A SUTHERLAND student has become one of the first in the North to gain a new qualification – a Languages Baccalaureate.
Dornoch Academy pupil Jade Currie passed the Baccalaureate with distinction, achieving an A in a project she was required to complete as part of the exam.
Jade also passed three Advanced Highers, gaining a Band One A in French and a B in English and German.
And in addition, he gained a Higher Latin with a Band 1 A pass.
Her outstanding performance was praised by Dornoch Academy head teacher John Garvie and was also singled out for a mention by Highland Council in a news release about Highland pupils’ exam passes.
Jade is due begin an English with Linguistics degree at the University of Edinburgh in the new academic year.
Mr Garvie said: "There has not been a big uptake of the new baccalaureate so I am particularly pleased at Jade’s success."
He explained that the standard expected of Baccalaureate students was above that of an Advanced Higher and more akin to the first year of university.
"Even with an Advanced Higher, pupils can rely too much on their teachers but with the Baccalaureate, you have a lot more independence," he said.
"The big difference is that students are required to undertake an interdisciplinary project. It is particularly good preparation for university.
Mr Garvie said Jade’s project had been on "Attitudes to Binge drinking in the European Union and Scotland."
She interviewed people in her own school and also an educational establishment abroad during a school trip.
Added Mr Garvie: "I’m now hoping to see more people opt for this qualification."
According to Highland Council, North pupils are celebrating a sharp increase in the number of candidates gaining top grades in this year’s Higher exams.
A total of 71 pupils achieved 5 A passes at Higher compared to 47 and 49 respectively in the two previous years. Overall, 344 pupils passed 5 Highers in one sitting in S5, up from 322 the previous year.
In S6, the number achieving Advanced Higher was broadly in line with last year. S4 results were also broadly in line with recent years.
Director of Education, Culture and Sport, Hugh Fraser said: "It is hugely satisfying to see consistently good results year on year and such fine individual performances. I congratulate them all."