College student is numbre une en Ecosse

An Edinburgh College student said “bonjour” to success as she was crowned the country’s best Advanced Higher French student after working her way to top marks in her final exam.

Sarah McArthur, scored 190 out of 200 in her final exam, the highest mark in the country. The Franco-Scottish Society has presented her with the Lansdowne Prize, awarded annually to the candidate who achieves the best mark in Advanced Higher French.

Sarah studied for the qualification at the college through open learning while completing her sixth year at Balerno High School, which was unable to run the Advanced Higher course.

Her college lecturer, Caroline Cordier, said: “I am extremely proud of Sarah. I would like to emphasise the difficulty of the Advanced Higher exam. The Advanced Higher courses is a huge jump from Higher and are very challenging academically. Taking an Advanced Higher course is the perfect way to prepare yourself for progressing to university study.


Edinburgh College student Sarah McArthur

Edinburgh College student Sarah McArthur


“Her achievement is all the more outstanding considering that she took an open learning course, which requires a great deal of self-motivation. Thanks to resources and feedback available through new tools like Skype tutorials, Sarah was able to make huge progress and have a fulfilling learning experience.”

Sarah, who is now going to the University of St Andrews to study Sustainable Development and hopes to work for charities in the developing world, said: “I was surprised and delighted to discover that I had won the Lansdowne Prize, and I am of course very grateful to the Franco-Scottish Society for presenting me with this award and for the support they give to French language learners.

“I am also very grateful to Edinburgh College for running the course, as otherwise, I would have been unable to study Advanced Higher French. I am especially grateful to my lecturer Caroline. She was so flexible and willing to work around my busy timetable as I’m sure I was not the most convenient student.”

Tom Wight, vice-president of Franco-Scottish Society of Scotland, said: “Sarah McArthur’s results in the Advanced Higher Exam are outstanding. She is a worthy recipient of the prize and an inspiration to young language learners throughout Scotland.”

Since studying at the college, Sarah has taken part in an eight-month placement in the Democratic Republic of Congo with Africa Inland Mission where she taught English to English teacher trainees and developed her French-language skills