Australian primary school writes to pupils nervous before their first exams to tell them everything 'this test does not assess'

Message has been shared tens of thousands of times

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The Independent Online

Parents and teachers around the world have praised a school in Queensland, Australia, for sending a class of nervous eight- and nine-year-olds about to take their first exams a letter telling them everything "this test does not assess".

The touching letter, received by Year 3 students at St Paul's Primary School in Gracemere, was posted to Facebook by parent Paul Lawrie and has since been shared more than 25,000 times.

Mr Lawrie said he found the note in his son's backpack, and wrote: "Well done to St Paul's for sending this home with the kids."

Online, the letter has been described as "great", "brilliant", "thoughtful" and "lovely", and a reminder that "a child is so much more than a Naplan test".

Well done to St. Paul's for sending this home with the kids. I can name one other school with a different attitude

Posted by Paul Lawrie on Wednesday, 6 May 2015

We've reported on the past about how such letters seem unoriginal - and spoken to a British headteacher who wrote to Key Stage Two pupils along similar lines after finding an example online.

And while that may be the case here too, it takes nothing away from the sentiment involved. One Twitter user called St Paul's version "the cutest Naplan letter ever".

We'll let you decide for yourself. Here is the text of the letter in full:

"To our dearest students from Year 3,

Next week you will sit your first Naplan test. Before you take this test there is something very important for you to know.

This test does not assess all of what makes each of you exceptional and unique.

The people that score these tests don't know that some of you love to sing, are good at drawing or can teach others how to use a computer program. They have not seen the way that some of you can dance with grace or speak confidently to a large group. They do not know that your friends count on you to be there for them when they are sad. They do not know that you participate in sports, help your mum and dad or that play with your little brother, sister or cousins. They do not know that you are caring, thoughtful and that everyday you do your best. Because these attributes cannot be tested.

The scores you get from this test will tell you how you did on that day, but they will not tell you everything. They can't tell you that you have improved on something that you once found difficult. They can't tell you that you brighten up your teacher's day. They can't tell you how amazingly special you are.

So come to school ready to do your best for the Naplan test and remember there is no one way to 'test' all of the wonderful things that make you, YOU!

Kind regards,

Mrs Egan, Mrs Schluter and Miss Bailey"