Braes High School is Scotland’s ‘most improved secondary’ according to a report in The Times newspaper today recognising the high standards in the attainment of pupils in recent years.
A steady course of improvement in the percentage of pupils leaving school with five or more Highers, has seen a rise from 33% in 2016, the earliest date for which there are comparable figures, to 62% in 2022.
Councillor Laura Murtagh, spokesperson for Education and Leisure said: “The progress that has been made in the last few years to raise attainment at Braes High is an amazing achievement for everyone at the school.
“The school has demonstrated real resilience to come through as the most improved school in Scotland despite the challenges of the last two years.
“These figures themselves only tell a small part of the story as the attainment demonstrated by our pupils across a variety of levels is a fantastic illustration of the diversity of positive destinations our pupils go on to.
“Having met with pupils recently to discuss the school’s success, it was impossible not to be impressed with their confidence and positive attitude towards many aspects of their school experience, not only on learning and teaching but on the community ethos within the school, family learning and pastoral support.
Pictured: Headteacher Iain Livingstone with Braes High pupils
“Pupils spoke with real passion about their links with local community, charities, and their cluster primary schools, helping to create an environment which fostered a positive atmosphere where they can achieve their best whilst helping others. It’s fantastic to see the results come through in the attainment figures which match with wider success within the school.
“To be named as the most improved school in Scotland and in the top 30 performing schools is fantastic news and everyone at the school should be very proud of the progress they have made in raising attainment.”
Against the backdrop of COVID-19, the existing SQA examination methods had to be revised and pupil submissions were assessed by class teachers.
Pupil Louise Robertson explained how much she recognised her achievements during the period of teacher assessment saying: “They are worth the same but personally I will always be prouder of myself for getting through last year, which was a very difficult year with so many assessments and not much time.
“I was stressed. It was not a normal year. People might believe the qualifications were gained more easily because they were judged by teachers, but people often forget everything else that was going on.”
Head teacher Iain Livingstone explained to The Times: “If the direction of travel for the country is more of a blend of exams and continuous assessment, that wouldn’t faze us. It is about knowing the learners, working with them and being able to support them.
“I agree that there is still a need to test your mettle and prove your worth in an examination as young people might be assessed in a similar way in the workplace, but I would certainly endorse a wider approach to gaining qualifications.”
The story is available to read at The Times Online (paywall).