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Girls Celebrate Remarkable Achievement: 99% Secure First Choice Universities

09 Sep 2023
Achieve university
*Updated Advanced Higher, Higher and A-Level Exam Results 2023 

We are delighted to celebrate another excellent set of examination results at St George’s, Edinburgh, with our graduating class of 2023. Whilst their SQA Advanced Higher results are only part of the story of a fantastic group of students, it is a huge pleasure to see them achieving excellent outcomes and heading off to an impressive range of exciting and ambitious destinations.

It has become customary to see an extremely high percentage of our Upper Sixth students achieving their first-choice university destination and 2023 is no exception. Over 90% of students have already achieved the grades to accept their first-choice degree course, with a small number of students still awaiting A Level results to complete their portfolio. The range of destinations and courses is testament to the strength and depth of achievement across the full subject range, with destinations and courses ranging from Music at Cambridge to Liberal Arts at Exeter, and Medicine at Edinburgh to Ethical Hacking at Abertay.

Head, Mrs Carol Chandler-Thompson, commented: “We are exceptionally proud of every single one of our students, not only for a fantastic set of results but of how they have applied their talents and enthusiasm throughout their time at school and the opportunities they have seized. As Edinburgh's only all-through school for girls, we can create an atmosphere in which girls can really find their own voice, develop leadership skills in every subject area and learn from inspiring female role models. I have no doubt that this year’s leavers are ready to go out and make an incredibly positive impact on the world and we cannot wait to see what is next for them.”

Illustrative of St George’s emphasis on dispelling any gender stereotypes in subject areas, nearly 40% of the courses chosen by Upper Sixth students were in a STEM subject area, including: Architecture; Chemical Engineering; Medicine; Maths and Physics. Undoubtedly a particular strength in Maths at the school underpins this with over 80% of Advanced Higher grades in Maths at grade A in 2023 across Mechanics, Statistics and Pure Maths. In a society where typically many female students give up Maths as soon as they reach 16, St George’s students defy this stereotype with over half of the year group choosing to study Maths beyond 16 this year.

Whilst the overall headlines do not do justice to each individual student’s story, the strength of overall outcomes is indicated by the fact that 87% of Advanced Higher results were graded at A or B and within that, 65% of grades were an A, putting students in a strong position to accept the university courses of their choice.

Our Lower Sixth students also achieved an excellent set of Higher results, putting themselves in a good position for their 2024 university applications, with 83% of grades achieved at an A or B and 62% of those at an A. With examinations returning more fully to pre-pandemic conditions in nature, we are exceptionally proud of how every student has coped with the challenge, given the unprecedented experience they had through their S3 and S4 years. Of course, there have been excellent performances across the whole curriculum which reflects the importance we place upon encouraging each student to find the path that best suits and inspires them. It has been pleasing to see 100% A grades awarded in French, Drama, Mandarin and Physics Advanced Highers and Art, French, German, Spanish and Music Highers this year.

At St George’s we take great pride in the strong relationships within our school community and the breadth and balance of the education we offer. It is impossible to do justice to every student’s broader achievement in a short article, but hearing about the journeys of a small number of our graduates provides a sense of just how impressive, socially aware and grounded they are.

We are delighted for every single graduate of our class of 2023. Lauren W has achieved her place to read Chinese Studies at the University of Oxford, achieving A grades in English, Religious, Moral and Philosophical Studies, Maths Stats and Mandarin at Advanced Higher level.

Lauren says “The variety of opportunities offered at St George's is one of its best aspects, allowing me to explore and expand my interests. For example, participating in a school exchange with Germantown Friends School in Philadelphia, USA helped me to step out of my comfort zone. Another invaluable opportunity I’ve benefitted from is being able to take Chinese as one of my Advanced Highers. This is now my favourite subject: I love the artistic nature of the language and the, often literal, meaning of the characters. Without being introduced to the language here, I probably wouldn’t have pursued this as my degree at Oxford University.”

Priyanka M takes up her place at the University of Edinburgh to read Medicine this session, having received four offers from universities. Priyanka is celebrating three A grades in her Advanced Highers in Biology, Maths and Chemistry, to complement the five A grades she received in her Highers.

She says: “As deputy head girl at St George’s, I’ve embraced that role’s responsibility and it's made me more confident. As well as my academic commitments, outside the classroom I enjoy Indian classical dancing, being part of a netball team, and participating in the debating society. Music contributes a lot to who I am – especially the cello and piano. Playing in groups enables us all to connect through music which is just amazing. The Duke of Edinburgh Award also played a big part in my St George’s journey: from Bronze to Gold has required hard work and commitment but built so many close friendships. Another highlight of my school life was reaching the Young Enterprise Scottish National Finals and achieving the Managing Director of the Year and the Alumni Spirit Award. Overall, the community spirit and supportive atmosphere at St George's has really inspired me to become the best version of myself. After applying to study medicine at Edinburgh, Dundee, St. Andrews and Glasgow, I was humbled to receive offers from all of them – but obviously had to pick the University of Edinburgh as my first choice!” 

Kate B received her Platinum badge at Speech Day this year as she joined St George’s Nursery aged 3. She will read Liberal Arts at the University of Exeter this session having achieved straight A grades in Mathematics, Physical Education and Religious, Moral and Philosophical Studies Advanced Highers.

Kate recalls her range of opportunities at St George’s: “I’ve played a variety of sports, including hockey, tennis, lacrosse, curling, dancing, skiing and netball. Not to mention being involved in plays such as Into the Woods, Mary Poppins, and Beauty and the Beast. I’ve also been lucky enough to go on many school trips including the hockey tour to Holland and volunteering in Costa Rica. That was genuinely the best two weeks of my life and allowed me to expand my friendships and showed me how fun travelling, and volunteering abroad can be. As I move onto Higher Education, I’ve chosen Liberal Arts as I like the idea of doing a degree where I can pick a few subject areas rather than just specialising in one – so I’ll gain a variety of skills.”

*Updated Advanced Higher, Higher and A-Level Exam Results 2023

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