School’s message to transfer children

Harry Greer.
Harry Greer.

A heart warming letter from the staff of Harmony Hill Primary School sent to its P7 class sitting the transfer test was used during a church sermon on Sunday,

The letter of support went viral after it was sent on Friday to the 76 children at the school receiving the post primary entrance exam scores on Saturday.

In the letter it stated, that the result is a “score you have been waiting for but it might not be the score you’ve been hoping for.

“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 one 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 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 new pupils in September.”

Principal Harry Greer said that the idea came from Vice Principal, Hillary Johnston who penned the letter.

He said a parent then posted the letter on Facebook, and before long the school staff were inundated with press attention.

“We were all surprised by all this attention,” said Mr Greer. “All we wanted to do was to show the pupils that whatever happens, whatever the grade, they are all equal.

“We just wanted them to know that we were thinking of them. It can be a time if great excitement but for some children it can be a time of great disappointment.

“A lot of children do well but from time to time there are some who will not get the result they wanted. The result should not define them as a person.

“I’m sure the same compassion and sentiment will be evident in primary schools throughout Northern Ireland.”

He continued, “We do treasure all of our children.”

Yvonne Craig, who sits on the Board of Governors said that the letter was very typical of Harmony Hill.

She said the principal was due to retire and did not know how he would ever be replaced.

“There’s almost 600 pupils and Harry Greer knows every one of them by name,” she said. “Its that type of place. “There’s been two terrible tragedies with the death of two pupils and the amount of care and support given to the children and their families has been unbelieveable.” Around 15,000 10 and 11 year old P7 pupils across Northern Ireland sat the transfer tests.