Headteachers respond to 2022 exam results

Secondary headteachers from across the Borders congratulate pupils on their 2020 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 of the last couple of years, showing incredible resilience and adaptability throughout and coping well with sitting external examinations for the first time. In order to ensure that they were best placed to build back from the pandemic, we instigated a Raising Attainment Programme, which resulted in improvement across all years in the senior phase.  Young people and staff 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 strong attainment across all year groups. We are particularly pleased with the increase in the number of our S4 pupils achieving qualifications at level 5 and the number of our S6 pupils leaving us with the highest level of qualifications.

In addition to these successes, JGC presented a number of senior pupils for Leadership and Personal Development qualifications, and we were delighted to see success in Level 1 qualifications delivered in our Rose Hub Enhanced Provision. 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 also 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 national and international accomplishments.

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”.

Jill Lothian, Head Teacher Kelso High School

“We are very proud of all our young people and their continued efforts throughout another challenging academic session. At Kelso High, our senior students aimed high.  With ongoing support from staff, family and our wider community they remained dedicated, determined and persevered to achieve individual targets and goals.

Key highlights from our 2022 SQA performance include an increase in the number of our students gaining 5 or more higher awards within S5 along with the quality of our Advanced Higher grades within S6. 

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/higher education or embarking on a new career via employment/apprenticeship.

A key area for improvement for session 22/23 will be to build on these attainment successes.  We will also use our core 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. #PRIDEKHS #NOWRONGPATH”

Jamie Bryson, Head Teacher Selkirk High School

“Every student at Selkirk High School is on an Achievement Journey - and Qualifications, along with Skills and Values, are of course a vital part of this. As well as huge numbers of stunning individual results, we are delighted to see a continuation of the very positive trends of recent years across a range of measures- despite our students experiencing exams for the first time: the number of S4 students achieving at least 5 awards at National 5 and the number of S5 students achieving 5 Highers is a particularly satisfying testament to the combined efforts of the student, teacher and family team at SHS.

We know that behind so many of these achievements are individual stories of blood, sweat and tears and, this year, of tremendous resilience. Alongside congratulations to all our students I would therefore also like to pay tribute to their families and to their teachers for the relentless positivity and commitment they give to the young people of our wonderful community”.

Justin Sinclair, Head teacher Earlston High School

“After an unprecedented and difficult few years I cannot be more proud of the pupils and staff at Earlston High School. Behind each statistic is a young person - I want to pay tribute to each and every one of them. Once again we have a very strong set of results at EHS. Our S4 and S5 have performed exceptionally well – a credit to them all. The performance of our S6 is one of the best on record – well done to each and every one of them. It is important that our entire school community pays tribute to all our candidates this year. It has been challenging. But once again the family that is Earlston High School have demonstrated support for one another and worked hard to achieve these very strong set of results.”

Robin Chapman, Head teacher Eyemouth High School

‘Yet again, Eyemouth students have shown great resilience in continuing and building on their learning, alongside the recovery from the Covid-19 crisis. Students performed well in their first set of external examinations for three years. We are particularly pleased with our S4 students, alongside some strong performances by those in S5 and S6. We now continue to celebrate the positive next steps that our leavers will go on to, be that university, college, graduate and modern apprenticeships or work. I would like to thank our dedicated parents and staff who have been such a support to our young people this year, and look forward to engaging fully with our school and local community in the coming term.’

Vicky Porteous, Head teacher Hawick High School

‘Following two years of alternative assessment approaches for national qualifications this year saw a return to the traditional externally assessed SQA examination diet for most SCQF Level 5, 6 and 7 qualifications. I am delighted to share with you that this session Hawick High School has maintained the progress made in attainment over the past two years; our performance is significantly better than the previous SQA exam diet of 2019.

We continue to see improvements in the number of S4 students achieving passes in 6 or more subjects at SCQF Level 5. This is an increase on last year and an 11% increase on 2019. The number of S4 candidates achieving 5 or more subjects at SCQF Level 5 is similar to last year and significantly better (nearly 12%) than 2019.  Furthermore we have maintained the number of S4 students that achieve five qualifications at any level (an increase of 21% since 2019).

Again at SCQF Level 6 we have maintained performance. The number of S5 students achieving a pass in 5 or more subjects at SCQF Level 6 is similar to last year and significantly higher (nearly 8% ) than 2019.

There has again been an improvement in the number of S6 candidates successfully achieving 1 or more subjects at SCQF Level 7 (Advanced Higher) level.

Our performance in literacy at all levels remains consistently strong while we have maintained the improvements seen in numeracy over the past two years. The number of young people achieving a numeracy award at SCQF Level 5 and Level 6 is significantly better than 2019.

We are proud of all the examination achievements of our young people. In amongst the many good results there were some tremendous individual performances from a number of our S4, S5 and S6 students. Well done to all our students for their hard work over the past year.

For most of our students it was their first time sitting formal SQA exams. I am pleased with the maturity of approach shown by them all; they are a credit to the school and the community and I am delighted that their efforts have paid off.

Finally a message to teachers, support staff and parents. We have made real and significant improvements in attainment over the past two years which reflect our values of ambition, determination and responsibility, equality and honesty. None of this would be possible without your continued hard work, commitment and support... a huge thank you all.’

Campbell Wilson, Head teacher Peebles High School

“We are delighted with what our young people have achieved in the formal examinations this year. At Peebles High School the disruption to learning started before Covid with the very serious and damaging fire in November 2019. I am particularly delighted for our brilliant young people who have shown admirable determination, fortitude and resilience to thrive in such uncertain and challenging times.

I extend my congratulations to them for their deserved success in attaining such excellent results that we know help so much towards securing positive futures and determining next steps in their journeys as learners. Thank you for your efforts and brilliance in the face of adversity. I also thank our parents who, as ever, have been steadfast supporters of our school and have helped their children to achieve so well.

Finally, I would thank our fantastic staff team, I know that they will take great comfort from the fact that their formidable efforts over the last few years have helped to secure such positive outcomes for the young people we care so much about.

It would be wrong to conclude that our recovery is complete but these results do demonstrate that we are back on track and give us great confidence to look forward to the building of a new school with enthusiasm and confidence. Of course, not all young people have achieved to the level of their aspiration or expectation but we are here to support. Please contact the school office for advice.”

Bruce Robertson, Head teacher Berwickshire High School

“Huge congratulations to Berwickshire High School students on the results they have achieved! Everyone has worked incredibly hard and shown great resilience over the course another very challenging year. A huge thank you as well to all of our teachers and support staff who have done a wonderful job at helping students to achieve these results”.

Kevin Ryalls, Head teacher Galashiels Academy

"I would like to congratulate all our students who worked really hard to achieve success in their SQA exams this year. Despite the challenges of the last couple of years, I am very proud of the way our community pulled together to deliver positive outcomes for our young people.

Our young people succeeded in a very wide range of subjects and courses which is supported by our work as a Gold Ambassador school in Scotland for curriculum and qualifications. There are many stories of individuals achieving their goals and making the next step in their journey at school or going on to further study or employment.

Our vision is for our young people to be the best they can be and one example of this is that we have the highest number of people leaving school with 5 Highers or more. I want to thank our staff for their dedication to our young people and for supporting and challenging them so well. I would also like to thank our students for their efforts and also all our families and the wider community for supporting all our wonderful young people in this process."