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Labelling children the 'best'.

Discussion in 'Early Years' started by kjkjkj, Mar 21, 2011.

  1. I am all for celebrating the achievement of children and in our school we do so in various ways from celebration assemblies, star of the days, stickers etc. etc. The school my child attends insists on issuing letters to all parents across the school stating such in such is best at numeracy/litereracy/handwriting and so on. The reward for this accolade- a non uniform day for the child so they can really stand out from the crowd! I hate the idea of labelling any child the best, what does it say to the rest of the class-they are not good enough? why should they keep trying? and what happens next time if the child no longer is the 'best'? such pressure. Parent's evening is on the horizon and I intend to mention it. I thought I would guage opinions, how does anyone else feel about this?
  2. inky

    inky Lead commenter

    Doesn't this come up in staff meetings? At my school it would.
    We do have certificates for effort and achievement/attainment, though, and as long as effort shares centre stage I'm happy with that.
  3. I'm not sure my post was clear as to where my problem lies. As in your school, attainment and effort are rewarded and as a whole school we celebrate the achievements our children make.
    My child's school in contrast singles out children as being the best. This I have a problem with, the idea that any child is the best really annoys me. Yes, say whoever has made fantastic progress, has shown flair, made great progress...but not label them the best.

  4. cariad2

    cariad2 New commenter

    What a horrible idea. Children do know who is particularly good at reading, writing, maths, sport etc but I don't like the idea of labelling anybody as "the best". As the OP said, it could discourage others. And I don't think it's particularly good for the child labelled as the best. It could backfire in so many ways: they could get big headed and feel they don't need to try in that subject, they could get an adverse reaction from other children (especially as they stand out so much in their non-uniform), and if they have that idea of themselves then it could be harder to cope with failure later on.
    Personally, I've always preferred to reward effort more than attainment.

    We had our parent interviews last week. The mum of an extremely able girl in my class said that her daughter had been coming home saying that she is the best in class at reading and at writing. She wanted her daughter to feel good about herself and take pride in her achievements. But she also wanted her to recognise the different strengths of other children, and was concerned in case her daughter was saying things like this in class and offending or upsetting other children.
    If only the senior team at the OP's child's school had such a sensible outlook.
  5. inky

    inky Lead commenter

    Mainly, yes, though I think you cna't encourage aspiration without occasionally praising something special.
  6. inky

    inky Lead commenter

    Yuccchh - how Disney is that?

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