Regular doses of fish oils can dramatically boost young children's grasp of the three Rs, a study has revealed.

Research suggests that so-called 'clever capsules' improve youngsters' brainpower and concentration levels. The performance of children across all ages and abilities has been raised in a series of high-profile trials across the country.

In the latest study, 34 pupils aged eight to nine at Newhall Park Primary School in Bradford received a daily dose of omega-3 oils. The pupils, representing a broad ability range, were given tests in reading, writing and numeracy before the study began and again nine months later.

Seventy-four per cent of children showed improvements in numeracy, 81 per cent in reading and 67 per cent in writing.

Some pupils leapt ahead by the equivalent of more than two levels in national curriculum tests. Teachers also noted improvements in concentration levels and behaviour.

The study, funded by Boots, was launched last September after teachers at the primary school became concerned about the concentration levels of some pupils. Healthy school meals were also introduced.

'Incredible differences'

Headmaster John Flockton said: "A couple of years ago we noticed that a significant number of pupils were fidgety and had a low attention span, not being able to sit through the Harvest Festival. But now that has all changed.

"We are seeing some incredible differences, not least that children can sit still and can engage with teaching and learning. We have been thrilled with the changes we have seen in the children."

He said that one pupil with learning difficulties, who was previously unable to hold a pencil, could now sit still and hold a conversation with teachers.

He called for government funding for schools to give omega-3 to pupils. "This would be a significant help for some children," he said.

Children were given Boots Smart Omega-3 fish oil every day of the week, including during holidays. The project is ongoing and is now being rolled out to older pupils.

The school, which is situated in a deprived area, has some 350 pupils, about a quarter of whom have special educational needs.

Omega-3 oils are polyunsaturates or 'good' fats which are important for the functioning of the body. The essential fatty acids are found in fish such as tuna, mackerel, salmon, herring and trout.

A recent study discovered that daily doses of fish oils could improve chil-dren's GCSE performance. Pupils aged 15 and 16 at Fleetwood Sports College in Lancashire took capsules containing omega-3 for 12 weeks in the critical run-up to their exams last year.

On average, they exceeded the results predicted for them by one grade. Research from Durham local education authority revealed that toddlers whose communication skills were below average could catch up in months by taking essential fats found in fish and seeds.

At the start of the trial, almost half of the 65-strong group of children aged 18 to 30 months were rated as having 'poor' or 'very poor' behaviour.

But after receiving daily doses of eye q smooth - a combination of omega-3 fish oil and omega-6 evening primrose oil - for five months, nine out of ten had improved to moderate or good ratings.

Last year, an exclusive Daily Mail study showed impressive improvements in children at a school in Hertfordshire who were given the supplement eye q.