SQA Results

Results Overview


In the S3 and S4 years, Wellington School aims to provide flexibility in the academic curriculum to enable pupils to take a wide range of courses to meet their needs and match their interests.

S4 pupils normally sit 8 National 5 examinations having studied these 8 courses throughout S3 and S4. All pupils take English, Mathematics, a Science subject (Chemistry, Biology, Physics, Environmental Science), a Language (French, German, Spanish or Latin) and a Social Science subject (Geography, History, Modern Studies). In addition, pupils choose three other subjects (from Accounting, Business Management, Art, Music Performing, Music Technology, Computing Science, PE, together with the Sciences, Languages and Social Sciences already listed ) to provide them with a broad general education from which they can then go on to choose 5 Highers to study in S5.

In addition, S3 and S4 pupils have a Games lesson, PE and a Personal and Social Education class each week.

Throughout their time in school, all pupils in any year group can attend an extensive array of study support classes run by all departments at lunch times and after school. Pupils are also monitored closely and offered Support for Learning assistance if required. This support in departments, and through the Support for Learning Department, helps all pupils to consolidate their understanding and achieve the best possible grasp of their academic subjects.

Almost all S5 pupils study 5 Highers from a range of 20 subjects available at this stage. Some pupils study 4 Highers and an additional National 5 course.

Sixth Year pupils can choose from a wide range of courses provided at Advanced Higher, Higher and National 5 levels. The school offers 18 Advanced Higher courses and, in addition, there are 22 Higher courses and 20 National 5 subjects available. This allows the school to cater for the individual needs of our pupils.

In S6, usually pupils choose three or four subjects to study for entrance to a range of prestigious university courses. These include Medicine, Dentistry, Veterinary Science, Engineering, Law, Teaching, Business and Accounting courses and other Science and Social Science degrees as well as places at Art School, Conservatoires and at a variety of post-school courses at college.

‘The success of all our students at all levels of attainment deserves praise.  Whilst examination results are important, we are equally committed to the all-round education, health and well-being of our students.’

Gail J Johnston

Assistant Head Teacher (Academic), Director of Studies.

Wellington is The Top Independent School for Advanced Highers

Top Scottish Independent School for Advanced Highers in 2017

Ask someone what they might expect from an independent school and it is almost certain that they will say ‘academic excellence’. They would be justified: independent schools pride themselves on the quality of their education, their exam results and subsequently, their position in league tables. Like any other school, Wellington is proud of pupils’ results. Not only are they testament to the dedication and educational innovation of our inspirational staff, but most crucially, they play a key part in shaping futures – as the passport to further or higher education.

Wellington nurtures pupils to achieve their very best. While healthy competition is an important motivator, it is important to recognise that every person learns, works and performs to their own rhythm. Sadly, many children gauge their success against that of their peers, siblings or, in many cases, their parents. Often, they compare themselves to the (almost always) unachievable ideals portrayed on social media. This sort of thinking can be destructive. Instead, Wellington celebrates the achievements of individuals and our solid ethos encourages every child to realise their full potential. Gratifyingly, our system works: every pupil currently in the sixth year has gained entry to a university of their choice and three pupils from a year group of 47, have accepted offers to the University of Oxford.

The eminent academic and international advisor on education to government, Professor Sir Ken Robinson, highlights the problem of pack mentality and achievement: “education doesn’t need to be reformed – it needs to be transformed. The key to this transformation is not to standardize education, but to personalize it, to build achievement on  discovering the individual talents of each child, to put students in an environment where they want to learn and where they can naturally discover their true passions.”

Given our progressive attitude towards education, Wellington was honoured to receive an award for our ranking in Education Advisers’ 2017 Independent School League Tables: Top Scottish Independent School for Advanced Highers in 2017. Surprisingly, none of the Glasgow schools even made the top ten – see, healthy competition in action! Wellington was also placed in the top 15 for Highers with over 80% of pupils receiving A and B passes. These statistics are impressive and we hope that every pupil will meet, if not exceed, their own expectations in the upcoming diet of examinations.

While League Tables are an indication of a school’s academic standing, they do not tell the whole story. The opportunities available to Wellington children of all ages are unsurpassed in South Ayrshire: the Junior Duke, John Muir and Duke of Edinburgh Awards are offered to children throughout the school; we boast a thriving Support for Learning department; our International Education Programme involves every single child in school; our sector-leading Outdoor Nursery provides an innovative learning environment for children throughout the Junior School; and an untold number of extracurricular clubs sow the seed of new passions. In addition to all of this, we are continuing to improve our facilities with an ambitious programme of significant investment over the next decade.

