So last week social media was a flood with images of children’s school reports, news on how well kids had done in their exams, what level they finished the year at, which is all lovely to see, but I’ll be honest, for my two, I mostly skipped all that.
The national tests back in May for both our 9 and 12-year-old were prepared for, we did sample papers, we went over homework tasks and we prepped, and when the time came, they were both ready and confident and felt happy with how they went. Being an academic at heart, doing well in school has always been important to me, I’ve always thrived at doing tests and actually enjoyed them, and I’ve always done my best to pass the importance of education onto my children.
However, when the report’s arrived in that official A4 envelope addressed to the parents of the child, I intentionally bypassed the national test exam results, and as always headed straight to the Teachers comments.
These are just a selection of the teacher’s comments shared on the children’s reports, which actually made me shed a tear. I was so proud to know that my children are just as polite, pleasant and well mannered in their school environment as they are at home, as we’ve purposely nurtured them to be.
Beside these fantastic comments from their teachers, they both did exceptionally well in their exams with an amazing 100% Computer exam result and a way above average English grading, but what we must remember is these tests are just a mere snapshot of what they’re capable of, a child can do amazing in their work all year round but test days can be a worrying time for a young mind and the pressure can be huge on their little shoulders.
I’ve certainly learnt as I’ve got older that it’s not all about exams. Yes I did well in mine in school and University and it’s definitely good to have them, no one can ever take them off you once they’re earned, but life is much more than school results.
Life is also about learning through experiences, through travel, through making memories. We’ve found jelly fish on a deserted beach, we’ve climbed rocks in foreign countries, we’ve camped under the stars, we’ve taken a trip down the Amsterdam canal in our own boat and so many more awesome things that teach us more than the classroom.
But more than anything, more than any school lesson, day trip, foreign country holiday or museum, what our kids have learnt are the things they will need the most in life, the attributes they will grow up with that will make them the best people they can be. Kindness, gratitude, manners, love, empathy, passion, courage, resilience, trust. It is these qualities and more that will fundamentally create who they become, which will teach them more about life than any school ever could.
I am immensely proud of our children, and selfishly, I’m proud of us for raring them as we are. They are still oh-so young and have their whole lives ahead of them with so much to learn, most of which won’t be achieved by a national test.