East Renfrewshire pupils deliver record-breaking SQA exam results

Eastwood High School with pupils Clare Wallace (right) Erin Wallace (left) who achieved multiple As with head teacher Stuart Maxwell
Eastwood High School with pupils Clare Wallace (right) Erin Wallace (left) who achieved multiple As with head teacher Stuart Maxwell

Pupils across East Renfrewshire have excelled across the board, with another year of outstanding exam results.

Across the council’s seven secondary schools, the best ever results for pupils achieving five or more Highers have been recorded.

Students have also achieved the best ever Advanced Higher results in East Renfrewshire.

An impressive 45 per cent of 5th Year pupils achieved five or more Highers, with 41 per cent of 6th Years achieving one or more Advanced Highers.

The results for fourth year pupils also continue to show a very strong performance, with 93 per cent of the year group achieving five or more qualifications at National 4 or better and 75 per cent achieving five or more qualifications at National 5 or better – the third highest ever achieved by pupils at East Renfrewshire Council schools.

As thousands of children from across the authority area celebrate their achievements, East Renfrewshire Council’s Convener for Education and Equalities, Councillor Paul O’Kane, has welcomed the results.

Cllr O’Kane said: “It takes hard work and dedication to achieve such fantastic results and once again our pupils across the whole area have raised the bar.

“With record-breaking Higher and Advanced Higher results, as well as another extremely strong performance in National 4 and 5, the achievements of our pupils never cease to impress me.

“These results are a tribute to the hard work of pupils, exceptionally well supported by our staff and parents, all of whom contribute to this impressive performance across the area.

“It is also extremely pleasing that the S5 attainment gap has been narrowed which highlights that our approaches to learning and teaching from the earliest stages is continuing to deliver strong results. Well done to everyone for another year of excellent results.”

In working towards East Renfrewshire Council’s vision for Education – Everyone attaining, everyone achieving through excellent experiences – a systematic, detailed and rigorous analysis of pupil performance, from nursery through to secondary, is used to ensure a targeted approach for every child.

This rigorous tracking and monitoring system focused on each individual pupil is at the heart of the council’s success in raising the bar for all.

Mhairi Shaw, director of Education at East Renfrewshire Council, said: “Our approach is clearly having an impact as year after year our pupils continue to produce outstanding results. We continue to see improvements right across the board, with children from all backgrounds achieving and reaching their potential.

“Our approach recognises that all children progress at a different pace and need to be supported appropriately. We take a rounded, holistic approach to develop the whole young person.

“A hugely successful vocational training programme is also in place across all our schools we are continuing to provide more opportunities for pupils to access courses and qualifications through college, as well as apprenticeships.

“This allows us to support all our pupils to make the best choices for them, preparing them effectively for their future career path.

“These results are testament to the hard work of pupils, teachers and parents and I congratulate you all.”

Siblings Erin and Clare Wallace, from Eastwood High School, are celebrating after achieving multiple A results.

The sisters have balanced competing at the highest sporting level with excelling in the classroom too.

Erin represented Scotland in the team triathlon event at the Commonwealth Games earlier this year and also recently finished 7th in the 1,500m at the World Junior Championships.

The 18-year-old, who achieved five Higher As in S5, has added two As at Advanced Higher in her final year of school, as well as a Higher A achieved through a college course as part of the Council’s vocational training programme. Erin is now planning to focus on her athletics career in the year ahead and attend university after that.

Clare, 15, is already part of the Triathlon Scotland Academy and is keen to follow in her sister’s sporting footsteps. And having achieved nine As at National 5 is aiming for a career in dentistry.

Erin said: “I was really relieved when I opened my results as it means I have a lot of options open to me now. With the Commonwealth Games this year and all the training, I had a lot of commitments to juggle – with my Advanced Higher assignments due in just before we left for the Gold Coast. The school was really supportive which helped me manage my time effectively and I’m looking forward to getting into full-time training.”

Clare said: “I had a tight training schedule, but was absolutely delighted when I got my results. Erin got her results first so I was just hoping I had done as well. I was waiting nervously for my results and when I saw I’d got all As I was a bit shocked – but obviously delighted.”

Williamwood High School pupil Ross Nesbitt has defied the odds this year to not only get back on the ski slopes, but also achieve first-class exam results.

The 16-year-old was left in a coma for nearly four weeks after suffering a horrific skiing accident in December 2016, whilst training in Austria.

With doctors only predicting a 1 per cent chance of a full recovery, Ross has bounced back strongly and has achieved seven As and one B in his National 5 exams, while also returning to competitive skiing.

Ross said: “After my accident I had to learn how to do basic tasks again, such as walking and talking, but when I did eventually return to school they were really helpful.

“I initially just went back for shorter days and my teachers helped me catch up on work I’d missed – so when I went back full-time I was prepared.

“When the exams came round I felt ready for them but I really did not expect to get the results I have – but I’m really pleased.

“I wanted to see what results I got this year before deciding on what type of career I’d like to head towards.”