School sends heartwarming letter to pupils sitting Sats

Helen Ward

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An inspirational letter reminding pupils taking Sats tests this morning that each of them is "special and unique" has become an internet hit.

The letter from Buckton Vale Primary School in Cheshire urges pupils to remember that the tests cannot show they are "smart", and that there are "many different ways of being smart".

It continues: “They [the Sats tests] do not know that some of you speak two languages or that you love to sing or draw. They have not seen your natural talent for dancing or playing a musical instrument. They do not know that your friends can count on you to be there for them; that your laughter can brighten the darkest day or that your face turns red when you feel shy. They do not know that you participate in sports, wonder about the future, or sometimes help your little brother or sister after school. They do not know that you are kind, trustworthy and thoughtful and that every day you try to be your very best.”

The missive, reports the Manchester Evening News, adds that although the "levels you will get from this test will tell you something, they will not tell you everything".

The note ends: “Sleep, Rest, Believe!”

A similar letter was sent last summer by Rachel Tomlinson, head of Barrowford Primary School in Lancashire. Many teachers praised its sentiments and the note became a worldwide viral hit.  

The original text was written by American education blogger Kimberly Hurd Horst and was published in the autumn of 2013. Ms Tomlinson and head of Year 6 Amy Birkett thought it such a nice idea that they were inspired to use the text within a letter for pupils who were leaving. However, they had not kept a note of the source.

When the Barrowford letter went viral, some people pointed out its origins and the school promptly acknowledged the source. Ms Hurd Horst replied: “In the end the message is much, much more important than the messenger. Thx for acknowledgement.”

In response to Buckton Vale's letter, comments on Twitter included:

And the gesture was supported by other primary schools.

More than 500,000 pupils are sitting the reading test today, with the grammar, punctuation and spelling test tomorrow and maths tests on Wednesday and Thursday.


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Helen Ward

Helen Ward

Helen Ward is a reporter at Tes

Find me on Twitter @teshelen

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