A moving letter from a primary school in Northern Ireland has gone viral on Facebook due to its surprising advice for students.
On Saturday, pupils at the Harmony Hill Primary School in Lisburn were faced with a situation all adults can relate to – nervously waiting to receive test results.
However, instead of opening the brown envelope to find the grades, the Vice Principal Hillary Johnston proposed to staff that students were first given a letter of advice.
The letter started; ‘Inside this envelope is a score. It’s a score you’ve been waiting for, but it might not be the score you’ve been hoping for.’
It continued: ‘If that’s the case, it’s only natural that you will feel disappointed “in you”. We will be very sorry about that and will feel disappointed “for you” too – but we won’t feel disappointed “in you”.’
The County Antrim school continued; ‘Unfortunately, in life, things don’t always work out the way we want them to and it can take a little time to sort out the feelings and thoughts we can have when that happens.’
After liaising with the teaching staff, the final letter was drafted; ‘No score can ever take that away from you. In fact, we believe that your attitude and who you are as a person is much more important than any mark on a test.’
Principal Harry Greer described how they had decided on the wording of the letter; ‘It was a simple, personal, but heartfelt letter for our P7 children, inspired by our vice principal, Hillary Johnston.’
A photograph of the letter was posted to a personal Facebook page by one of the parents at the school, who was touched by the note.
Harry confirmed the staff were bemused but ‘heartened’ by the number of internet users who had shared the photo; ‘We’ve been really surprised by all the attention.’
Harry confirmed; ‘We just wanted them to know that we were thinking of them today. It can be a time of great excitement, but for some children, it can be a time of great disappointment.
‘I’m sure the same compassion and sentiment will be evident in primary schools across Northern Ireland this weekend.’