Aspiring astronaut scores best possible results in exams

Rebecca Frith. Picture: Colin Hattersley
Rebecca Frith. Picture: Colin Hattersley
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A TEENAGER who dreams of one day becoming an astronaut has achieved the best set of Higher exam results possible.

Rebecca Frith, a fifth-year pupil at Firrhill High School, was thrilled to earn five Highers at grade A band 1 in Chemistry, English, Human Biology, Maths and Physics.

Her success coincided with the best ever set of Higher results achieved at Firrhill in its 52-year history, making it a double celebration for Rebecca and the school.

The 16-year-old, who recently spent a week at the Scottish Space School at Strathclyde University, now hopes to study engineering as a way into the space programme and is considering applying to Cambridge University.

Rebecca, who lives in Oxgangs and thanked all her teachers for their support over the last year, said: “I would love to be up in space. We heard all these talks from astronauts at the Space School and they were so inspiring.”

She added: “I was lying in bed when I got my exam results by text, I jumped out of my bed and went and told my mum. She gave me a big hug. I didn’t think some of my exams had gone that well, but obviously they had. I just put my social life completely on hold to study, but it was definitely worthwhile because it’s just opened so many doors and so many opportunities.”

Her mum, Jane, added: “I’m really proud of her because she worked hard for it.”

As well as her interest in space Rebecca has many hobbies, including playing hockey for the school and Inverleith Hockey Club, sailing and skiing, and she has also taken part in a triathlon for the school.

Rebecca will now study Advanced Higher physics, chemistry and maths, as well as Higher graphic communication, in her sixth year.

Across Firrhill High, five pupils achieved five grade A band 1s, while 12 others achieved five A passes at Higher. A total of 57 pupils gained five Highers and percentages of pupils gaining three Highers and one Higher also increased. Nick McClellan, depute headteacher at Firrhill, said: “Everyone in Firrhill is delighted with the success of our pupils in this year’s exams. The staff and pupils have worked really hard and were very well supported by the parents. We will all be looking forward to the new session and the chance to do even better next year.”

The percentage of Firrhill pupils achieving one or more Higher pass rose from 58 per cent in 2011 to 66 per cent this year, while 46 per cent of pupils achieved three or more Higher passes compared with 43 per cent last year.

There was a six per cent rise in the percentage of pupils attaining five or more Higher passes – 20 per cent to 26 per cent over the last year.

Firrhill High has been among the best-performing schools in the Capital in terms of exam results in recent years. Last year, a breakdown of the city’s 23 high schools placed Firrhill in the top five.

The number of S6 pupils at the school gaining at least one Advanced Higher rose from 25 per cent in 2010 to 33 per cent last year.

Councillor Paul Godzik, the city’s education leader, said: “The recent exam results were an endorsement of the hard work and dedication of teachers and pupils right across Edinburgh. I’m really pleased to see our pupils doing so well.

“I’d like to congratulate everyone at Firrhill for a job well done and wish all teachers and pupils the best of luck for the next year.”