HERMITAGE Academy’s head teacher has paid tribute to the “thriving and successful community” at the school as its senior prizewinners were honoured.

Robert Williamson also urged the successful pupils to realise how much they had achieved after all their hard work over the 2018/19 session.

The school saw 70 per cent of its S5 pupils gain at least one Higher at grade A to C, while 28 per cent of S6 claimed at least one Advanced Higher award.

Pupils in S4 also impressed, with 87 per cent gaining at least one National 5 award at grade A to C, with 35 per cent attaining six or more.

READ MORE: Hermitage Academy has best Higher exam pass rate in Argyll and Bute

Mr Williamson said at the awards ceremony: “Hermitage Academy is a thriving and successful community with a huge range of opportunities for young people and staff to excel.

“I am grateful to the young people, staff, parents and enormous amount of partners who contribute day after day.

“I will repeat my message from last year, however, that we will never forget that parents and carers are the prime educators, who support our efforts and who install the belief that the entire community is one team, aimed at improving the life chances of all of our young people.

“For those of you receiving awards tonight, please be aware of just how much you have achieved.

“For every pupil here tonight, there are several who worked extremely hard and performed impressively but are not receiving an award.

“We hope this success inspires you to continue to strive to improve over the coming year, and that others are encouraged to redouble their efforts to be amongst the best of the best here next year.

“You should all be extremely proud of your achievements.

“These results will always be a part of our core business but, as I’ve said before, the world of work is ever changing and we are always expanding the opportunities for our young people.

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“It is also important for everyone in our community to realise that we will continue to celebrate all of our young people throughout the year, through assemblies and activities, regular rewards, school trips and many other events.”

Mr Williamson also highlighted the opportunities available for young people, with five pupils taking foundation apprenticeships in engineering, and 18 in social services for children and young people.

Discussions are taking place with West College Scotland about extending its existing foundation apprenticeship scheme at the school, with other subjects on the horizon.

Pupil numbers have also doubled in the school’s maritime course, held in partnership with Argyll College and ‘You and Sea’.

Mr Williamson also recognised the many achievements made by pupils in the worlds of sport and music, as well as with Police Scotland Young Volunteers, and the many trips which have taken place, including to Zambia and Rome.

He added: “I am delighted to say that one of our pupils has been selected as the Argyll College Schools Link Student of the Year 2019. Holly Elwood was chosen from the winners in each of the 10 local centres, so it’s quite an achievement for her.

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“Our Police Scotland Young Volunteers Helensburgh group have been active at a number of events in the community and show the level of responsibility and positivity so many of our young people have.

“A special mention must go to our ‘Philosoraptors’ - Rosie Sumsion, Aubrey Agub, Megan Rowat, Amy Pickett, Aysha Sohail and Emily Vaughan who not only participated in but won the prestigious John Stuart Mills Philosophy Competition at St Andrew’s University.

“Rosie Sumsion’s powers of persuasion were also key in her being elected as our Member of the Scottish Youth Parliament as she begins her political journey. Good luck Rosie!”