Change can be exciting but it can also be threatening and unsettling according to John Clarke, head teacher at The Berwickshire High School.
Mr Clarke was addressing students, teachers and parents at the Senior School Awards ceremony.
He said the rate of change had been significant, not only in terms of curriculum but also in staffing with around 30 changes in the staffing since he arrived at the school.
He added: “The pace of change does not look like it will slow down either as we move forwards into this academic year knowing that there are further staffing changes to come. And with government initiatives like ‘Developing our Young Workforce’ impacting significantly on school curriculum design, there are certainly more curriculum changes coming too.
“Change can be exciting. It can also feel threatening and unsettling. It also requires a good level of preparation if it is to be successful. Everyone in this room can look back on this year and see the change that is taking place around them.
“We remember back to last September when we were on the verge of a HUGE change in Scotland with the referendum. In political circles at least, we were then able to watch in awe the sea-change that took place in the make-up of the government at Westminster with labour being ousted from so many seats and the SNP becoming a key feature of our present government. I do not believe that anyone really saw that coming.
“We have further watched as the news has become more and more dominated by the developments in the refugee situation. At first, to my reading at least, the media reflected a nation that saw the refugees as miscreants but, certainly in latter days, there is a change in mood to now see and understand the plight that these people are suffering. Let us hope that there will be a genuine change and upturn in their circumstances very soon.
“More locally we have the Borders Railway. Every supporter of the railway sees the potential for change in the Borders that the railway brings and, as someone who has lived locally through the building works, I see the change in the landscape and now sincerely hope that this leads to further significant change to the economy of the Borders.
“A changing world then and this is what all of you, our young folk, are preparing for. We regularly hear the quote that ‘teachers are now preparing young people for jobs that do not even exist yet’. Who would have thought that you can now get a job in the police flying a drone. Who would have thought that you can now get a job in agriculture sitting at a screen in Germany controlling the variables inside tractors that are fertilising in Britain. Who would have thought that someone would one day have designed a single tool that can be used to take photos, read books, make phonecalls, record videos, pay for goods in shops, watch TV, read emails, surf the net AND still stick it in your pocket!
“Our job is to prepare you for that change - your job is to rise to the challenge. What we celebrate tonight is the fact that, without exception, you folks have risen to the challenge and in some way have shown that you ‘get it’.
“You ‘get’ the need to prepare yourselves well for the world of work ahead. You ‘get’ the need to do well in your studies. You’get’ the need to ensure that you are well rounded young people able to adapt to whatever comes your way.
“I congratulate all of you for the achievements that we celebrate this evening and ask that you seek more of the same in the coming year. Well done to all of you!
“I believe we should also take the time to congratulate our teaching staff. Despite all of the changes, you have helped our young people to again gain some of the best results that this school has had. Your hard work and commitment to continually improving standards have supported our young people to gain some excellent results. Thank you!
“And I would like to here acknowledge the patience and courage of parents, all of you, who had to watch your youngsters go through some exams that bore little resemblance to those that you have historically understood and I know that at times it has been a difficult journey. Thank you for being patient with us and trusting the staff that we have in the school.”
Attainment certificates and prizes: Xenia Garden, Gregor Murray, Sophie Thomson, Barnaby Bevan, Sam Gaston, Thomas Taylor, Lillian Greenough, Joe Logan, Bernadette Owtram.
Attainment certifictaes: Robert Bracken, Rory Hamilton, Rachel Scott, Ellenor Gracey, Gregor Richardson, Emily Sawers, Frederick Rooke, Stephen Dewar, Amy Clark, Ross Ferguson, William Derries, George Smith, Nathan Dawson, Jasmine Turnbull, Eilidh Smith, Rachel Younger, Rebecca Blaikie, Sarah Allan, Katie Scott, Bradley Cooper, Scarlett Hardy, Emma Walker, Leah Steel, Alexandra Wensby Scott, Joseph Donkin, Katie Browne, Ally Simmonds, Cameron Ponder, Lucy Ferguson, Calum Watson, Jack Crowe.
Attainment certificates and prizes: Ewan Archibald, Claire Gray.
Attainment certificates: Hazel Martin, Ewan Steady, Emily Runciman, Lauryn Cummings, Ewan Gosling, Nicole Baxter, Kris Gourlay, Maitland Murray, Daniel Richards, Ross Brodie, Molly McCann, Jamie Thorburn, Hannah Feeney, Danny Milton, Faye Heron, Duncan Sim, Charlie Lochhead, Bronwen Edwards, Rona Fleming, Antonia Scheff, Heather Patterson, Aaron Wilson, Erin Jane Lauder, Laura Ginn, Fransesca Duxbury, Joanna Laidlaw.
Sports awards (McCulloch Sports trophies): Patrick Anderson, Nicole Baxter, Rona Fleming.
The Christine Johnson Memorial Prize for Endeavour: Shona Mulvey.
The Guy Roberts Memorial Trophy for Excellence in Swimming: Chantelle McLennan.
The Christie Cup for most improved student in Support for Learning: Alice Donkin.
Good Citizenship Award (Parent Council Prize): Rory Hamilton.
Prizes for excellence in subjects: Rotary Club of Duns Prize (Religious Studies) - Toni Dean; Walter Murray Prize (Geography) - Rona Fleming; Earl Home Prize (History) - Aaron Wilson; Sir John Swinton Prize (Mathematics) - Claire Gray; Eric Robertson Prize (Physics) - Claire Gray; Rotary Club of Duns Prize (Computing Studies) - Blair Marynicz; George Romanes Prize (Biology) - Claire Gray; Sir John Swinton Prize (English) - Euan Archibald; Berwickshire Housing Prize (Graphic Communication) - Jamie Thorburn; Countryside Kitchen Award (Art and Design) - Bronwen Edwards; Adams Memorial Prize (Photography) - Erin Jane Lauder; Robert Kelly Prize (Modern Languages) - Xenia Garden; Duns Medical Group Prize (Human Biology) - Emily Runciman; James Vandore Prize (Chemistry) - Claire Gray; Duns Rugby Club Prize (Physical Education) - Nicole Baxter; Countryside Kitchen Award (Home Economics) - Erin King; Royal Bank of Scotland Prize (Business Management) - Jamie Wood; John Thorburn Engineering Prize (Craft Skills Engineering) - Muhammad Buddin; Eric Robertson Prize (Music) - Ewan Steady; Duns Players Prize (Performing Arts) - April Lea Taylor; Hans Elleflaadt Memorial Prize (Technical Subjects) - Nathan Melrose.
Service to School: Rachel Walker, Euan Brown, Kirsty Millar, Gregor Watson.
Ahlstrom Prize for Attainment: Rowan Stanforth, Man Ho Tze.Parent Council Prize for Attainment: Halcyon Hayward, Rachel Walker.