Reaching the next stop on the new Scottish education exam journey, the community at Robert Gordon’s College is celebrating wider further education choices, exciting future career pathways and a growing interest in US and European university destinations. 

Robin Macpherson, Head of Robert Gordon’s College shared: “This past year has been phenomenally difficult for everyone in education, so I am tremendously proud of our pupils for what they have achieved. They kept working through the changing circumstances of the pandemic, and the complexity of SQA assessment arrangements, and for that they deserve a huge amount of credit.

“We should never forget that we started the academic year being told there would be traditional exams, and had to totally change things as the weeks progressed. It put staff under a substantial amount of pressure, and they had to shoulder the workload of the assessment marking. It was therefore a great collective effort, and our pupils can take real pride in every grade they achieved. They had to overcome so many obstacles but they did it with great tenacity.

“If there is a silver lining to this year, I would say that our pupils have actually gained a very good preparation for further education. They had to work more independently than in previous years and problem-solve as they went along. School leaders always talk about trying to increase these skills in the curriculum, but actually the pandemic really forced that to take place. We shouldn’t be surprised that our pupils responded as well as they did, because they have a deeper well of resilience than we often assume.

“Perhaps one of the interesting things we’ve seen is greater diversity in choices for further education, with American and European institutions coming more to the fore. Rather than make our pupils risk averse, the pandemic may well have made them more ambitious than ever. They fear nothing.

“You often hear that great education is a partnership between pupils, teachers and parents, but when you add in the wider community at Robert Gordon’s College you see what a supportive environment we have. Our operational teams have been amazing, as they kept the school open and made it as safe as possible. Our former pupils have also been an incredible source of support and encouragement to our pupils. We all know that mental health and wellbeing have been significant concerns for both pupils and teachers, so I’m grateful to everyone who can say that they played their part in supporting our learners. It was a truly collective effort by everyone in the Gordon’s community.”