Dedicated East Renfrewshire pupils land record-breaking results

Celebrations as grades confirmed

Exam results 2021

Published: 10 August 2021

The dedication and hard work of pupils across East Renfrewshire has been recognised with another year of record-breaking SQA results.

Attainment has continued to rise across the area, with very strong National 5 results and best ever performances in S5 and S6.

Thousands of young people celebrated the confirmation of their results today (Tuesday 10 August), once again against the backdrop of the challenging circumstances faced by all pupils due to the ongoing impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Councillor Alan Lafferty, Convener for Education and Equalities, said: 'These achievements are a tribute to the hard work of pupils who have been exceptionally well supported by our staff and parents, all of whom contribute to this impressive performance across East Renfrewshire. The circumstances over the past year have been difficult for everyone, and our schools worked tirelessly to ensure that high quality learning and teaching continued throughout the pandemic and during school closures. This ensured that young people were well prepared on their return to school to show the progress made in their learning through the alternative certification model the SQA put in place this year, and allowed their hard work to be rightly and fairly recognised and celebrated.'

Key achievements include:

  • 79% of S4 pupils attained 5 or more awards at National 5 or better, the second highest in East Renfrewshire's history
  • 50% of S5 pupils attained 5 or more awards at Higher, the highest ever
  • 73% of S5 pupils attained 3 or more awards at Higher, the highest ever
  • At Advanced Higher, S6 pupils achieved the area's highest ever proportion of one or more awards.
  • St Luke's High recorded its best ever performance for the proportion of S4 pupils attaining 5 or more awards at National 5 since 2016
  • Barrhead and St Ninian's high schools achieved their second highest ever results for the proportion of S4 pupils attaining 5 or more awards at National 5, whilst Williamwood High School pupils continued to perform strongly with 85% of pupils attaining this measure
  • Barrhead High and Woodfarm High schools had their best ever performance of S5 pupils gaining 5 or more Highers
  • Eastwood, Mearns Castle, St Ninian's and Woodfarm high schools recorded their highest ever levels of S6 pupils attaining 1 or more awards at Advanced Higher.

Mark Ratter, Director of Education at East Renfrewshire Council, said: 'We could never have imagined the interruptions and uncertainty that pupils have faced over the past two years, but their resilience has been incredible. Our teachers and support staff worked extremely hard to support pupils during every stage of their learning and I would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge and thank them for their professionalism and commitment. It is particularly pleasing to see that the poverty related attainment gap for S4 pupils attaining five or more awards at National 5 has reduced for the third consecutive year and is now at the lowest level ever in East Renfrewshire. Our focus on providing excellent experiences for all young people continues to have an impact as year after year our pupils continue to produce outstanding results. Congratulations to everyone on all that they have achieved in the most challenging of circumstances.'

CASE STUDIES

Danyaal Butt exams 2021Mearns Castle High School pupil Danyaal Butt was on top of the world after securing 5 As in his Highers (Biology, English, Maths, Modern Studies, PE). And now the 16-year-old, from Newton Mearns, is targeting sporting glory as he aims to compete at the next Olympics in Paris 2024 in Tae Kwon Do. Danyaal juggled a gruelling daily 6-hour training schedule with his studies and his dedication has paid off. As well as securing top results, Danyaal has been selected to join the national Tae Kwon Do training academy for Team GB in Manchester. Danyaal, a two time British age group champion, said: 'I'm delighted to have achieved my results and am now looking forward to moving to Manchester to train full time to pursue my dream of becoming an Olympic champion in Paris. I will still do my Advanced Highers remotely from Manchester and I think the experience of home learning this year will set me up well for that. I used to train regularly in Manchester but the opportunity to focus full-time in an elite environment will provide me with the training environment I need. As well as aiming for Paris, I'm also looking beyond to the next Olympics in Los Angeles.'

Mearns Castle pupil leadership teamThe Pupil Leadership Team at Mearns Castle High, made up of the Head Boy and Girl and their deputes, worked hard to be a shining example to other pupils during this challenging year. They also led from the front by helping the school, along with the other S6 pupils, to achieve its best ever Advanced Higher results, with 54% of pupils securing at least one Advanced Higher. Ryan Bruce, from Newton Mearns, (former Head Boy) achieved 2 Advanced Higher As as well as a further Higher A and is now preparing to attend Dundee University to study medicine. Ailsa Finlay, 18, from Eaglesham, (former Head Girl) also secured 2 Advanced Highers and another Higher A pass and will now study Psychology at the University of Glasgow. Fraser Hyde, 17, from Newton Mearns, (former Depute Head Boy) secured 4 As in his Advanced Highers and is going to Edinburgh University to study Economics. And Katie Little (former Depute Head Girl) got 2 Advanced Highers and an additional Higher A pass in Spanish and is now heading to the University of Aberdeen to study Law. Ryan Bruce, 18, said: 'Home learning was certainly a challenge but the support we got from the school was fantastic and I'm delighted to have got the results I did.' Katie Little, 18, from Newton Mearns, said: 'I've always enjoyed debating and am a people person, so I'd always considered Law as a career and am really looking forward to getting started. Although we had been told our provisional results I was still delighted to see them in black and white to confirm that I'd got the grades I wanted.'

Jennifer Lynagh exams 2021St Luke's High pupil Jennifer Lynagh achieved 5 As at Higher and hopes this will land her a shot at studying Engineering in America. The talented golfer, who has a handicap of 3 and plays at Caldwell Golf Club, has already been accepted by Pro Dream USA - a personalised College Golf Placement Service - which assists young people in gaining scholarships in American Colleges. The 17-year-old, from Barrhead, said: 'I've always wanted to go to America to continue my education as I feel it will give me the best opportunity to combine my studies with sport. I want to see how far I can go in golf and will certainly do all I can to succeed. It's so amazing to get confirmation of my results as hopefully this will allow me to gain a place at a college in America as planned. Home learning was certainly challenging so I'm just glad that I've got these results confirmed.'

Callum Mcguire exams 2021Home learning has been a challenge for all, but for Callum McGuire a number of periods of isolation due to being a close contact of positive cases meant an extra month at home. This undoubtedly presented a number of challenges, but due to the 16-year-old's dedication he delivered the grades he wanted. With 5 As at Higher, the St Luke's High pupil has ambitions of doing studying Engineering at University after completing 6th year. He said: 'It was really tough being away from everyone for so long but the teachers gave me all the support I needed to help me keep up with others. I missed seeing friends too, but I'm glad that all my studying has paid off with these results.'

Muna Adibe exams 2021Muna Adibe, 17, didn't just have to juggle the challenges of Covid and trying to achieve her best at school, but also the emotional challenges of her dad still living in Nigeria. Despite all these challenges the St Luke's High pupil excelled by gaining 2 Highers and an Advanced Higher, to add to the 5 Highers achieved last year. Not content with that, Muna also achieved a NPA Level 6 in Human Resources and Law at South Lanarkshire College, which was available to her through East Renfrewshire Council's extensive vocational programme. Muna has been accepted to study at Strathclyde for a BA in Marketing. Muna said: 'I certainly feel I focus better in school, but the support we got from teachers helped to ensure I got all the grades I wanted. My parents are absolutely delighted with the results I got and I've spoken to my dad in Nigeria who is so proud. He's disappointed that he can't be here to celebrate with me, but is so happy for me. I'm looking forward to starting university and feel I'm well prepared for this next challenge.'

Last modified on 20 August 2021