Sandwick Junior High School pupils were among those from across Shetland today celebrating their Standard Grade passes.
Tom Jamieson, 16, achieved six Standard Grades as well as Intermediate 2 in French and Spanish. Tom, who will be taking five Highers at Anderson High School, said: “I really like languages and am enjoying French now that I’m at Anderson High School.”
Of his Standard Grades, he said: “I’m really really happy, I never expected [such good results]. I got a grade one in biology, that was the hardest exam, I was very impressed.”
In the run-up to the exams he had to be quite strict with himself, he said. “I tried to spread out each subject evenly for revision. In the days before the exams it was non-stop studying.”
Tom fitted in his studies around athletics – he competes for Shetland in the 100 metres and triple jump. Fortunately, he said, his coach excused him from training the nights before exams.
Harry Morton, 15, from Sandwick, took eight subjects at Standard Grade and was delighted with his results: “They were better than I expected.” He is now progressing to AHS to do Highers in English, maths, physics, chemistry and philosophy, with a view to becoming a helicopter engineer.
Harry, who plays badminton and rugby for Shetland, said he “doesn’t know” how he studied or passed so many exams. He is fortunate to have a good memory however: “I remember it [his studies] first time round.”
Connall Thomason, 16, from Quarff, took nine Standard grades, including drama, the first year this qualification in drama has been available in Shetland.
Taking so many subjects was quite a challenge and Connall said: “I did quite a lot of revision but I could have done more. Most of the grades were what I expected but in a couple of grades I could have done better.”
Now a pupil of AHS, he will take Highers in English, French, German, geography and business management, and would like to become an entrepreneur.
Meanwhile, Anderson High School pupil Jennifer Sim achieved five As in Highers in English, French, German, geography and PE. Jennifer said: “I picked subjects I liked, I didn’t take maths or science. I did revise quite a lot but I didn’t have a study timetable and I still saw my friends.”
The results came a quite a surprise: “I wasn’t expecting it at all.”
Jennifer is now taking languages – French, German and Spanish – in sixth year, and hoping for a more relaxing year than the one she has just had. This will give her more time for sport – she plays in the Shetland badminton team.
Her eventual aim is to use her languages by working as an interpreter, possibly in the EU. “I’m aiming high but I might as well.”
Fellow AHS pupil Craig Nicolson, 16, also achieved five As in his Highers in fifth year. Craig took English, maths, physics, chemistry and biology and in sixth year will do the three sciences at Advanced Higher level and the Baccalaureate in science – his project will be particle accelerators.
Craig, a keen swimmer, said: “This year has been a lot more work than any other year. Half my [time] went into English because it’s my worst subject, so I was pleased to get an A in that. I want to apply for medicine so I’ll need it.” Five A grades are required to get into medical school.
Revision was tough. Craig tried to do one subject a day but swimming training four nights a week took up his evenings until 8pm. He said: “I was horribly busy. If there was stuff I had to memorise I thought about it when I was swimming, but you have to think about swimming as well.”
He would like to thank his teachers, family and friends for supporting him this year.
Andrew Blance, 17, from Voe, received his results when the postman made a second round of deliveries today. He was delighted with his Higher grades of four As and a B – he took English, maths, physics, chemistry and human biology, and said: “I didn’t expect to get such good results but it’s what I wanted.”
His revision strategy consisted of studying with friends at home – “if I got stuck there was someone to ask” – and working on past papers. He is now going into sixth year and hopes to go to university, although he does not know what he wants to study. When not studying Andrew plays traditional fiddle.
Craig Odie, 17, also from Voe, received his results this morning. He took four subjects – physics and maths at Higher level and Intermediate 2 in graphical communication and metalwork – and was pleased with his grades, two Bs and a C. “I was expected two Cs and a B,” he said.
Craig took a crash course in physics, which he had not studied before, but did not pass the Higher exam. However he already has a place at NAFC Marine Centre, where he will study to become an engineer in the Merchant Navy, and where physics plays a big part in the first year of the course. “I’m definitely looking forward to going to college,” Craig said.
Sisters Hannah and Lindsey Hunter from Scatsta jointly celebrated their exam results today.
Hannah, 17, has just finished sixth year and is delighted to have achieved As in all her Highers: accounts, early education and childcare and physics.
Hannah said: “I worked really hard for them.” Most of her study was done on her own and it was a “packed schedule” as she plays in the Shetland junior county hockey team.
Hannah now has a job as a trainee accountant in Lerwick.
Lindsey, 16, who took eight Standard Grades at the end of fourth year, was also pleased with her results: “I did better than I thought I would.”
She now plans to take Highers in English, maths, human biology and home economics, but is not sure of her eventual career path.
Debbie Sneddon, 17, from Brae, has just left school after sixth year. She achieved A grades in her Higher subjects of home economics and art, and said: “I was very pleased and very shocked, it was better than I expected.”
Debbie is now working at the North Mainland Leisure Centre and is building up her volunteering hours. Soon she will start training as a volunteer befriender, working with vulnerable young people and older people. Debbie said: “I can’t wait to do that, the training will be very interesting.” Long term she wants to stay in Shetland and work in a caring role. “I’ll see how I get on with young folk and older folk and see which I prefer.”