Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Timeless classic

I just wanted to share a priceless moment from the year 6 leavers assembly at the school today.

The headteacher was handing out prizes for 100% attendance to some of the pupils. After three or four had come up, smiled, shaken hands and gone back to their seat, the headteacher called out another name and there was a pause followed by isolated murmurs of "She didn't come in today!!!" Priceless!

I'm still pondering the concept of 100% attendance prizes though. Of course it's good to be dedicated but if a child gets ill that child SHOULD stay off school or what about children with serious illnesses that might have necessitated extended periods off. Ok if these children were healthy all year and not taking "sickies" that's great. However, I can't help picturing the scenario of child feeling ill but parents need to work so send the child in anyway. I suppose it's always good to reward children for things if it means they feel good about things and NOT to do so just because other children have been ill and would be upset might not be a good option either.

What do people think?


Mel said...

I got an attendance award for one of my modules at uni! Felt a bit patronised to be honest, as like you say, those things are usually given out in schools. There was one guy who missed only one lecture for a hospital appointment and was really annoyed that he didn't get a certificate, as he had told the lecturer where he was going to be. So yes, if it can upset a grown man (this was a mature student of about 30yrs!), it can certainly upset children if they don't get a certificate just because they were ill for perhaps one day which they couldn't help. Maybe a certificate for having no unauthorised absences would be more appropriate?

simo said...

I think you make a good point, by rewarding 100% attendance we are rewarding those who are more healthy for being so, thus making anyone who has been ill a lesser person, or at least feel that way, although I guess in year 6 maybe they are not at a stage in life when they comprehend things in this way, not as bitter and twisted as me anyway!

barrie said...

are you sure it wasn't 100% authorised attendance - ie if a child is off sick and the parents' send in a note /dr's certificate it doesn't count against the child?

Maddie said...

Some parents will authorise any absence.

This is basically done to encourage those pupils that wake up not feeling great to actually think about whether they do need to take the day off. Of course once someone has been ill once the incentive goes, so why does it matter whether you take more time off?