Fife pupils are top of the class

KIRKCALDY;'KHS pupils Becky and Louise Clark with their exam results'Photo ; WALTER NEILSON

KIRKCALDY;'KHS pupils Becky and Louise Clark with their exam results'Photo ; WALTER NEILSON

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PUPILS across Kirkcaldy have done better than ever before in their exams.

Hundreds tore open envelopes on Thursday to reveal results which surpassed their expectations.

Across Fife pupils improved on last year’s results, with those studying for Highers in particular gaining on previous years. In the past five years, those gaining Highers in Fife has risen by more than seven per cent.

Craig Munro, head of education at Fife Council, said: “We are delighted with the outstanding performance by Fife pupils this year. We believe this year’s results are the best ever performance by Fife schools in almost every category. We must thank the pupils and their teachers.

“These results are testimony to the hard work of our pupils, the support of their parents, the expertise of our dedicated teachers and support staff, the leadership of our schools and the rigorous nature of the quality improvement systems in Fife.”

Falling behind

However, while pupils from Kirkcaldy’s four high schools are achieving great results, they are falling behind the rest of Fife when it comes to exams in fifth and sixth year.

Only six per cent of the town’s pupils are gaining five highers by S5, in comparison to 10 and 11 per cent in Dunfermline/Inverkeithing and Levenmouth/North east Fife respectively.

In Advanced Highers 14 per cent of those who sit the exams are gaining the qualification, but it still amounts to less than other areas in the Kingdom.

However, education bosses have said the figures take no account of the number of pupils in each school, as well as where the schools’ catchment areas sit on the Scottish Index of Multiple Depravation, while a school-by-school breakdown of the results will be available in autumn.

Councillor Douglas Chapman, chairman of the education and children’s services committee, said the results were fantastic.

He said: “This is a great set of results which is a credit to the pupils and teachers who have worked so hard to achieve them.

Educational attainment

“Over the past four years this administration’s priority has been to raise educational attainment in Fife and these results prove that we are achieving this year-on-year not just in exams, but from primary right through to sixth year of secondary school.

“This is all about giving more of Fife’s young people the chance to go on and further their education either at college, university, through an apprenticeship or employment.

“We can be very proud of what has been achieved this year, but there’s no room for any complacency and an exciting new term starts in a few days time.”

In Fife pupils achieving three or more exam passes at Higher level was up by 2.2 per cent in the past year, while pupils in S4 also increased their good results, with a rise of 1.2 per cent on last year for those achieving five passes at Standard Grade.

It seems the figures may improve still, with appeals likely to change the results of many of Fife’s school children - despite proposals to ditch the appeals system as of next year.

The SQA came under fire on Wednesday after it mistakenly sent out thousands of pupils results via text message a day early.

Janet Brown, chief executive of the body, said an inquiry is taking place into why this happened.

For those pupils who did not receive the results they were expecting, and might be worried about what the future holds, the SQA has set up an advice line on 0845 279 1000 or 0808 100 8000, available until August 28.

It was a pleasant surprise to get my results a day early!

Hundreds received exam results on Thursday, doing better than ever before in the national exams.

However, some pupils found out what the future holds a day before others, with glitches in the system meaning hundreds in Fife were sent their results a day earlier than expected.

Students who received results by text were given the unexpected news on Wednesday, rather than Thursday, causing confusion for those who thought the message may have been a hoax.

However, for a lot of students, the early results came as a relief rather than a worry.

Maria Smith (26), from Aberdour who received an A for Higher early education and childcare, was quite happy to be given her grade a day early.

She said; “It was a relief - you sit the exams in May and June so it feels like such a long wait. I know the night before I would have been thinking about it all night, so it came as a pleasant surprise.

“I think the text service is a very good one - I remember being at school and waiting for the postman to come, so it was better this way.”

Maria’s early text telling her she had achieved an A meant all the hard work was worth it, after she studied for the qualification on a night course, while still looking after her two children.

Sisters Louise and Becky Clark, who sat Highers and Standard Grades respectively at Kirkcaldy High School, were also delighted by their results, although they had to wait for the postman to come on Thursday.

However, the wait was worth it for Louise (18), as it meant a place at Napier University to study journalism.

She said: “My last year at high school was the most stressful for me, purely because it was my last set of exams and I really needed to get my grades for university.

“The day of the results arriving was one that consisted of my constant looking out of the front window and jumping at the slightest noise of the letterbox.

“I did get the grades I needed and I’m now looking forward to starting university in September.

“Looking back, I’m glad I put in all the hours to get the grades I needed, and I didn’t let the nerves and stress that comes with exams keep me from aiming high.”

Younger sister Becky (16), who sat her standard grades, said the wait for the postman was not one she’s looking forward to repeating.

She said: “The results finally arrived after an agonising two and a half hour wait, with my sister having a last minute stress at the thought of not getting her conditions for university.

“But it was great to know that after all those hours of work and studying it had paid off.

“Now I can return to school after summer with a confirmed place in my fifth year subjects and begin again for Highers!”