Headteachers respond to 2017 exam results

Published: 8th August 2017

Two students still on a wall holding envelopes containing their exam results
Head boy, Charlie Graves and depute head boy, James Crombie from Kelso High and relieved and proud to have their exam results.

Headteachers from secondary schools across the Borders send their congratulations to pupils on their exam results.

Chief Officer Education

Michelle Strong: “As pupils across the Borders opened their results this week, I am delighted that the hard work and commitment of not only the pupils themselves – but also the teachers and staff at each of our secondary schools – has paid such great dividends. The support provided by parents, carers and families is not to be underestimated either with their encouragement an immensely important part of the picture.
“Overall, we have seen record numbers of pupils being put forward for a range of qualifications with more than ever before achieving a course award. The significant increase in attainment that we saw at National level last year has translated into a very strong performance at Higher level. Our school leavers have gained a greater number of qualifications than in previous years which has meant we have remain well above the Scottish average in terms of the number of pupils going onto a positive and sustained destination.
“I would like to pass on my congratulations to every one of our senior pupils on their successes over the past academic year, not only for what they may have achieved in their SQA examinations, but also for the range of other skills and achievements that have been gained through other commitments and of which they should be extremely proud.”

Berwickshire High

John Clarke: “Exam results for the past year have again seen some significant improvements. Our leavers in S6 have yet again improved on the attainment that the young people from BHS leave school with and there have been some excellent individual performances in all year groups. Success has come due to the diligence of the young people and the determination of staff to see the young people in their classes achieve to their potential. My sincere thanks goes to everyone that has ensured the very best outcomes for our young people.”

Earlston High

Justin Sinclair: “Once again, our young people have excelled in their national examinations. Our S4 results were exceptionally strong with an increased percentage of young people achieving a minimum of five National 5 awards. In our S5 and S6, we saw another year of excellent attainment. Our staff, local community, parents and carers should be extremely proud of each and every individual pupil success and achievement on this examination results day.”

Eyemouth High

Robin Chapman: "Yet again Eyemouth High has taken a step forward in students’ attainment at all levels. Along with matching the excellent Higher results of last year, our students achieved a 10% increase in the number of students gaining five good grades at National 5 level. This is testament to the hard work and effort of students and teachers in ensuring that our young people are successful. We work hard to ensure that young people are thriving at the school, and it is pleasing to see the results improving as a result of this approach.”

Galashiels Academy

Kevin Ryalls: “We are immensely proud of our young people and their efforts in this year’s examinations. We set high expectations of our young people across an ever increasing range of subjects and qualifications and our young people have worked very hard. Embracing challenge, effort and, in particular, a team effort between staff and pupils have delivered more very encouraging results for our school.
“Nationally, the focus is on the attainment levels and skills young people leave school with and the subsequent impact on securing the positive destination which meets the aspirations of our young people. In this context, we were particularly pleased with the results of our departing S6. Results show improvement across the key measures. For example, the number of young people in the 2011 cohort leaving Galashiels Academy with three Highers, five Highers and one Advanced Higher increased by an average of 12%.
“We are also proud of our S5 results which were also very positive with another increase in Higher passes and an average improvement of 10% in the number of pupils attaining three or five Highers since 2015. Also of note is the growing number of S4 pupils attaining 5 or more National 5s since 2015.
“On behalf of all the staff, I would like to thank all young people who sat exams last year for their efforts. We wish all our leavers the best of luck in the future and we look forward to working with our new S5 and S6 to build on their achievements so far.”

Hawick High

John Clarke: "It will be fantastic for the new headteacher, Vicky Porteous, to come into a school that is seeing genuine improvements in attainment.
“National 5 results have improved significantly and are the best results for a S4 year group for at least eight years with a 4 percent improvement on last year for those gaining five or more National 5’s.
“Results in other areas have been maintained and there is a really good feeling in the school about the progress that can continue to be made, now that a permanent headteacher is in post.
“There were some tremendous individual performances in amongst the many good results and I wish to thank the staff for all their hard work over the last year. In particular though,  I would like to congratulate all the young people and wish them well for the positive journey that they have ahead of them.”

Jedburgh Grammar

Susan Oliver: “We are very proud of how our young people have performed in this year’s SQA examinations and also of the fantastic range of achievements they have accomplished over the last session in school, the local community and further afield. Highlights of this year’s SQA performance include an increase in S4 pupils gaining five or more passes at National 5 level and an increase in S5 pupils gaining five Highers. We are also delighted to see pupils perform very well in Higher Spanish and National 5 Practical Electronics, both of which were offered for the first time this session.
“We would like to congratulate all our pupils on their achievements and thank their parents, our staff and the wider community for their ongoing support.

Kelso High

Jill Lothian: “We are very proud of our young people and their efforts in this year’s examinations. At Kelso High, our senior students aimed high and worked hard towards their individual targets and goals. The vast majority of them have been rewarded for this commitment. Highlights of this year’s SQA performance are an overall improvement in the percentage of S6 students leaving with one, three and five Highers and Advanced Highers.  We would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the commitment, dedication and hard work that has been shown over the past year by pupils, teachers, parents and carers alike.”

Peebles High

Paul Fagan: “Peebles High School continues to set new records for SQA exam results. This year an outstanding 34 percent of S5 pupils achieved five Highers, a 6 percent increase on last year’s results. This fantastic achievement is due to the commitment and dedication of our young people, parents and staff working tirelessly throughout the year and reaffirms Peebles High as one of the highest attaining schools in Scotland.
“With the introduction of personal support time we have set ambitious targets with our young people regularly reviewing goals and planning for success. We are immensely proud of many of our young people who not only went on to set records for achievement in Highers but also improved results in almost every measurable area by the end of their sixth year. In particular we are delighted that the continued efforts to ensure achievement for all in the senior school has result in a significant improvement in the number of students leaving with five qualifications at National 3 (up 2%) and National 4 level (up 5%). Results for pupils achieving five National 5 results or more by the end of S6 increased by 4.5 percent to 78 percent of all school leavers, significantly higher than Scottish Borders averages and higher than any other school in the authority.
“We are very hopeful that with this year’s results our young people will go on to many wonderful and exciting positive destinations. However, we are also conscious that for some of your young people results day was not a cause for celebration and we look forward to meeting with them at the start of the new term and planning for success in session 2017-18.”

Selkirk High

Jamie Bryson: “The young people of Selkirk High School are an inspiration when they are at their best and it’s wonderful to see so many of them celebrating today. There are some spectacular achievements this year, with many students attaining at the highest levels and large numbers achieving excellent qualifications across a range of subjects. As teachers, parents and students know, behind every result is a story of blood, sweat and tears and particular congratulations go to those individuals who really pushed themselves, who never gave up or who have overcome significant barriers and challenges in their personal lives to gain their awards. There were tears in the school office when the results came in. You have shown us all that it can be done! We’re all very proud of you.”

Find out more

More information about the results is available in our press release. Images and quotes from pupils are available on our Flickr page.