‘There Are Many Ways Of Being Smart’: Encouraging School Letter About Student Test Results Goes Viral

Megan Willett

A letter sent to students at a U.K. primary school is going viral for encouraging children that they are more than their standardized test scores.

According to BBC News, Year 6 children at Barrowford Primary School in Lancashire (roughly the equivalent of 5th grade here in the U.S.) were sent home a letter with their standardized test scores that said how “proud” the school was of them and that “these tests do not always assess all of what it is that make each of you special and unique.”

The letter was co-written by Rachel Tomlinson and Year 6 teacher Amy Birkett, according to the Huffington Post UK, and given to students along with their Key Stage 2 results, which also happened to be the school's best results ever.

Wow. There are posts all over the world about this letter!! All we did was remind our Y6 how amazing they are!!! pic.twitter.com/nKNGhwc9MY

— Barrowford School (@BarrowfordSch) July 15, 2014

Immediately, parents and friends began to post the letter on social media. While the response has been overwhelmingly positive, some people on Twitter have pointed out that the letter is very similar to one posted by New York University research professor of education Diane Ravitch on her blog in November 2013.

Thought so. That viral letter from Barrowford school is copy-pasted from this http://t.co/q5SSqgkuXM

— Adrian Bott (@Cavalorn) July 15, 2014

Read the full letter below:

Please find enclosed your end of KS2 test 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 make 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.

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