IT truly was the most wonderful time of the year for many pupils in Renfrewshire as teenagers across the area celebrated satisfying exam results. 

Thousands of pupils peeled the seal off their envelopes yesterday and broke out in smiles from Erskine to Johnstone, as the county enjoyed another successful year. 

While exam rates fell at every level except from National 5 across Scotland, Renfrewshire bucked many national trends and also saw an increase in those picking up National 4 awards. 

READ MORE: Higher pass rate success for students across Renfrewshire

Attainment at Higher remained consistent with previous years as one fifth of S5 students achieved five or more Highers.

And now the clever clogs can look forward to the future as many prepare to study at various colleges and universities. 

Johnstone High’s Baillie Kerr is heading off to study at Glasgow University after gaining As in Advanced Higher maths and Higher psychology. 

The 18-year-old said: “I want to be a counsellor after I finish university. 

“I know people who suffer from poor mental health and I want to change perceptions about mental wellbeing.”

She was joined at the school on Tuesday morning by Stephanie Tavendale, 15, who has big dreams for the future and wants to go into medicine to help people suffering from illness. 

Stephanie said: “One of my favourite subjects is physics and I want to use what I learn to help people with cancer.”

The Gazette: All smiles at Paisley Grammar All smiles at Paisley Grammar

Mabel Wylie is another student who will always look back on 2019 fondly and the teenager is gearing up to swap the streets of Kilbarchan for a life of numbers. 

The 16-year-old was the star of the show as she led out the Lilias Day celebrations earlier this year as Miss Lilias. 

She was given the honour in recognition of sacrificing her free time to volunteer at Renfrewshire Leisure activity camps while also supporting a local swimming club. 

As well as opening the annual Kilbarchan bash, she will have the honour of switching on the village’s Christmas lights later this year. 

READ MORE: Kilbarchan's leading lady named as Lilias Day plans take shape

Mabel was joined by pals Ellie McGarry, 17, and Lewis Deighan, 15, and the trio are all still making decisions about what they will study at university. 

Mabel, who secured five Higher As, said: “I will probably study maths at university and go on to work in equity analysis, but I’m not sure yet. I have a year to decide.”

Millie Spence, 16, is looking to study product design. 

She said: “I would prefer not to work behind a desk all day. I’m going to go to university after I finish S6.”

Headteacher Lynne Hollywood wished the lucky pupils all the best for the years ahead. 

She said: “Whether our young people go to university, college, a job or an apprenticeship, these qualifications alongside the skills and values they have learned will open the door to the next stage of their lives. Whatever our young people go on to do next, I am confident that they will be successful and continue to be a credit to their family and local community.”

The national attainment rate at Higher level has now fallen for four consecutive years but Education Secretary John Swinney defended the results, arguing if pass rates were to regularly increase “people would rightly question the robustness of our assessment system”.

But despite the bleak picture across the country, pupils in Paisley had plenty to shout about yesterday when they were given their results.

The Gazette: Mabel Wylie, Ellie McGarry and Stephanie Tavendale flew the flag for Johnstone High Mabel Wylie, Ellie McGarry and Stephanie Tavendale flew the flag for Johnstone High

Budding product designer, Ross Allan, 17, from Paisley Grammar, is delighted to be heading to university next month. 

He said: “I needed to get three As and one B to get in and study product design at Strathclyde University. 

“I’m so proud of what I achieved.

“Solving problems is a huge part of product design and I like that it is a creative job with practical implications.”

READ MORE: Tributes paid to tragic Kilbarchan pensioner killed on his way to meet wife

Fellow Buddie Holly Hamilton, 16, said: “I really enjoy science subjects and maths.

“I haven’t yet decided exactly what I want to study at university yet but I think it’s likely to be a STEM subject.”

After being introduced to criminal cases during his work experience, Danny McNeill, 16, is on his way to becoming a lawyer, and said: “I really enjoyed watching how lawyers presented their case at court and the increasing use of video evidence.”

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