daughter was classed as gifted and raced through set work, should she have been held back or should pressure have been placed on others to catch up ? I arranged piano lessons as soon as she was 6 and this allowed her to progress at her own pace.
We constantly worried about getting the right education and made the decision to go with private education hoping that smaller classes were the answer. It was a great success and I do not regret taking the decision.