Thousands of pupils around Fife waited anxiously for their long-awaited exam results this week.
And early indications show that results were even better than last year, continuing a five year trend.
Derek Brown, head of the education service in Fife, congratulated the young people and their teachers on the results.
He said: ”This success is undoubtedly down to the efforts of the young people themselves, as well as the hard work of our teachers and the help of parents and families, who support them through what is a challenging, examination period.
“We have secured important improvements in the numbers of qualifications achieved by S4 pupils across Fife, with more pupils achieving National 5 passes. We have also consolidated the significant jump in Higher passes at S5 that was achieved last year, with a further increase in the number of young people who are achieving awards at this level.”
Fife has also recorded a significant improvement in the numbers of young people achieving qualifications in S6, at both Higher and Advanced Higher levels.
Against all these key benchmarks, Fife can record important improvements over a five year period, as well as against the performance last year.
Mr Brown continued: “This picture shows that our young people are more qualified than before and more able to access a wide range of opportunities on leaving school. It also shows that the work done by leadership teams in schools, working closely with their communities to implement Curriculum for Excellence, is helping our young people to be more successful learners.”
At Kirkcaldy’s new Viewforth High School in the Windmill Community Campus, groups of pupils met to compare results and celebrate with their peers.
Josh Bostock (16), told the Press: “I am shocked that I got three As, one of which is in English.”
And Natalie Murray (16), added: “I am extremely happy to have passed all five Highers this year. It was only manageable with the help and support of the teachers at Viewforth.”
Adrian Watt, rector, who empathised with many parents as his own daughter anxiously awaited her results, said: “I have no doubt that there are many happy homes across Dysart and East Kirkcaldy where success is being celebrated. I am delighted to pass on my own congratulations to our pupils and teachers. Success takes various forms for different individuals and as I looked at the individual results it was obvious that many had surpassed expectations.
“It is still a bit early to be definitive about exactly how well Viewforth has done overall but, with record enrolment and more pupils staying on into S5 and S6, we have much to look forward to as we start out in our fantastic new facilities.”
Patrick Callaghan, head teacher at St Andrews High, added: “Early indications show a large number of very impressive results for our pupils again this year - one young man has even achieved not one, two, three but four Advanced Higher passes in his sixth year at the school and five pupils have gained five straight A passes at Higher.
“The hard work and commitment of both pupils and staff – together with first class support from families and carers – is once more to be commended.”
Teachers and guidance staff at many of the schools have been around this week to help advise pupils who may be struggling with decisions on what to do next after receiving their exam results.
And their main advice for those who maybe did not do as well as they had hoped is not to panic.
Skills Development Scotland (SDS) has a free helpline which will be open from 9am to 5pm until 17 August. The number to call is 0808 100 8000.
Danny Logue, SDS operations director said: “Some people might not get the results they hoped for or may have done better than they anticipated. It is vital that young people and their parents don’t panic. The Helpline is there to give support and information about all the different options young people can consider.”
Joanna Murphy, chairman of the National Parent Forum of Scotland, said: “I know from my own experiences that the helpline is a real lifeline. It offers young people the chance to talk to someone who is impartial, which helps you to step back and take stock.
“One of my daughters didn’t do as well as expected in her fifth year and was devastated, but after talking to the careers advisers at the helpline she realised she had so many options available to her. It takes some of the heat out of the emotion of the day and reminds young people no matter the results, there is always a next step.”