Pupils prove they’re the A-team with record-breaking exam results

Star pupils who received at least five As in their Higher exams gathered outside Falkirk Muncipal Buildings on Wednesday''Picture: Michael Gillen
Star pupils who received at least five As in their Higher exams gathered outside Falkirk Muncipal Buildings on Wednesday''Picture: Michael Gillen
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Pupils from across the Falkirk district were celebrating this week following a record-breaking exam performance.

A total of 52 per cent of local fifth year pupils achieved at least one Higher qualification, up two per cent from last year, while 30 per cent passed at least three Highers, up one per cent.

Our hope has always been that we would be able to show that the approaches we have taken to the development of the new curriculum in Falkirk would pay dividend

Councillor Alan Nimmo

In the new National qualifications – which replaced the Standard Grade exams sat by fourth year pupils – 39 per cent of candidates achieved five or more passes at grades A-C, a significant improvement on the 2014 figure of 33 per cent.

By the end of sixth year, pupils showed significant improvement, with 41 per cent gaining at least one Higher against 38 percent in 2014.

The numbers gaining at least one Advanced Higher rose from 16 to 17 per cent.

Councillor Alan Nimmo, education spokesman, said: “Our hope has always been that we would be able to show that the approaches we have taken to the development of the new curriculum in Falkirk would pay dividends.”

Falkirk High pupil Josie Shirra, from Camelon, earned top grades in English, French, Spanish, Modern Studies and History.

“It was a complete surprise,” the modest 16-year-old said. Josie plans to study languages at university.

Larbert High head girl Zoe Dickson (17), from Larbert, earned six A grades at Higher, including Maths – an exam paper that was severely criticised by pupils and teachers this year, prompting the SQA to admit it was too difficult.

“I went in to the exam quite confident, but I was taken aback at the choice of questions,” she said.

Also earning straight As was Braes High pupil Ross Heenan (16) from Shieldhill. “I was ecstatic when I found out,” he said.

The clever youngster plans to study physics at university after being inspired by the work of celebrity scientist Brian Cox.

S5 pupil Freya Whiteford (17), from Denny High, was also celebrating after achiveing an impressive set of Higher results. “I was predicted to get straight As, so when I did it was a massive relief,” she said.