To our Year 2 to Year 6 children and Parents.
Over the past few weeks – maybe even months – you have put in lots of effort in preparation for your National Tests. You will nail them. We know you will. At the moment, you've been doing a lot of English and Maths, but you've got lots of other skills. Not every skill is taught in school and even less are tested.
You might be a great skateboarder, fantastic at fashion design or have got green fingers…
You might be a people-person, a problem solver or a poet. Tests are never going to show off all these amazing skills. They don’t test whether you’re a creative person, can write code, whether you are good at teaching IT skills to your granddad or have a rapport with animals. They don’t test your speaking skills or whether you can mend anything put in front of you. They don’t measure whether you’re arty or sporty, musical or love science. Although subjects like Maths and English are important, never forget you've been given talents in plenty of other areas too.
Please try your best to think of these tests as “something I’ve got to do, but not the most important thing in the world.”
The problem is that somemes we teachers can make them seem really important, without noticing what we’re doing. We have school targets we hope to meet and our school has Government targets it hopes to meet. It’s like one big chain and there’s only one person at the end of it… YOU! But remember this: When you were born, no one said “What I want most for this child is a Level 5 in Maths when they hit Year Six!” (that would have been slightly weird!)
The big things, the most important things are things like your personality, what you believe and think, your ideas and that spark inside you that makes you you. You are sparky. Your parents know it and, as a school, we know it.
There is a video on the internet that asks you to count the number of passes a basketball team make. The passes come quick and fast and you really have to focus on the ball flying from left to right to count them all. At the end of the video it says, “Well done on counting the passes, but did you notice the moonwalking bear?” You see, you were so busy focusing on watching the basketball, you missed a bear in the background, moonwalking across the screen! Tests can be like that video challenge. We promise as a school not to be so busy focusing on your tests that we don't notice the amazing children you are. Keep moonwalking and stay sparky!
“Don't get stressed. Just do your best. Remember you've been blessed With skills National Tests don't test.”
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ahg6qcgoay4 if you want to see the bear
Adapted from @sparkyteaching
Mr Cass, Headteacher