PORT Glasgow High is helping Inverclyde buck the national trend - as a record number of pupils celebrate Higher exam success.

The secondary school saw 17 per cent of fifth year pupils secure five passes, compared with just four per cent two years ago.

Head teacher Stuart Clark praised his pupils and his staff for the remarkable achievement.

He was joined at a recent celebration by five fifth year girls from the school who all gained straight As.

Mr Clark said: "I am so proud of all our pupils.

"Five higher passes opens doors for our pupils, whether they choose to go to university, college or take on an apprenticeship."

Port High has enjoyed a dramatic increase year on year, like the whole of Inverclyde.

Two years ago four per cent achieved five Higher passes and this jumped to nine per cent the following year before the surge this summer.

The pass rate nationally has fallen for the fourth year in a row.

At Port High there has been a welcome increase in the number of pupils passing in science, technology, engineering and maths.

The five girls who scored straight As were Sophie Marshall, 16, Erin McCafferty, 17, Abigail Allison, 17, Sarah Harrison, 16, and Katie Nowarth, 17.

Delighted Sophie achieved As in English, maths, chemistry, human biology and PE.

She said: "I was surprised, although I did work hard for it.

"I'm going to stay on for sixth year and hopefully go to uni.

"I don't know what course yet, I'm keeping my options open."

Sophie credits the school's success on the extra support help laid on by staff, such as supported study, Saturday school and Easter holiday sessions.

She said: "You feel like you're in school more than you are out of it, but it works."

Fellow fifth year Sarah was one of two pupils among this year's record 30 straight A students to have an Advanced Higher in her results, for music.

She also aced Higher English, maths, modern studies and business management.

Erin got top marks for English, maths, French, physics and admin and was full of praise for the school.

She said: "It's because of the teachers and supported study and after-school classes."

Mr Clark said the young people should take the credit.

He told the Tele: "It really is down to their incredible hard work.

"Our staff are so committed as well.

"We have supported study on a Saturday morning which seems to work very well.

"The school is constantly looking at ways to improve and work ahead."

Port High also works closely with its feeder primary schools and has made changes to the early years at high school.

Mr Clark said: "I think credit should also go to our primary schools because that is where all the work starts.

"We get everyone together from the nurseries right through to talk about the curriculum."