Making the grade in Midlothian: Exam results revealed

Adam BowenAdam Bowen
Adam Bowen
​Exam results published this week show a continued return to pre pandemic performance levels at National, Higher and Advanced Higher levels in Midlothian

Comparisons with the previous three years’ results are not appropriate because a different assessment model was used in 2020 and 2021 when the exams were cancelled due to the pandemic, and a different assessment weighting in 2022. In 2023 SQA returned to a normal awarding procedure, the same as pre-pandemic years.

Overall there were a higher number of SQA entries and awards in 2023 than last year. In 2023 there were 10,388 awards at levels A-C, compared to 9,843 in 2022.

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This year 81.49% of S4 pupils gained one or more National 5 at levels A-C, our highest ever level). In addition, 36% of S4 pupils gained five or more National 5s at levels A-C, the highest in non-Covid years.

Lewis JohnsonLewis Johnson
Lewis Johnson

A total of 29.51% of S5 pupils gained 3 or more Highers at passes A-C and 49.19% gained at least 1 Higher by the end of S5. In 2018 the figures were 28.68% and 48.46% respectively.

Meanwhile S6 attainment at Advanced Higher level was held strong with 18.33% getting at least one Advanced Higher pass at A-C grade. This compares with 17% in 2019 and 15% in 2018.

The number of students leaving with 5 Highers (A-C) or at least 1 Advanced Higher(A-C) was higher than pre-pandemic levels. In 2023 26.16% gained 5 Highers or more and 18.33% gained at least 1 Advanced Higher.

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Midlothian Council’s Cabinet Member for Education, Councillor Ellen Scott, said: “Well done and congratulations to everyone who received their results today. I know it can be a very stressful time waiting on that exam result text or the postman to deliver your results. Please remember that even if you didn’t get the results you were hoping for there is lots of support and information, including careers and health and wellbeing advice, on the SQA website and at your school. This is the start of your journey - there will be many more opportunities for you to study in the future.”

Adam Bowen, 16, was right when he said he felt his exams went well. Adam, now in S5 at Dalkeith High School, learned he achieved 7 A grades in his S4 National 5 exams.

With top grades in English, maths, modern studies, history, physics, PE, and application of maths, he’s yet to decide on a career but knows he wants to go to university.

Asked how he thought his exams had gone, a modest Adam said: “It was difficult to revise for all of them but I felt they went well.”

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Dalkeith High pupil Lewis Johnson is celebrating six straight A Higher passes this morning.

Lewis, who is now in S6, will return to school knowing he’s hopefully got the grades he needs to study for a Masters Degree in Chemical Engineering at the University of Edinburgh.

Lewis woke up to a text telling him he’d got As in Higher business management, higher chemistry, higher physics, higher maths, higher English and Higher engineering science.

He said he was “buzzing and relieved.”

He added: “I found the exams for my preferred subjects easier than the others but I worked hard and I was well prepared for them due to the school’s support.”

Lewis, 17, will be taking Advanced Higher maths and chemistry when he gets back to school and plans to apply for university in the coming months.

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