The wait is over for around 4,000 pupils across Renfrewshire this morning as they found out their grades for their national qualifications.

This year’s results day was different from usual – having been decided under an alternative certification model after the final exams were cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Photo: Pupils from Linwood High are celebrating their results after an incredible year where exams were cancelled for the first time in Scotland

That saw the Scottish Qualifications Authority issue pupils with grades based on estimations provided by the schools and then moderated by the SQA.

And a selection of pupils from Linwood High were in school to give their reaction as their results arrived – joined by a camera crew from the BBC for a nationwide live TV and radio news broadcast.

Photo: (Left to right) Best friends Brooke Adam and Millie O’Neil receive their results

Brooke Adam, 16, of S5, said: “I got six As and a B and I’m very happy with it. Next year I am doing five Highers and when I leave school I’d like to be either a paediatric doctor or a child’s nurse.

“It was a bit nerve-wracking because we didn’t sit exams so I didn’t have an idea of how I’d done, so that was a bit weird.”

Dylan Kidd, 17, who has just finished S6, said: “I sat four subjects this year all at Higher level – and I got As in three of them and a B in the other.

“I’ll now be going on to Glasgow Caledonian University to do computer games design. Not having exams actually made the year less stressful as I didn’t have to worry about studying during the exam diet.”

Photo: Dylan Kidd and mum Susan Boyes

Gillian Macartney, head teacher of Linwood High School, said: “I would like to congratulate all our pupils on their results this year. I am incredibly proud of each and every one of them.

“Our results have been improving year-on-year and that’s down to our work on raising attainment and achievement across the board. Our pupils have worked incredibly hard and their results are well deserved.

“Our teachers and school staff are incredibly dedicated and have supported our pupils to achieve the best outcome for them, whether that is today’s results or wider achievement.

“There are many pathways that our young people can take towards their chosen career and it’s our job as teachers to ensure that pupils achieve the best outcome for them.

“I would also like to thank our parents for their continued support of the school and pupils. It has been a challenging few months for our whole school community. We are looking forward to returning to school and supporting our young people to achieve their goals and future dreams.”

Photo: Dillon Quigley with mum Susan (left) and sister Louise (right)

Across Renfrewshire, attainment has again increased in S4 at both national 4 and national 5 in almost all measurements, with two-thirds now achieving three or more national 5 awards.

S5 attainment remains very strong with an increasing number of young people achieving National 5 and Higher awards. Over a third of pupils achieved three or more awards at Higher.

Attainment of S6 pupils also remained high, with young people emulating the strong performances of the last few years.

Councillor Jim Paterson, convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Education and Children’s Services Policy Board, added: “I want to say well done to all our senior pupils. It’s been an incredibly tough year with exams being cancelled for the first time since the system started in Scotland.

“I hope you got the results you wanted and they reflected the hard work and effort you put in across the year and it’s important that we take this opportunity to celebrate the achievements of all young people.

“There are many paths you can take to get into your chosen career. If your results weren’t what you wanted, please speak to our schools for advice. Whether you are returning to school or moving onto college, university, an apprenticeship or work, I wish you the very best for the future.”

Shaun Friel, head of Childline, said: “We know that for many young people, receiving exam results can be an extremely stressful experience with the pressure to get certain grades to secure college or university places.

“And, this year, some may be feeling the added strains of lockdown and the disappointment of not being able to do their best through sitting exams.

“So that young people do not feel overwhelmed as they receive their SQA results, it is so important they have someone there to listen to how they are feeling and to discuss their options, such as a friend, a parent, a teacher or even Childline.”

Children and young people can contact Childline about any worries by calling 0800 1111 or visiting the site. They can get advice from Childline about exam results here.

Career advice is available from the Skills Development Scotland’s exam results helpline on 0808 100 8000.

Photo Credit: Jeff Holmes