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Lessons to be learnt from Barrowford Primary School

The Barrowford Primary School letter – a delightful and moving example of recognition and results.
BI WORLDWIDE’s Marketing Manager Pippa Loveridge was moved when she read the simple letter to a parent at Barrowford Primary School that had made the headlines.

As a mother of an 18 year old and the daughter of two retired school teachers, I was enchanted when I discovered the wonderful letter from Barrowford Primary School during my morning check on Twitter. The message encompasses everything my parents taught me about their profession and everything they aspired to impart to me, and to each and every child they taught over the years.

How many parents whose child received the incredible KS2 test results letter from Barrowford Primary School were taken aback by the honest and inspiring content?  It was clearly written by a teacher driven by the desire to promote each student’s wellbeing and growth; a teacher with a highly-sophisticated understanding of how to ensure the best results and with inspired knowledge of driving engagement.

It was thought-provoking, beautifully constructed, honest, and heartfelt - simply delightful; a clear and unmistakable message that every child is special simply for everything they do, or try to do right.

As an adult, what can we take from this? It’s clear that the letter was written with each individual student in mind: those who excelled in the KS2 test and those who didn’t; those students who are thoughtful and considerate, and even those who aren’t currently trustworthy or kind. This one well-constructed communication speaks a specific message to each child, and each child will only read and understand the message applicable to them. It's clear the letter will encourage a change in their behaviour and, if supported well through school, will lead to better results.

In that single communication, the profile of Barrowford Primary School has risen across the world.  As I type, every school worth its salt is probably writing new engaging and reward-driven communications to students.  But, it can’t be that simple – they won’t all receive the adulation of Barrowford. A school can’t just change a letter and expect the results achieved by Barrowford with that one change. Driving performance improvement and creating an environment for better results takes time, strategy, and experience. I’m sure Barrowford motivates every day, and this letter was just one piece of the puzzle.

Improving performance, recognising and rewarding behaviour, and creating motivational environments to improve results is an art, it’s a passion, and it’s something that won’t generate results overnight - unlike that charming viral letter.

See more about Barrowford Primary School, the letter and the public reaction here:

http://www.barrowford.lancs.sch.uk/

https://twitter.com/BarrowfordSch

http://www.itv.com/goodmorningbritain/news/caring-school-or-excusing-failure-exam-results-letters

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-28325561

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