At what age does it become “Geeky”, “swotty” or boring to be academically bright? More to the point, why does it happen? In my own experience it seemed to occur around my sons’ seventh birthday, which incidentally links in with the first year of SATS at school. My son excels at maths and reading and this was celebrated at pre school and reception and I never felt I had to “play down” his successes. Then all of a sudden in the play ground I found myself saying to other parents “yes he did well, but his handwriting’s appalling”, or I would wait until we got into the car to ask my son how he did in his spelling test or what reading book he was on. I was petrified that other parents would think I was showing off.
Strangely though the parents of the children who were good at sports could be heard loudly discussing how many goals their child had scored, what position they came in the fun run etc. I would congratulate them and say how fantastically well they had done. I’m not saying this is wrong I’m just commenting on the culture of our society that appear to cultivate an environment where it is uncool to do well academically. This is also reflected in the schools news letter which details sports teams successes and individual children’s sporting achievements whereas if anyone gets 10/10 in their spelling test 3 weeks in a row they are discreetly awarded a house point. My sons experience definitely reflects my own school days back in the 1970’s, things have not changed a bit. When the SATS results did come out it was an unwritten rule in the playground that no one would ask about any other child’s unless they volunteered the info. I think that it’s sad that learning achievements are not celebrated and nurtured in equal importance to sporting achievements. I also don’t agree with testing children at such a young age with SATS. I just feel that academic achievement should be celebrated as much as sporting achievement’s. I could potentially be in the minority here, what do other parents think?