Things that make you go hmm

Silverdale primary school

I live in Whangaparaoa and Silverdale primary school is not far away from where we live. They recently sent the following newsletter out to families to try to explain why they had cancelled the prize giving part of the end of year ceremony.

[…] End of Year Prizegiving There has been a lot of talk about the cancellation of the end of year prizegiving. Just to clarify some misconceptions about cancellation of the end of year prizegiving.

1. Sports teams will still be based on skill and a selection process.

2. There will still be placings at school events such as cross country, athletics, swimming, speech competitions.

Some of these events have trophies and these will be handed out on the day or at the next assembly. The end of year prizegiving was used to award children in each class:

  • Most improved
  • Commitment to Learning
  • Classroom Citizen
  • Excellence in Literacy and Mathematics

Out of a class of 20 to 30 children how does a teacher choose one child for each award? Don’t we want all our children to improve, have commitment to learning, show citizenship and to have excellence in literacy and mathematics.

By rewarding a few we find that it discourages the others. We are trying to get our children to succeed because they want to succeed and not because of a reward at the end which is subjective at best. The sporting awards are easy to give out, if you win the cross country race you get first, not subjective. Everyone can understand this.

Try explaining to a child that has tried hard all year with their learning that they didn’t get the Commitment to Learning award because someone else was trying harder, this is subjective. How do you judge who tries harder??

We will continue to hand out Principal Awards and Team awards throughout the year, these certificates are based on our values and recognise what children have done. I hope this goes some way to answer your concerns