2018 Results

The 2018 examination results are published on 7 August 2018. A statement will be published over the coming days – please see social media in the interim for a general statement.

SQA Results Overview 2018


It seems like no time at all since school was a place of discovery, where every day was an adventure and every subject brought with it much curiosity.  However, by the end of second year, children are embarking on a new era in the scholastic career. From here on in, the years whizz past in a flurry of prelims, examinations and revision aplenty! For pupils, it is a fraught time and for parents too, when you are caught worrying about your child’s future. After all, the outcome of these few years will largely define their lives going forward.


The 7th of August 2018 saw the culmination of years of studying, months of revising and weeks of nail biting tension with the publication of the SQA’s 2018’s examination results. At Higher, the pass rate was 95% and over half of the awards were at grade ’A’. Similar levels of success were achieved at National 5 (with 69% of awards at grade ‘A’) and Advanced Higher (with 52% of awards at grade ‘A’). Congratulations go to all of our students for their well-earned results.


Commenting, Mr Johnson, Headmaster of Wellington School said “Wellington pupils have once again achieved outstanding examination results, which reflect both their hard work and that of our teachers.  Schools are often judged by league table statistics, but it is the results of each individual pupil that matter and I am delighted that so many can be proud of the grades that they have received today.”


Wellington nurtures pupils to achieve their very best. We recognise that every person learns, works and performs to their own rhythm so we celebrate the achievements of individuals and our solid ethos encourages every child to realise their full potential. Gratifyingly, our system works: today’s published results confirmed that every pupil (who left school in June) gained entry to a university of their choice! Furthermore, three pupils can look forward to commencing their studies at the University of Oxford this September!

This year’s SQA results once again compare very favourably to National Standards and to standards reported for the Independent Sector. Looking more closely at National Standards, Wellington pupils consistently attain top passes at Higher and Advanced Higher level with the gap widening between the School and the national average.


Earlier this year, Wellington School was honoured to receive an award bearing testament to its reputation for educational excellence – Education Advisers’ Scottish Independent School for Advanced Highers, 2017. Surprisingly, none of the Glasgow schools even made the top ten! Wellington was also placed in the top 15 for Highers with over 80% of pupils receiving A and B passes; an equally pleasing statistic has been published for 2018.

Wellington School & National Results

Advanced Higher

2017 A B C
Wellington School 57% 32% 3%
National Results 32% 25% 23%
2016 A B C
Wellington School 69% 20% 6%
National Results 34% 26% 22%

Higher Results

2017 A B C
Wellington School 54% 27% 15%
National Results 29% 26% 23%
2016 A B C
Wellington School 63% 20% 12%
National Results 29% 25% 23%

National 5

2017 A B C
Wellington School 69% 21% 6%
National Results 31% 24% 19%
2016 A B C
Wellington School 72% 18% 6%
National Results 36% 24% 19%

Wellington School’s Performance

Advanced Higher Results, 2017

  • Our Sixth Year pupils all secured offers for their chosen University course.
  • 28% of our S6 pupils commenced courses in Humanities, Languages and Law, 22% in Veterinary Medicine, Medicine, Nursing and Dentistry, 19% in Music, Theatre and Art, 14% in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths, 14% in Business and 3% in Teaching.
  • 31% secured places at Russel Group Universities, 25% of students secured places at Strathclyde, 8% at Glasgow Caledonian and Stirling, 6% at Napier and 3% at St Andrews.
  • One S6 applicant secured a place for Exeter College, Oxford.

Higher Results, 2017

  • The 2017 results were equally impressive and from a cohort of fifty five, eleven students achieved five grade A passes which included three students who achieved six grade A passes.
  • The % A-C pass rate at Wellington School was 97%, nationally this was 81.7%.

National 5 Results, 2017

  • The National 5 examinations produced a 96% pass rate at grades A-C.
  • Twelve pupils from a cohort of forty one achieved a clean sweep of eight A grade passes in their National 5 examinations.  Together with the seven of forty one who achieved seven A grade passes, this amounts to 46% of the year group.
  • 69% of Wellington pupils achieved a grade A at National, well above the national average of 31%.
  • Our % A-C pass rate of 96% was once again well above the national average of 79.5%.