Monday 13 May 2019

To my autistic son as he begins his SATS

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My 10 year old autistic son goes to a mainstream primary school. He is unlikely to spend all his education in mainstream as he struggles with the environment and language demands of large classes. But his school have done the best they can for him and this week he sits his SATS.  Like everyone else is his year he received this note from his Year 6 teachers - I'd love to share it with you.

"This week, you will sit your SATs. We know how hard you have worked and that you all deserve to achieve your best. However, there is something very important you need to know.

The SATs are not a measure of your worth. They can only test a small fraction of what you know. They cannot test who you are.

We are constantly amazed by the incredible young people you are becoming. Your talents and skills, whether that is speaking different languages, playing a musical instrument or participating in motor sports, you continue to impress us daily.

The people who create these tests and score them do not know each of you the way that we do and certainly not in the way your families do. For example, they do not know that we have many talented dancers in the year group: from ballroom to Irish, modern to tap, performing with such grace and confidence. They do not know that many of you give up your time to serve our local community or that you raised nearly £3000 for a worthwhile cause. They also do not know that you are accomplished sportsmen and women or commentators, taking part in a wide range of sporting activities.

These tests cannot tell them that your friends count on you to be there for them; that your laughter can brighten the darkest day or that your face turns red when you feel shy. Neither can they assess how caring, trustworthy and considerate to others you are or show how every day you try to achieve your best.

What counts in life and what serves you best for the future is being a rounded lifelong learner, not the score you get during a week of tests. That score will tell you something, but not everything.

So while you are preparing for the tests, and in the midst of it all, remember that there is no way to “test” all of the amazing and awesome things that make you, YOU! We are all immensely proud of you, regardless of what happens next week. Now this weekend, get some sleep, play some games with friends, spend time with your loved ones, you’ve got this!"

1 comment:

  1. Aww! That is so sweet and so true.
    My girls were sent similar from their school when they were doing their SATs.
    I hope they go OK for your son x


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