Kids these days are under more exam pressure than ever.
It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the focus on grades and boundaries, statistics and scores – which is why we were so pleased to see this letter, written to a mum of a boy who failed his SATs going viral.
Mum-of-three Gail Twist, whose 11-year-old son Ben has autism, received the letter from Lansbury School and Sports College after results of the exams had come out, and said the sentiment of the message brought her ‘to tears’.
‘I am writing to congratulate you on your attitude and success in completing your end of key stage SATs,’ Mrs Clarkson, assistant head teacher at the school, wrote to Ben.
She added that while the outcome of his exams had already been sent to his parents, there were a few things she wanted him to remember about the tests.
‘A very important piece of information I want you to understand is that these tests only measure a little bit of you and your abilities. They are important and you have done so well but Ben Twist is made up of many other skills and talents that we and Lansbury Bridge see and measure in other ways.
She went on to mention Ben’s ‘artistic talents, ability to work in a team, kindness’ and ‘growing independence’, amongst other positive qualities.
‘These are all of the things we measure to reassure us that you are always making progress and continuing to develop as a lovely bright young man. Well done Ben, we are very proud of you,’ she concluded.
Since Gail shared an image of the letter to Twitter on July 9th, it has been retweeted more than 2,500 times.
‘Ben worked so hard and sitting the tests was a massive achievement,’ she told the Liverpool Echo. ‘We knew the results were coming but to get a letter like that – I got part-way through it and I burst into tears.’
‘Ben was in a mainstream school all the way through and he had one-to-one support. It was a really good school but the gap between him and his peers just grew and grew. As they were maturing, he wasn’t maturing at the same rate.’
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‘Lansbury Bridge school is a lovely environment where people really do have each individual’s best interests at heart. Ben is sensitive and he does worry about things, and I wish more schools did things like this.’
‘He is all of the things they wrote about him – he is an amazing person. I think their words will stay with him if we keep reminding him what they said about him.’
‘When I told him he said: “Wow, do they really think all those things about me?” It’s just a beautiful thing to do.’