It was Achievements evening at T’s school tonight. We had a letter a couple of weeks ago inviting us to attend as T was going to be presented with an award. T (and consequently we) was sure it was for achieving 100+ commendations throughout the last academic year. I don’t remember having these evenings when I was at school and was intrigued to see how they were done. 

Things I’ve learned this evening: 

1. The school is a well-oiled machine. The letter asked us to arrive at 7pm for a 7.30pm start. Like a dinner party. Except this actually started at 7.30pm. And there was no announcement that  it was starting. The headteacher merely stood up at the lecturn and the entire hall was quiet within milliseconds. Oh, the power. 

2. It’s quite classy. My parents were never offered Buck’s Fizz at my old school. 

3. My husband has a very loud clap. Very loud. 

4. The school is much more diverse and interested in pastoral achievements than I had given it credit for. There was a whole section of awards dedicated to children who have made strides in learning with support and for others who have done great things for others at the school. 

5. Not all of the kids look like they should be modelling for Jack Wills or Ralph Lauren. Some were quite scruffy, some were overweight, some were clearly happier sat in front of a computer monitor than being paraded in front of a hall full of parents  and their peers. And they still got awards. At my old school you had to be a complete egghead or very, very pretty to win anything. 

6. I was secretly hoping that T was going to get an award for French or Geography rather than a “bung em all in together” award. But he didn’t. He got a Letter of Commendation with around 15 other students from year 8. But they weren’t all bunged in together. They were called up in fives just like all the other awards and the headteacher gave them a certificate and voucher. And I’m incredibly proud. 


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