Headteachers respond to 2023 exam results

Secondary headteachers from across the Borders congratulate pupils on their 2023 exam results

Susan Oliver, Head Teacher Jedburgh Grammar Campus:

We are incredibly proud of how the young people of Jedburgh Grammar Campus have handled the challenges they have faced over the last few years and are pleased that our Raising Attainment Programme has been effective in supporting them to build back from the pandemic.

Our young people and staff have worked tirelessly throughout the year, including making the most of additional lunch, after school, Easter holiday and 1-1 tutorial sessions.  The cumulative efforts have resulted in improvements in attainment across all year groups with pass rates for all presentations in S4, S5 and S6 increasing, in particular for our young people in S5.  It is fantastic to see so many more of our young people now achieving five or more qualifications at National 4, National 5 and Higher level.     

In addition to these improvements, this session JGC successfully presented a number of senior pupils for the Foundation Apprenticeship award in Construction and we were also delighted to see 100% success in Level 3, 4 and 5 qualifications in the newly introduced Applications of Mathematics courses. We will continue to look to expand our curriculum offer to best meet the needs of our learners at all levels.

As always, we are very proud of our young people for their wide range of achievements which are not captured in the formal examination system, ranging from personal successes to regional and national accomplishments. Following our recent inspection, the ways our children and young people are developing skills for life, learning and work was identified as a strength, including highlighting consistently positive destinations for our school leavers.

Very well done to all of our young people and a huge thank you to parents, carers, partner agencies and our community for their ongoing support.

Jamie Bryson, Head Teacher Selkirk High School:

Achievement takes many forms at Selkirk High School and we are very proud of our students today. Behind so many individual results lies a story of resilience, determination and tremendous effort and we pay tribute to all our wonderful students, whatever their results, and to all those who support them both at home and at school.

Alongside fantastic individual results, it’s great to see a continuation of the positive trends of recent years at Higher and Advanced Higher and particularly satisfying to see the breadth of achievement at Level 5 with students achieving awards in a range of new courses including Health Sector, Criminology, Esports, Cyber Security, Rural and more. Well done Selkirk High School!

Jill Lothian, Head Teacher Kelso High School:

We are very proud of all our young people and their continued efforts throughout a challenging academic session.  With ongoing support from our staff, families and the wider community, our young people remained dedicated, determined and persevered to achieve individual targets and goals.

Key highlights from our 2023 SQA performance include a number of young people within S4 gaining high quality awards at Level 4 and 5.  Almost all of our young people within S6 have also added value to their qualifications already gained, they are now set to progress onto a positive destination.  Throughout this session, we have also been successful with the introduction of new courses within our Senior Phase, for example Health Sector Studies and Criminology. 

Our young people will continue to enhance their portfolio of academic results along with developing key skills for life and work.  These will be achieved by either returning to school, moving on to further and higher education or embarking on a new career via employment and apprenticeship.

A key area for improvement for session 23/24 will be to build on these attainment successes.  We will also use our core vision and values – PRIDE in ourselves, our school and our community - to build strong, positive relationships across the school to ensure high quality learning experiences for our young people.

Lisa Scott, Head Teacher, Hawick High School:

I am delighted to share that this session, Hawick High School has maintained the progress made in attainment made over the past three years thanks to the hard work, dedication and commitment of both staff and young people. This has resulted in strong overall attainment across all year groups and maintaining the standards set.

We have seen an improvement in the overall number of awards that students achieve, and furthermore, our performance in Literacy remains consistently strong whilst we are maintaining the improvements seen in numeracy over the past three years. We are pleased that more students are leaving Hawick High School with a greater number of qualifications than ever before.

We are proud of all the examination achievements of our young people at Hawick High School and there have been some tremendous individual performances from a number of our S4, S5 and S6 students but, as always, we are proud of all of our young people’s achievements. Our young people are a credit to the school, their parents / carers and their community and we should be all proud of what they have achieved. I would like to thank all of our parents, carers and community supporters for enabling this to happen, finally a huge well done to each and every one of our learners.

Jill MacDonald, Head Teacher Earlston High School:

We are exceptionally proud of all our fourth, fifth and sixth year students. The 2023 results are a credit to them, their families and the staff at EHS.  S4 are to be particularly congratulated. In their first experience of national qualifications, fourth year students have excelled with some of the best results on record. S5 and S6 results remain strong and our students’ success will stand them in good stead for the future. We wish our leavers all the very best and thank them for their commitment and contribution to Earlston High School. We are immensely proud of them all.

Robin Chapman, Head Teacher Eyemouth High School:

The whole Eyemouth and Eastern Berwickshire community can be proud of what our senior pupils have achieved in the recent SQA examinations. Despite some disrupted years in education due to the pandemic, our young people showed considerable resolve and commitment in achieving an excellent set of results again for the school, starting with our best ever performance across a range of National subjects.

There were many pleasing individual performances, which will again help virtually all of our young people into a positive destination, be that into volunteering, work, an apprenticeship or work experience, college or university. We are proud that the individual guidance and care we give is helping all our young people to succeed to the best of their ability.

As a school we set out to provide professional warmth to all, to challenge our young people and to provide a rich tapestry of wider achievements and experiences. I would like to thank the dedicated staff for their hard work in providing ongoing support and care in line with excellent teaching and carefully thought out programmes. I am pleased that we have yet again added more subjects and courses this year as the school goes from strength to strength.

Bruce Robertson, Head Teacher, Berwickshire High School:

Berwickshire High School staff send their best wishes to all of our students receiving SQA results today. Well done for all of your hard work - we hope it pays off and you get the results you were aiming for. I would also like to take the opportunity to thank our tremendous team of staff for everything they have done to support students throughout the year.

Kevin Ryalls, Head Teacher, Galashiels Academy:

Our school vision is to equip our young people with values, skills and qualifications to be the best they can be. Therefore, strong exam results and successful completion of courses are a central part of our core purpose in the Academy.

I am very pleased to report that we have achieved very positive outcomes this year and I am very proud of our whole community who have worked so well together to achieve these results in many different qualifications and courses.

These were achieved through strong relationships, support and challenge and a curriculum that meets the aspirations of our wonderful young people.  

Our S5 and S6 learners worked very hard to give themselves a platform for their final year at school or their next step after school where the vast majority have achieved what they needed to go on to their destination of choice. SQA qualifications, SCQF course awards and foundation apprenticeships are all been key to this success. 

Our S4 results are among the best on record, an outstanding achievement, and one I am extremely proud of. This sets up our S4 learners very well for their next steps. 

I am very pleased at the range of courses and the fact that so many of our young people achieved so well. Behind each statistic is an individual and I want to pay tribute to each and every one of them.

I would like to also thank our parents who support the school and our young people so well. We work with many partners who also play a very important role in these successes, and we really appreciate this support. Finally, I want to recognise the efforts of our fantastic staff team who care for and encourage our young people so well

Campbell Wilson, Head Teacher, Peebles High School:

Our young people have performed exceptionally well this year and deserve great plaudits.  Everyone at the school is thrilled that so many will be celebrating with their families today.  We know that the support our young people receive from their parents and teachers is key to their successes and we applaud the efforts of everyone in helping to secure such a solid set of results across the year groups at Peebles High School.