Dundee pupil named Scotland’s top performer

A pupil from the High School of Dundee got top marks at the SQA Star Awards.

Elle Wyatt was awarded the Academic Excellence award, one of the highest accolades a pupil can receive in Scotland.

She was lauded  for her exceptional results in the 2017 SQA exams. As well as gaining A1 band passes in each Advanced Higher subject she took – Maths, Physics, Chemistry, and Maths of Mechanics – at an average of 97%, Elle’s performance in Physics earned her the joint top mark in Scotland, while in Maths she was also joint top in the country, with a perfect 100%.

Elle Wyatt was named as the winner of the SQA’s Academic Excellence award at the qualification authority’s 2017 Star Awards ceremony which took place in Edinburgh on Friday evening.

Elle, who left the High School at the end S6 and is now studying Natural Sciences at Cambridge University, said: “It’s an enormous privilege to have received this award.

“I couldn’t make it to the awards ceremony, but my parents attended and Head of Physics Mr Darby collected the prize on my behalf. I found out that I had won when my

Head of Physics Jamie Darby accepting the award on Elles behalf. SQA.
Pic Peter Devlin

mum texted me from the event so that was quite surreal really.”

The 17-year-old from Guildtown, in Perthshire, said she felt the key to her success had been working hard and doing subjects that she enjoyed.

She added: “Some of my teachers have been fabulous. I think I owe a lot to them – I couldn’t have achieved as much without them.

“It’s quite nice to have my work for Advanced Highers recognised and hopefully this will have provided me with a good springboard for university.”

Dr John Halliday, rector of the High School of Dundee, said: “This is a fantastic achievement. We encourage all our pupils to be the best they can be and for Elle this has meant coming out on top in the whole country. Encouraged by her teachers, she has worked so hard for this success, showing flair and imagination as well as grit.

“She was pushed all the way by a number of other very talented pupils in the year. I’m seriously chuffed.”

Later in the evening, Grant Ritchie, principal of Dundee and Angus College, was presented with SQA’s highest award, the SQA Fellowship in recognition of his dedication to providing great learning and teaching over the course of his career.

Before becoming principal, Grant developed creative industries in the college and worked with SQA on developing the Higher National Certificate and Diploma courses in the Creative Industries.

There was further success for the college as lecturer and course leader Sarah Ramminger was Highly Commended in the SQA Champion category.