PUPILS at a Port Glasgow school are as good as gold after being awarded a coveted national sports award.

St John's Primary is celebrating receiving a prestigious gold flag from Sportscotland.

The honour is in recognition of the school's work in promoting health and wellbeing and getting students motivated to keep fit.

Around 90 per cent of boys and girls take part in additional sports outwith the classroom and they are also given the opportunity to try their hand at coaching and officiating.

St John's also has a pupil-led sport council to allow the young people to shape the sporting curriculum.

Depute head teacher Martin Craig is one of the key figures behind the school's success.

He said: "This is the culmination of years of work in relation to sport. "It's great to be recognised by Sportscotland for what we're doing. "There's not many schools in the country that's achieved this national recognition and we are one of just five schools in this area. "Sport is something we need to make sure is always part of the curriculum."

The gold flag is for two years and it will be proudly flown from a new flagpole in the playground.

Head teacher Mark Coyle said: "It's the hard work and dedication of staff, pupils and families as part of the St John's community that's made it possible, and close ties with Active Schools to encourage a diverse approach to sport and wellbeing.

"It's something we're very proud of."

A presentation ceremony took place at the school recently with Mr Craig and the current sport council joined by former members Ryan Leslie and Gemma McDonald, now at St Stephen's High, Active Schools co-ordinator, Brad Cathie, health and wellbeing coach Craig Mullan.

Fiona Cook, Sportscotland partnership manager, handed over the flag and said: "The school has achieved something very special, something that makes it stand out and something that makes the school world-class in PE and sport. "Ninety per cent of the school takes part in additional sporting activities.

"That's amazing."