IT'S all adding up at Port Glasgow High as the school's maths whizz kids send exam pass rates soaring.

Half of all fourth year pupils sitting National 5s maths gained an A grade, compared with only four per cent two years ago.

The overall pass rate has jumped from only 30 per cent to 77 per cent.

In Higher Maths the rate has risen from 50 per cent to 77 per cent, with the number of pupils getting the top grade doubling in the last two years.

This comes at a time when exam passes nationally are falling and there is wider concern about attainment in the subject.

But by embracing technology and a Saturday school scheme, Port High pupils have cracked the maths code.

Courtney Cameron, now in S6, said: "I found National 5 really hard and had to be persuaded to take Higher.

"But it is so rewarding to be able to do maths and I am even taking an advanced Higher.

"I would never have thought that I would do that."

Fellow pupil Scott McAllister added: "I realised that it wasn't just about getting the right or wrong answer.

"That is what makes people so nervous about maths.

"It was about working it out."

Classmate Sophie Marshall pinpointed a Saturday morning supported study scheme as crucial to her success.

She said: "Supported study really benefited us all and it was a lot better than studying on our own all the time.

"The teachers were so committed as well."

School head teacher Stuart Clark says staff and pupils should share the credit for the success story.

He added: "Nationally maths has been an area of concern.

"The pupils and staff are working exceptionally hard and I am delighted they are gaining the reward for their hard work.

"Our pupils are very proud of the school's achievements and our new S5 pupils want to continue the success."

Overall, Port High has doubled the number of pupils passing five National 5s from 16 per cent in 2016 to over 30 per cent this year.

The rate of five Higher passes is up from four per cent in 2017 to 17 per cent this year and they had five straight A pupils, their highest ever.

The rate of pupils achieving at least three Highers has hit a record 48 per cent and almost two thirds of fifth years now get at least one, a significant increase from 35 per cent five years ago.

Principal maths teacher Nikki Lyons is delighted the hard work of her team with pupils has contributed to the overall surge in the school's pass rate.

She said: "Our staff and pupils are really committed and we use technology and supported study.

"What we have struggled with as a department is that people say all the time 'I was rubbish at maths, I couldn't do it.'

"It is challenging the perception that it is okay to say that you can't do maths - you would never say that about reading.

"Maths is fundamental to everything and we send out a positive message about it."