The secret of Hillhead High's exams success -

EXAM results are up across the board in Glasgow ...

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Hillhead High shares the secret of success
Hillhead High shares the secret of success

but one school is celebrating more than most.

Its success has led to head teachers from other areas of the city attending the school to observe the work being done in the hope they can replicate the achievement.

As reported in yesterday's Evening Times, new league tables showing exam results across Glasgow reveal fifth-year pupils are passing more Highers year after year.

Hillhead High, in the West End, saw its Higher results passes soar. The number of youngsters at the school passing three or more Highers was up from 17% in 2011 to 38% this year.

Those gaining five or more Highers rose from 9% to 21%.

But head teacher Willie Wight said the school still had work to do.

Mr Wight said: "We had a very talented fourth year last year that have gone on to translate their Standard Grade success into Higher success and I am very proud of them.

"But now we have to work with this year's fourth year pupils to make sure they can do the best they can.

"These results are a combination of hard work from our pupils, support from parents and the fact our teaching staff are second to none, but we still need to keep working."

Although it is situated in the affluent West End, Hillhead takes in pupils from 35 different postcodes. Youngsters travel from Anderston and Ruchill, Possilpark, Airdrie, Paisley, Clydebank, Helensburgh and Renfrew – among others – to be educated at the school.

The secondary also has pupils with additional support needs and 29 languages are spoken, with 46% of pupils speaking English as an additional language.

Mr Wight says a focus is placed on extra curricular activity as well as classroom learning – and last year pupils took part in 130 different field trips.

The school also has individual support for pupils and 29 different strategies in place for raising attainment.

Mr Wight said: "We have other teachers coming in to ask what is going on here but there is not an easy answer. If there was then I would bottle it and sell it.

"But learning and teaching is a messy business – it is a little bit of this and a little bit of that. It is also a lot to do with parental support – that is what raises a good school to an excellent school.

"Our Higher results have been improving year on year, but this year we have blown the roof off."

Hillhead High is also succeeding with its extra- curricular activities.

Earlier this year it won the Young Category in the West And Central Area for the Evening Times Community Champions Awards. The school's charities committee had raised almost £100,000 for good causes.

While Glasgow's exams results overall are the best the city has seen for the last five years, the city is still at the bottom of the league tables for all Scotland, with a pass rate of 18% at three or more Highers.

East Renfrewshire Council came top of the Scottish table, with youngsters at Williamwood High earning more Highers than any other Scots school. But figures there are falling, with the pass rate for three or more Highers going from 56% in 2011 to 52% this year.

catriona.stewart@ eveningtimes.co.uk

Education

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