From fourth year straight to university: Glasgow pupils tell of exam success

·5-min read
From fourth year straight to university: Glasgow pupils tell of exam success
From fourth year straight to university: Glasgow pupils tell of exam success

AT St Roch's Secondary School in Royston pupils were celebrating a variety of successes.

From gaining a university place straight from fourth year to securing a raft of A grades, pupils and teachers were relieved the results are over for another year.

For Teri Sinclair, her plans are all about big ambitions.

She has her sights set on being the first in her family to go to university - and she's determined to go to Oxford.

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The 16-year-old sat Highers in Maths, English, Human Biology, PE and Modern Studies, gaining results that have made her a star pupil at St Roch's.

And Teri chose to do things the old fashioned way, waiting for the postman to arrive with her results rather than signing up for a text message.

Teri's success is all the more impressive given she lost her dad just three months before the exam diet started.

She travelled down to Oxford last month and spent three days on campus, which cemented her ambition to study law there.

Teri, from Royston, said: "There were only three other Scottish people there when I went down and I did feel really out of place.

"It was exciting to be there though. I loved it. Everywhere you looked in the town there was something linked to Oxford University, the whole place is consumed by the university.

"I want to push myself to my limits. The worst you can be told is no."

Teri, who turns 17 this month, said her mum is really proud of her efforts but will miss her if she moves away.

She added: "My mum only wants what's best for me but she doesn't want to lose me.

"I'm very independent though and I'm excited at the thought of moving away."

Teri said she found online learning during lockdown tough and is relieved to be back in class now.

Next year she plans to take Advanced Higher Biology and Modern Studies with Higher RMPS.

For S4 pupil Teegan Ewing, the next stop is university.

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The 15-year-old is skipping S5 and S6 and going straight to the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland where she plans to study her passion - drama.

Teegan, who is deaf, is enrolled on the BA Performance in British Sign Language and English degree thanks to success in National 5 English, Maths, Chemistry, Geography and BSL.

She also waited for a postal delivery of her exam results rather than getting a text or email so her wait was longer than her friends.

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The teenager said: "I've been okay about the results but I've started to get nervous as the day has been getting closer.

"I love acting, I like people watching me, I like being on stage and entertaining people - so I'm so excited to be doing this at university."

Teegan, from Hamilton, has friends on the course already and has no nerves about moving on from school.

She is particularly pleased that classes have returned to pre-pandemic in-person teaching too.

She added: "It was a different challenge to learn things through online teaching but I prefer it was in person. I find it easier to have someone in front of me to online learning.

"I'm going to miss school. There was a lot of crying on the last day. But I'm excited to move on."

Teegan's classmate Mohammed Banheniche is just as clear on what he wants to achieve with his qualifications.

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Mohammed gained seven As and one B in his National 5s, which will take him on to five Highers next year and eventually to university to study petrochemical engineering.

And he's clear on the reasons for this career path.

"I'm interested in the subjects around it," Mohammed, from Balornock, said.

"And the money is really good."

He added: "I got my results this morning just before 8am and myself and my parents were really pleased with them.

"I couldn't sleep last night for worrying about the results and I was up until about 3am so seeing what I'd got was a big relief."

Headteacher Stephen Stone said he and his teaching staff were incredibly proud of how their pupils had performed - and he sympathised with nervous pupils.

He said: "I absolutely still get nerves before exam results day. We get the results in advance but I still get very anxious for the pupils on the day of the exams as I know they put a lot of pressure on themselves.

"We are very proud of the them and want to support them in their next steps.

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"This year we're back to doing the final exams and for our sixth years this was the first time in three years they have sat formal exams.

"They coped very well because they are very resilient under pressure."

Stephen said "high quality learning and teaching" was vital in the run up to exams, as was extra prep by way of supported study.

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This year pupils have also been able to return to enjoying normal school milestones such as graduations and the leavers' dance.

The headteacher added: "It's really great to be moving back to what is a normal school year.

"Over the past seven months things have felt more normal as lockdown restrictions eased and it was positive for our young people to be back having exams and graduation and prom, after such a different approach over the past two years."