Exam season is tough for even the most diligent of students, with many parents (and indeed teachers) finding that kids are reaching peak stress levels over even the most trivial of tests.
However, we’ve noticed a trend for schools hitting back at the pressures of exams, and sending out kind messages to their pupils telling them why they shouldn’t get too worried about their results.
TV presenter and dad of two Phillip Schofield has shared a letter from a school on his Twitter account, which advises pupils that whilst ‘we know how hard you have worked, there is something very important you must know. The SATs test does not assess what makes each of you special and unique.’
Image: Twitter/Phillip Schofield
‘If your kids are about to sit their SAT’s read them this letter! Mrs Brown, Mrs Quinn & Mrs Brierley.. #inspired’ he wrote alongside.
Another school in Australia has sent a very similar message telling their Year 3 students (age 8-9), who are about to take their first NAPLAN tests, that ‘this test does not assess all of what makes each of you exceptional and unique’.
They go on to assure pupils that the assessment, which is similar to SATs and focuses on reading, writing, language conventions and numeracy, that ‘the people who score these tests don’t know that some of you love to sing, are good at drawing or can teach others how to use a computer program. They have not seen the way that some of you dance with grace or speak confidently to a large group. They do not know that your friends count on you to be there for them when they are sad… because these attributes cannot be tested.’
This time, the letter was shared on Facebook by parent Paul Lawrie. He wrote:
‘Well done to St. Paul’s for sending this home with the kids. I can name one other school with a different attitude.’
Image: Paul Lawrie
Since Mr Lawrie posted the letter, it has received more than 10,000 likes and been shared almost 30,000 times, and its influence is still growing, with other parents responding with comments like ‘Wonderful letter. Shows they care about the kids’ and ‘Wow. Amazing. We had this discussion at our house last night about the things that make our child special and not a test. Good job St Pauls.’
Both of the letters end by telling the kids, ‘Remember, there is no one way to ‘test’ all of the wonderful things that make you, YOU!’ – and that’s something all students, from primary school up to university age and beyond, could do with being reminded of from time to time.