16/07/2014 14:16 BST | Updated 20/05/2015 10:12 BST

School Letter Tells Pupils Exams Aren't Everything

Pupils at a Lancashire primary school received an unexpected letter with their Key Stage Two exam results- reminding them that 'there are many ways of being smart'.

Barrowford Primary School sent the note to all of its Year Six leavers after what they referred to as a 'tricky' SATs exam week.

Its inspiring message, reminding children that they are all special, has now gone viral on social media.

The letter starts off by congratulating the pupils on their hard work before the exams. However, it continues, '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," the message reads.

The note then lists the many accomplishments beside exam success that pupils can be proud of in their lives, including speaking two languages, playing an instrument, being gifted at art, looking after siblings and brightening up the lives of friends and family.


"The scores you get will tell you something, but they will not tell you everything," the letter ends. "There are many ways of being smart."


The thoughtful note has now been shared thousands of times on Twitter and Facebook by impressed readers moved by its message of reassurance to those left feeling dejected by lack of traditional academic success.

Story continues below the video

Some eagle-eyed Twitter users have pointed out that the letter is not an original, but a case of plagiarism - a bit unfortunate, given the subject matter.

The touching message is a copy of a letter sent out by an American school last year (in case the use of the word 'neat' to describe something other than a well-organised sock drawer didn't tip you off).

Even so, it has proved a hit with pupils and parents at the school. Mum-of-four Victoria Kyreacou, whose daughter Hannah, 11, attends Barrowford, says that the letter 'just reiterates what our school is all about'.

"So many schools are so focused on pleasing the Government and OFSTED that children are pressured into attaining in the published statistics like SATs," she told Parentdish. "And their individual talents are often overlooked, dismissed and disregarded.

"They aren't robots and schools aren't businesses, let's stop looking at statistics and focus on providing children with an education where they can enjoy, practice and share their individuality."

More on Parentdish:

Decoding your child's school report