Inspiring letter to 11-plus pupils sparks storm on social media

A portion of the letter from Harmony Hill PS to pupils receiving their transfer test results
A portion of the letter from Harmony Hill PS to pupils receiving their transfer test results

A heartfelt letter from teachers at a Co Antrim primary school to its pupils receiving their transfer test results has created a storm on social media.

The letter was received by pupils from Harmony Hill Primary School in Lisburn on Saturday - within another letter informing pupils of their score in the post-primary entrance exams.

The poignant note encouraged them not to feel disheartened if they did not get the news they were hoping for.

The note of encouragement sparked a flurry on social media after a parent of a Harmony Hill pupil posted a picture of it on Facebook.

The letter read: “Inside this envelope is a score.

“It’s a score you’ve been waiting for, but it might not be the score you’ve been hoping for. If that’s the case, it’s only natural that you will feel disappointed. We will be very sorry about that and will feel disappointed ‘for you’ too – but we won’t feel disappointed ‘in you’.

“Unfortunately, in life, things don’t always work out the way we want them to and it can take a little time to sort out the feelings and thoughts we can have when that happens.

“We know that each of you has worked very hard and with a great attitude.

“No score can ever take that away from you. In fact, we believe that your attitude and who you are as a person is much more important than any mark on a test.

“Who you are and the attitudes you have will travel with you to whatever school is fortunate enough to have you as one of their pupils in September. That is so important. You are quite simply ‘unique’ and we are very proud of you. Make us proud whatever school you go to.”

The close of the letter reads: “Remember the score in the envelope is just a mark for some tests. It cannot measure how amazing you are! So no matter what happens in the next few minutes, today you must celebrate YOU.

“With love from all the staff.”

On Facebook, Janet Millar wrote: “Now isn’t this the way children should receive their test results, no matter what school they’re at!”

Barry Black wrote: “Brilliant letter from Harmony Hill PS to their transfer test students!!”

And Aaron Callan wrote: “Congratulations to all the primary 7 pupils who received their results today. However, it is important to remember that these tests are not the be all and end all of the educational journey of a child. I think this letter sums it up perfectly.”

Principal of Harmony Hill Primary school Harry Greer told the BBC that staff were bemused but “heartened” by the number of internet users who have been inspired by the letter’s content.

“We just wanted them to know that we were thinking of them today,” he said.