An Olympian effort in exams
Team GB swimmer at London 2012 Paralympic Games has led an Olympian exam effort by East Renfrewshire's young people.
Team GB medal hopeful in the upcoming London 2012 Paralympic Games has led an Olympian effort by East Renfrewshire's young people in today's (7 August 2012) exam results.
For, Andrew Mullen has combined his studies for intermediate 2 exams at Mearns Castle High School in East Renfrewshire with intensive training to prepare to take on the world's top swimmers.
And on one of the most stressful days of the year for the 158,908 candidates who are waiting to receive Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) national qualification examinations results, Andrew was in training from 5.30am in the pool in preparation for representing Team GB later this month.
After his two hour training session at Elderslie pool Andrew headed home to await the arrival of the postie with his results.
With his mum Katriona and dad Henry, sister Eilidh (13) and brother Euan (8) sitting beside him at the breakfast table, they heard the big white envelope came through the letter box.
Mum helped Andrew open it and there were whoops of delight when Andrew found he had 6 'A' passes in Biology, Chemistry, English, Maths, French and Modern Studies and 2 'B' passes in Admin and Product Design.
So how did he feel? He said: "I am very pleased as I have done much better than I expected. My predicted grades were lower than what I got."
Andrew, who would like to pursue a career involving swimming, perhaps in sports science, added: "I was hoping to get some 'A's but to get six is brilliant. Now I can concentrate on getting ready for the Paralympics."
Andrew, who trains over 20 hours a week, will race in the 50m butterfly, 50m freestyle and 50m backstroke, an event in which he is currently No 2 in the world behind Brazilian Daniel Dias.
His first race is the freestyle on 30 August at the Olympic pool at Stratford. He then swims again on 6 and 7 September.
The family will spend their annual holiday in London during the games and will base themselves in the Premier Inn in Kensington while Andrew will live in the Olympic Village.
Andrew added: "I am so grateful to Mearns Castle High who have given me time to train and prepare for the Paralympics. They've been great.
"Its been difficult to balance my time between studies and swimming but I think I have managed that pretty well."
Dad Henry was delighted: "What a result! He has done really well and we are so proud of him. He is thinking about a career in sports science and he knows he will need to have a good academic grounding. Now we can look to the Paralympics."
Andrew's dedication to his studies and his sport has been an inspiration to many in his school.
Mearns Castle High School Head teacher Dean Smith, said: "Andrew is a tremendous young man and we are all delighted with his sporting and academic success. Combining his studies with the rigorous training he needs to put in to represent the country at one of this year's huge sporting occasions is an inspiration to us all. We are very proud of Andrew and all of our pupils who achieve so much."
East Renfrewshire Council education convener, Councillor Elaine Green, said: "In East Renfrewshire we are all very proud of the achievements of our pupils in school. They show consistently that hard work and commitment pay off and our schools work equally hard to challenge and support our pupils. Andrews' achievements are a real inspiration and I'd like to congratulate him and his family. We'll be cheering on Andrew and the rest of Team GB at the London 2012 Paralympic Games."
Andrew will be competing in the London 2012 Paralympic Games which begin on 29 August and runs until 9 September.
But Andrew isn't the only Olympian Mearns Castle High School has produced.
Former Mearns Castle pupil Lynn Beattie captained Team GB women's volleyball team to their first ever Olympic games in London achieving an historic first ever win and badminton star Susan Egelstaff represented the UK in the women's badminton.
East Renfrewshire's young people have achieved their highest ever results at intermediate 2 with 67% (an increase from 61% last year).
In the 2012 examinations, young people in S4 achieved the highest ever results at SCQF level 5 (Intermediate 2). 67% of the year group achieved 5 or more qualifications at this level or better, up from 61% in 2011.
St Ninian's and Williamwood high schools had their best ever S4 performance at Level 5 with 82% and 80% achieving 5 or more Intermediate 2 awards. 247 pupils achieved 8 or more grade A passes at Intermediate 2. This is 18% of the all 4th year pupils, up from 15% in the 2011 examinations.
The higher results for S5 pupils continue to be very high with almost one third of pupils achieving 5 or more highers. This year Barrhead High School achieved it's best ever performance for 5 or more highers. 8.5% of the original S4 roll achieved at least 5 Highers passes at Grade A.
At Advanced Higher in S6, East Renfrewshire also had its best performance to date with 34% of young people achieving 1 or more Advanced Higher Awards, (32% at the same time last year in 2011) based on the original S4 year group.
The number of pupils achieving 3 or more Advanced Highers rose slightly to 53 from 51. S6 at Level 7 (Advanced Higher) in Mearns Castle and St Ninian's high schools was also the best to date, with 44% and 45% respectively achieving 1 or more Advanced Highers.
For more information on Andrew Mullen's swimming achievements, visit:
British paralympics team GB athletes profile page: http://www.paralympics.org.uk/gb/athletes/andrew-mullen
Scottish swimming website: http://www.scottishswimming.com/index/back-a-rising-star/welcome-to-andrew-mullens-profile-page
Aquatics 2012 website: http://www.swimming.org/britishswimming/aquatics2012/andrew-mullen/