PUPILS at a Paisley school have been commended for their "attitude to modern languages" after coming runners up in a national competition.

Seven youngsters from S4 and S5 at Mary Russell School helped secure the position after their teacher, Laura Muir, signed them up to compete in a national French competition with the Institut Francais in Edinburgh.

The education hub, for people with additional support needs (ASN), discovered that many pupils were fond of learning a new language.

READ NEXT: Crowds of people gathered in Johnstone for historic event

The competition - called le Concours de la Francophonie - saw entries from schools across the board, including private schools.

Laura, who started working at the Paisley establishment nearly three years ago, said that she appreciated the judges' understanding.

She said: "This is a huge achievement for these kids. Even speaking French is amazing.

"I sent it off (competition entry) and I told them we're an ASN school and gave them some background.

"I was just glad because you send these things off and it is hard for them to fully understand what the pupils are like.

"Especially if they've been getting videos from private schools and stuff like that. We're not that calibre.

"So I'm glad that they saw that the French that they're doing is the level that we can work at and that the kids really love the language and the culture and are so enthusiastic."

The Gazette:

Earlier this month, a representative from the judging panel attended the Renfrewshire school to congratulate them on their achievement and to award them with some prizes that would go to helping future French classes.

The prizes consisted of a number of French textbooks along with a board game in French for the class to play.

Laura said that she was very pleased for everyone and hopes that this is a sign to others out there that modern languages are a vital subject for everyone.

She said: "I'm obviously really happy for them because it is an achievement."

Charlotte Hyvernaud, who helped judge the entries and attended the school, said that she was "really impressed" with the pupil's interaction with French and enjoyed seeing them learn about a new culture.

Liam Coyle, headteacher at the school, said: "I think in Mary Russell our children are deserving of every opportunity that any child would have in another school.

"I think what we always find is when we give those opportunities to our pupils they always step up to it.

"They always give their best and they always achieve their best.

"It is brilliant to see this achievement in this subject and it is thanks to Mrs Muir and the work she puts in."