A school’s staff have written a touching letter to their pupils telling them they are more special than the SATs tests they face this week will record.
With children about to do the Government tests, teachers at Westley Middle School all signed the letter which begins: “We, at Westley, know how hard you have worked and although the SATs tests are an indicator of your progress they do not truly measure what makes you a special person.”
One mother, who works in education, said the letter had brought her to tears and showed how supportive a ‘good school’ could be towards its pupils.
Westley’s head teacher Nick Templeton said he had seen something like this on Facebook and spoke to staff about it.
“Though children are going to want to do their best for SATs, and as a school we’re measured by SATs results, it was saying to them that whatever they do on the day, even if they flunk it, they are still the same person,” he said.
“We prepare them well for SATs but its one very very small part of the child and a very very small part of a child’s education.
“I can see the Government wants to raise standards and that this is their way or raising standards, but I do think they’re sometimes losing sight of what’s important for children.”
The letter points out: “The people who set the tests do not know you as well as we, your teachers, and certainly not as well as your families do.
They do not know that you have represented our school in a variety of different sports or that you can play a musical instrument and you are brilliant at art. They do not know that you can sing or sign or dance or that you love to paint and draw.
They do not know that your friends can count on you to be there for them or that your laughter and your jokes can brighten the dreariest day.
“They do not know that you really love spending time with special family members and friends.
“The SATs will not measure your ability to be trustworthy, kind and thoughtful but these are vitally important to Westley.
“So remember, as you sit the tests, the SATs scores will tell you something, but they will not tell you everything. There are no tests that can measure all the great things you can do.
“We are proud of how hard you have worked this year. All we ask now is that you believe in yourself and do your best.
“At Westley, we recognise that you are unique and special”.