Covid doesn’t stop clever Barrhead pupils securing top marks

Pupils at St Luke’s High have overcome mammoth challenges this year to record some of the most impressive academic results the school has ever seen.

The Barrhead secondary revealed that it recorded its best ever performance in the number of students who attained five or more awards at National 5.

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And those taking on Highers are among the 73 per cent of S5 pupils in East Renfrewshire who secured three or more awards at this level – the highest ever.

Attainment has continued to rise across East Renfrewshire, despite the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic.

St Luke’s High pupil Callum McGuire was particularly badly hit by the pandemic, with the S5 student forced to miss an entire month of school due to self isolation.

But the 16-year-old’s dedication to his studies saw him secure five A grades at Higher level.

Callum, who wants to study engineering at university after completing sixth year, said: “It was really tough being away from everyone for so long, but the teachers gave me all the support I needed to help me keep up with others.

“I missed seeing friends too, but I’m glad that all my studying has paid off with these results.”

Jennifer Lynagh hopes to secure a golf scholarship at an American University

Fellow pupil Jennifer Lynagh also dreams of becoming an engineer and hopes her handicap on the golf course could help her secure a scholarship to university in America.

The talented golfer, who has a handicap of 3 and plays at Caldwell Golf Club, has already been accepted by Pro Dream USA – a personalised college golf placement service – which assists young people in gaining scholarships in American colleges.

The 17-year-old, from Barrhead, said: “I’ve always wanted to go to America to continue my education as I feel it will give me the best opportunity to combine my studies with sport.

“It’s so amazing to get confirmation of my results as, hopefully, this will allow me to gain a place at a college in America, as planned.

“Home learning was certainly challenging, so I’m just glad that I’ve got these results confirmed.”

For student Muna Adibe, it was missing her dad in Nigeria that presented the biggest challenge of the past year.

Despite the emotional toll this took on her, Muna excelled by gaining two Highers and an Advanced Higher to add to the five Highers she achieved last year.

The 17-year-old also achieved a NPA Level 6 in human resources and law which she was able to secure at South Lanarkshire College while still studying at St Luke’s.

Muna said: “My parents are absolutely delighted with the results I got and I’ve spoken to my dad in Nigeria who is so proud.

“He’s disappointed that he can’t be here to celebrate with me, but is so happy for me.”

The pupils’ success has been matched by that of their peers at Barrhead High, who secured the school its best ever performance of S5 pupils gaining five or more Highers.

The school also achieved its second highest ever results for the proportion of S4 pupils attaining five or more awards at National 5.

Ludivina Leveto

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