Belfast Telegraph

Friday 26 December 2014

School amazed as letter goes global

The letter Rachel Tomlinson wrote to children at Barrowford Primary School in Lancashire
The letter Rachel Tomlinson wrote to children at Barrowford Primary School in Lancashire

A headteacher has said she is "amazed" that her letter to pupils telling them not to worry about exam results has gone round the world.

Rachel Tomlinson wrote to children at Barrowford Primary School in Nelson, Lancashire: "The scores you get will tell you something, but they will not tell you everything."

The letter, jointly written by Mrs Tomlinson and Year 6 teacher Amy Birkett, was handed to pupils who received their Key Stage 2 results - the school's best ever.

It read: "Please find enclosed your end of KS2 results. We are very proud of you as you demonstrated huge amounts of commitment and tried your very best during this tricky week.

"However, we are concerned that these tests do not always assess all of what it is that makes each of you special and unique. The people who create these tests and score them do not know each of you the way your teachers do, the way I hope to, and certainly not the way your families do.

"They do not know that many of you speak two languages. They do not know that you can play a musical instrument or that you can dance or paint a picture. They do not know that your friends count on you to be there for them or that your laughter can brighten the dreariest day.

"They do not know that you write poetry or songs, play or participate in sports, wonder about the future, or that sometimes you take care of your little brother or sister after school. They do not know that you have travelled to a really neat place or that you know how to tell a great story or that you really love spending time with special family members and friends.

"They do not know that you can be trustworthy, kind or thoughtful, and that you try, every day, to be your very best… the scores you get will tell you something, but they will not tell you everything.

"So enjoy your results and be very proud of these but remember there are many ways of being smart."

Mrs Tomlinson told BBC Radio 4's Woman's Hour: "We are amazed at the furore it has caused actually overnight.

"Many of our parents and children have just accepted it as normal because that is how we are normally with our children. We celebrate every bit of them.

"The value of education cannot be denied but I think we need to celebrate more than that."

A message on the school's Twitter page read: "Wow. There are posts all over the world about this letter!! All we did was remind our Y6 how amazing they are!!! "

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