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In Top 15 Schools – Upper School Exam Results 2019

Many congratulations to pupils throughout the Upper School who this year recorded another set of excellent exam results.


This year’s pass rate (A-D) for Higher was 94.2% (in other words, 94.2% of all the Higher exam results, of which there were 71, were given an ‘award’). Changes made this year to the Higher exam, its assessment and grading (including the removal of unit assessments, the extension of the percentage result covered by the ‘D’ grade, and the removal of compensatory grades for National Courses) make this year’s results difficult to compare directly with previous years.


Traditionally, grades A-C were regarded as a ‘pass’ whereas the revised ‘D’ grade is regarded by SQA as a ‘pass’ and qualifies for UCAS points. As a result of the changes, our candidates’ Higher results this year show a reduced number of ‘no award’ and ‘C’ grades and an increase in the number of Ds. This means that the overall proportion of results graded A-C this year was 82%, lower than in recent years. However, the proportion of ‘top’ A and B grades was similar to that of recent years, which is encouraging: 50% of all results at Higher were awarded A grades and 67% of all grades were As or Bs. Several candidates in Class 12 achieved 5 straight A grades with one candidate achieving 6 straight A grades. Results were particularly strong in the sciences, languages and English.


It will be interesting to look at the national picture for Higher, and, in particular, at whether other independent schools have experienced similar fluctuations in the pattern of their results. An analysis will be conducted after the Scottish independent schools’ results are collated and published in the autumn. A full discussion will appear in the annual Standards and Quality Report.


This year’s results place Edinburgh Steiner School in the Top 15 Scottish Schools doing Highers for 2019, compiled by independent company Best Schools.


The pass rate for National 5 (A-D) was 93.7% and 86% (A-C) in line with recent years. However, the proportion of top A and B grades rose yet again, slightly, up one percentage point on last year to 74.6%, while 53.1% of all results were graded A. Many of the pupils in Classes 10 and 11 achieved straight As in their National 5s.


All these results are a rich reward for the hard work and commitment demonstrated by Upper School pupils and their teachers.

See our full exam results (2014 – 2019) published HERE.


Alistair Pugh (SQA Coordinator)


2019 GCSE Results

Pupils who took GCSEs last year once again have excelled: 75% gained top grades (7 or above), compared to the national average of 21%; with a pass rate of 83% – well above the national average of 67%. Well done.


Find out more about previous years exam results and destinations of former pupils