EDUCATION minister Elizabeth Truss said she was ‘not surprised’ that Evelyn Street Primary School had been graded as an outstanding school by Ofsted.

Mrs Truss, who recently returned from a trip to Shanghai to see how maths lessons could be improved in the UK, visited Warrington to finf schools that could be used in a case study to increase the standards in maths across the country.

According to Pisa international league tables, 15-year-olds in Shanghai are three years ahead of their UK counterparts in maths.

The minister spent the morning at the school on Evelyn Street on Thursday along with Warrington South MP David Mowat.

Mrs Truss said: “I have seen some fantastic aspects of maths teaching and, what’s really noticeable about the school, is all the children are telling me that maths and science are their favourite subjects.

“They understand how important it is. This is one of the best examples I’ve seen of maths and science teaching in a school. I’m not surprised this school is outstanding and gets such great results.”

The minister is currently overseeing a reform in maths which will ban 11-year-olds from using a calculator in exams and will introduce a rigorous new curriculum.

Under the new reform, children will be expected to know their 12 times table by the age of nine.

Mrs Truss added: “Children need to understand what they are doing and not just process the information. What we want to develop is young adults with really high level thinking skills and that’s what they are learning here. It’s great to see it in action.”

The school will now be used as a case study to show other schools what can be achieved, said the minister.

Acting head teacher, Jenny Hindley, who along with executive head teacher Louise Smith was on hand to meet minister, said: “We are delighted that Mrs Truss has recognised all the outstanding work that we do at the school.

“We have very supportive parents, who have worked very hard with us, and it is because of that community feel that has led to the school’s success.”