• Ayrshire Daily News

South Ayrshire students celebrate best-ever Higher results

Young people across South Ayrshire are celebrating their exam results today (8 August 2017) after months of hard work and nail biting tension – and rightly so, with Higher results reaching record levels and National 5 results remaining steady.

Today's results show that, across South Ayrshire, more young people are achieving Highers by the end of S5 than ever before – according to centrally held records – with particular improvements being made over the last five years.

In 2012, 11% of young people in South Ayrshire achieved five or more Highers during their fifth year – but that figure has almost doubled to 20% or 221 young people who have achieved this gold standard, a significant increase.

The number of young people in S5 securing three or more Highers has also improved from 26% in 2012 to 39%. This means 436 young people are now looking to build on their results in S6 or use them to go on to positive destinations when they leave school.

Five years ago, 46% of young people gained one or more Higher but this has increased to 61% with 678 young people achieving at least one Higher in South Ayrshire this year.

For those in their fourth year, the percentage achieving five or more National 5 Awards has remained steady at 45%. Figures for passes at National 4 and National 3, which don't require an exam, are still being confirmed by schools and the SQA and will be available later this year.

Councillor William Grant, Lifelong Learning Portfolio Holder for the Council said: "I am very proud that standards across South Ayrshire remain high and we are making significant improvements which will have a lasting and positive impact on our young people who must be congratulated on their fantastic achievements.

"It takes a huge amount of hard work and effort from young people, parents and staff to achieve such positive results, some of which are record-breaking, and I have no doubt this will continue as we work to further raise standards and close the attainment gap. I am particularly pleased to see such significant improvements in our Higher results over the last five years or so and that's definitely a positive trend we want to keep going. Everyone involved in supporting our young people through their exams should be very proud of what has been achieved today."

Councillor Grant joined fellow local Councillors to meet with pupils at Carrick Academy in Maybole as they celebrated their exam and other qualifications success.

He said: "Talking to and celebrating with the young people at Carrick Academy, really highlights the importance of quality learning and teaching and the difference this makes to young people's lives. The students we met today have some great ambitions and it was uplifting to hear just how much they value their qualifications and achievements. I wish them and all the others who have just received their results all the best for the future."

Carrick Academy S4 pupils Ciara Wyllie and Amy Prower both sat six National 5 qualifications this year and they have chosen to stay on at school next year. A delighted Ciara achieved 6 A grades "I am still deciding what I want to do, but I am really happy with my results, mum was so happy she was crying".

Amy also achieved 6 As and is looking to become a vet "I want to go to university in Glasgow or Edinburgh, I had some work experience locally and I like working with animals."

Fifth year Emma Baillie sat a mixture of Higher and National 5 qualifications this year. She was really happy her 3Bs and 2Cs but will need to improve her Maths as she is looking to become an engineer. "I would like to work in Aviation as an engineer and I am hoping to get taken on as an apprentice locally". A number of young people achieved 5 Higher awards with two of our young people achieving 5 A Grades.

In S6, pupils continue to study six learning choices; Connor Inglis studied 3 Advanced Highers in Maths, Graphics and Physics, he studied Higher Geography and National 5 Music as an interest subject. Connor also spent a year working alongside the school's Science Technician, where he learned the skills required for this type of work. This not only enabled him to learn what it was like to be part of the work force, it also led to a 'Skills for Work' qualification in Personal Development. When Conner opened his results he was over the moon with 3As, B and a C. He already has an unconditional offer at Glasgow University but was worried he would not get Maths; he said "I am going to study Chemistry and Physics at University and I am really excited. I was relieved I achieved a C in Maths, I was not sure how I did after the exam"

Fellow sixth year Kieran Robb studied Advanced Higher English and Highers in Biology, Chemistry and Music. Kieran also successfully completed the 'Skills for Work' qualification in Personal Development as well as achieving the Summit Saltire Award. Kieran is a keen volunteer and wanted to work with children so his 2 As, B and a C mean he can now go on to study Primary Teaching at University. "I am really happy with my grades and I am heading to the University of the West of Scotland. My parents are really proud of me and have supported my decisions."

Carrick Academy Head Teacher Shona Stevens concluded: "At Carrick Academy we are ambitious for our young people and we ask them to set high expectations for themselves; and I am delighted they have achieved such success. For example, some of our young people in S4 sat Higher qualifications as well as National 5 this session, with real success; while a number of young people achieved five Higher awards – including pupils who achieved five As .

"Overall, our young people have shown a real commitment and dedication to their studies which has resulted in positive examination results for each of them. I am very proud of their success."

Support and guidance will be available for young people as they consider course choices for the coming session, further education or making the transition into work.

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