Pupils across the north-east have been celebrating a raft of impressive exam results.
Aberdeen City Council’s education convener John Wheeler said he was “absolutely delighted” by the results, with the local authority seeing a “noticeable improvement” in S4 pupils gaining five or more awards of grades A-C at National 5.
Youngsters from across the city gathered at Marischal College yesterday to share their impressive achievements, with many off to university after the summer.
Harlaw Academy S6 pupil Laszlo Hadju was celebrating after gaining an A and a B in his Advanced Highers, meaning he has been accepted to study electrical and mechanical engineering at Edinburgh University.
The 17-year-old, from Garthdee, who moved to the city from Hungary around eight years ago with just limited English skills, said he was helped by a teacher at Kaimhill Primary to learn the language.
He said: “I used to have a teacher who came into primary school and worked with people who weren’t from the UK. Hearing other people speak it helped.”
Aberdeen Grammar S6 pupil, Catherine Denison, said she was “really happy” to have gained three As in her Advanced Highers.
The 18-year-old added: “I’m going to Dundee Uni to study medicine. I’m scared but excited.”
And fellow Aberdeen Grammar pupil Lewis MacIver, 18, is off to study business at the city’s Robert Gordon University, after gaining the Highers he needed.
Meanwhile, sixth year Harlaw Academy pupils Freya Bretton, and Emma Morrison are both also off to Edinburgh University.
Freya, 18, who got two As and a B in her Advanced Highers, said: “They went better than I thought they would. I’m going to Edinburgh to study chemical engineering.”
And Emma, 17, said she was “very pleased” to have achieved three As at Advanced Higher, with a place secured at Edinburgh Vet School.
Aspiring zoologist Rachel McDade, who is about to start her sixth year at St Machar Academy, said her family were “really proud” that she had gained straight As in her Highers. She said: “I’m interested in biology and I want to do zoology or something.”
St Machar Academy pupil Emma McGonigle, 16, who is starting fifth year after the summer, got seven National 5 qualifications, including three As in maths, music and physics. She is hoping to get into medical school.
Caitlyn Flynn, who is also going into S5 at the school, was delighted with her National Qualifications too – receiving three As and three Bs. She is going on to do Highers and hopes to do graphics at university.
Councillor Wheeler said: “We’ve made some improvements across some SQA measures and we’ve certainly sustained our performance across the majority of others.”
Meanwhile pupils at Albyn School were also jumping for joy after an excellent set of results.
The school saw 18 of 60 S5 pupils sitting Highers achieve five straight A grades in all subjects.
S6 pupil Daniel Bates also achieved four A grades at Advanced Higher and will be studying for a degree in artificial intelligence at the University of Edinburgh.
Dr Ian Long, head teacher at Albyn, said: “We are very pleased with this very promising set of results. They will allow our pupils to progress in their future endeavours and we wish them the best of luck.”
For Aberdeenshire Council, attainment for those with high-end qualifications has increased, with 88 young people achieving five straight A passes at Higher level.
Head of education Vincent Docherty said that the pupils of Westhill Academy deserved a special mention after they showed “real togetherness and resilience” after the loss of their fellow pupil, 16-year-old Liam Smith.
He added: “This is the best performance from Westhill in seven years even with the tragedy, which was traumatic for the pupils.
“For a school community, the really bad news during the year could have meant that was not the path they followed.”
There was also excitement for 17-year-old twins Caitlin and Jamie Watt as they both received great results.
Jamie’s grades including one A, three Bs and one C, meant he could accept his conditional offer to North East Scotland College after the summer to study physical fitness as he hopes to become a physiotherapist.
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His sister received two As, two Bs and one C and will continue on to sixth year. She hopes to eventually become a PE teacher.
Jamie said: “I have always known she was better than me. When I saw that I got a B in English I sprinted down the stairs and showed my mum.”
Caitlin said: “I challenged myself and I am really happy with the results I got, I got woken up by Jamie this morning when he got his results.”
Going into sixth year “a bit more relaxed” is Matthew Milne, 17, who received five As in his Higher qualifications including in Maths, Physics and History.
Matthew said: “I was not expecting it. I thought I would be getting a B in Maths because I did not think the exam went well, but I was really pleased.”
After his last year at school, Matthew is looking forward to starting a new chapter and hopes to study Biomedical Engineering at Glasgow University.
Councillor Gillian Owen, chairwoman for the authority’s education and children’s services committee, congratulated all the pupils who received their results yesterday.
She added: “We must really pay tribute to parents and carers who have lived through it as well.”
The Skills Development Scotland (SDS) helpline will be available from 8am to 8pm today and from 9am to 5pm weekdays from tomorrow until next Wednesday. The number to call is 0808 100 8000.