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Education / Exam results show improvement on last year

Raven and Ythan Shaw were among those who received their results today.

THE WAITING is over for 554 secondary pupils in Shetland who will be receiving their exam results by text, email or post today (Tuesday).

Results overall show a marked improvement since last year and they are notably higher than the Scottish average, although the number of senior pupils was lower, continuing a trend.

The results include those for Nationals, Highers and Advanced Highers, which are usually taken by pupils in the senior phase of school (S4 to S6).

Pass rates at National 5 grades A-C were 82 per cent, compared with 77 per cent in 2018, and it is the highest rate since Nationals were introduced in 2014. The figure for Scotland as a whole was 78 per cent.

Pass rates at Higher grades A-C were also 82 per cent, up from 77 per cent in 2018 and it is the highest rate since the new Higher was introduced in 2015. The figure for Scotland as a whole was 75 per cent.

Passes at Advanced Higher grades A-C were 78 per cent, compared with 80 per cent in 2018 and 2017, and 74 per cent when the new Advanced Higher was introduced in 2016. The figure for Scotland as a whole was 79 per cent.

Director of children’s services for Shetland Islands Council Helen Budge said: “I am delighted that our young people have once again achieved very good results across a wide range of qualifications.

“It is due to their hard work and commitment so I would like to congratulate them all on their achievements. They have been encouraged and supported by their teachers, parents and carers, and I would like to thank them all for their work too.”

There were additionally five passes at National 2, 27 passes at National 3 and three pupils achieving the Scottish Baccalaureate in Science, all with distinction.

Anderson High School pupil Ellie Jamieson has just completed sixth year and is heading to Edinburgh University to study psychology after achieving a Scottish Science Baccalaureate.

Ellie Jamieson. Photo: P Johnson/Shetland News

She also completed Advanced Higher biology, chemistry and and maths, all at A grade.

Ellie said: “You can choose any topic within the sciences that interests you and it is very independent learning. We did it for the whole year and in March we did a talk to the general public at the museum auditorium.

“For my topic I did the science of fear, and that was very daunting, but I think it will be very good going on to university having done all that research because we had to speak to scientists and researchers in that particular field of study.

“That was definitely one of the more worthwhile things from S6.”

Ellie said that she had been a lot more nervous about her exams in past years, but having an unconditional acceptance for university eased that anxiety.

Secondary five AHS pupil Lauren Sandison has yet to make up her mind about university, but she was delighted with her five A passes in English, maths, biology, history, and German.

She plans to concentrate on languages, taking Advanced Higher German and Higher Spanish, plus Higher chemistry and admin.

Lauren said: “I am really chuffed. I was a bit nervous before – you never really know how you have done. But I got my results by text this morning. Just seeing them I was so pleased all the hard work has paid off.”

Lauren Sandison. Photo: P Johnson/Shetland News

She was also complimentary about the Anderson as a learning environment. “All the teachers are so helpful. Throughout the exam period you go up and get stuff marked and it is just a really good environment to learn.”

Fair Isle sister and brother Raven and Ythan Shaw were also pleased with their results at the Anderson High School.

Raven received an unconditional acceptance for Stirling University, where she will study psychology, after fifth year, but decided to stay on to “broaden her education” in sixth year where she achieved Cs in Advanced Higher music and English and a B in higher geography.

Ythan completed his fourth year this summer, where he scooped seven As in maths, English, physics, chemistry, physical education, music and geography. The 15-year-old plans to take Higher maths, English, chemistry, physics and geography in fifth year.

Non-graded qualifications pass rates including National 4 were 88 per cent, and that figure is likely to increase when some pupils complete additional units at the start of the new term, according tot the education authority.

Additionally, certificates for a range of other awards such as Skills for Work are being issued this summer. Seventy seven pupils in S4 to S6 successfully completed vocational courses taught at Shetland College or NAFC Marine Centre UHI alongside their school studies.

These school/college partnership courses are provided at several levels and in a wide range of subjects, including early education and childcare, construction, engineering, maritime skills, and sound engineering.

They are all part of the “broad range” of academic and vocational qualifications that are now available to young people in Shetland within the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework.

Local schools are ready to discuss results with pupils, who should contact their school directly.

Advice is also available on the Skills Development Scotland website or through the exam results helpline 0808 100 8000.