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Attacked by a gorilla and having your ear licked: Worse things than sitting transfer test, says ex-teacher

By Rebecca Black

As thousands of children across Northern Ireland prepare to sit the AQE transfer test this morning, a former primary school teacher has written an open letter sure to spark a giggle from little faces.

Writing on his blog Over The Wall, David Thompson, a former P6 teacher at Forge Integrated Primary in south Belfast, created a list of situations which are worse than sitting an exam - including getting attacked by an angry gorilla.

The letter has been a hit online, shared many times last night as P7 children and their parents prepared for the third and final AQE test.

"11+ tests feel like a massive thing now, but in comparison to other things that'll happen to you over the course of your life, it won't feel so important eventually… Anyway, I thought I would write you a list of things that are worse than the transfer tests." The zany list also includes accidentally bending one of your nails back, having to teach any class when there's snow falling outside, and having your ear licked by the person who sits next to you.

He goes on: "Inside, you are an amazing person, you have so much to give to the world around you. Go find ways to be incredibly helpful, kind, generous, patient and understanding to other people. A low mark test has nothing to do with your ability to do that. A high test mark doesn't have anything to do with it either."

David told Belfast Live he was inspired to write the letter to remind pupils that there is more to life than exams.

"Some people have a bit of natural ability, but that ability has to be worked really hard. When you're 10, the good news is that you've (hopefully) got a very long time ahead of you to get really good at lots of things, so if a one-hour test didn't go as well as you wanted it to, don't let it get to you, it's only a bump in the road," he added.

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