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IT'S AN OMEN!; THE WORLD'S BIGGEST SCHOOL TRIP EVER!

MORE than a quarter of a million pupils are now in with a chance of a dream trip to Walt Disney World Resort in Florida.

But of the 1430 schools to enter our amazing competition, a few could have a better chance than most if fate plays a hand.

That's because they each believe they can boast a link with the Magic Kingdom.

Stanmore House School, in Lanark, may have a good omen on their side in the form of Mouse Water, a tributary of the Clyde which flows past the school grounds.

Pupils at St Mary's Primary, in Alexandria, think their close proximity to Duck Bay might bring them luck.

And Mount Florida Primary School, in Glasgow, reckon their name is already on the flight tickets.

Yesterday, action girl Miranda Raison, who stars in our World's Biggest School Trip Ever TV ads, visited the schools to wish them luck.

And she presented one of them - Stanmore House - with pounds 500 from our School Of The Day fund.

Janice Bridges, head teacher of the school for children with learning difficulties, was thrilled. She said: "We will spend the money on special toys.

"We tend to buy switch-operated toys which children with learning difficulties find easy to use.

"They are able to interact with them more than normal toys, so it's a lot better for their development."

Stanmore is one of the few schools where the staff outnumber the pupils.

Mrs Bridges added: "We have 140 and 84 pupils - it has to be that way because our children have the most complex learning difficulties in Scotland. They all have some degree of physical disability and mental impairment."

Despite their profound problems, children at Stanmore - which is administered by the charity Capability Scotland - have plenty to smile about.

The goal of the devoted staff is to help them in any way they can to fulfil their potential. Education here means a lot more than the three Rs.

Mrs Bridges explained: "We teach the children how to make sense of the world around them and how to relate to others."

As soon as staff at the school read about our Disney competition, they realised it was an amazing opportunity.

Mrs Bridges said: "It was a case of great minds thinking alike because six of us brought the paper into the school."

She added: "Our children may have learning difficulties, but they know all the Disney characters and would love a trip to Florida."

Seven-year-old Kathleen Cullen was in no doubt when asked who her favourite was. Kathleen, who suffers from cerebral palsy, said: "I like Mickey Mouse and want to go to Disney World to meet him."

Staff and pupils at Mount Florida Primary School in Glasgow have already drawn up an action plan to boost their token total.

Head teacher Lesley Dalgleish said: "We have asked 30 local businesses to collect tokens on our behalf.

"It's nice to involve the community in something like this. We already have links with businesses from an educational point of view, so there's no reason why they can't help with this, too."

Staff are convinced the school's name is definitely a good omen. Mrs Dalgleish said: "We'd like to think that we could go from Mount Florida to Florida in the USA.

"We will certainly be giving it our best shot. The children are all fired up and raring to go. They can't wait for the first tokens to appear."

Mrs Dalgleish admitted she was stunned when she learned the full scale of the competition and the range of prizes on offer.

She said: "It wasn't until we sat down and read all about it that we realised just how many prizes there were.

"That's one of the reasons we were keen to get involved. The runners- up prizes are very worthwhile and would enable us to buy things we couldn't normally afford."

Top of the school shopping list would be computer equipment. Although most classes at the 260-pupil school have a PC, they believe they can never have too many.

Children at St Mary's Primary School in Alexandria would put Donald Duck at the top of their list of favourite Disney characters. The school is close to Duck Bay Marina, a leisure haven for weekend sailors, not to mention actual ducks.

Head teacher Rosamund Kelly said: "The children are very excited about the competition and can't wait to get started.

"We will be doing our best to involve the entire community in order to collect as many tokens as possible."

There's still time to take part in the World's Biggest School Trip Ever ... just.

Scotland's primary schools have until tomorrow to register. If yours hasn't yet, ask your head teacher to do so now by calling 0800 389 7070.

Come on heads ... get going!

CALLING all head teachers - there are just two days to go before our first School Trip tokens appear.

So, if you want to ensure that your pupils are in with a chance of going to Walt Disney World Resort, now is the time to check that every child in your school has a token collection sheet.

The first tokens will appear in Saturday's Daily Record, followed by more in the Sunday Mail.

Pupils should be given a sheet before then, so that they can begin collecting from day one. Each collection sheet has space for 200 tokens.

Remember - you can get friends and relations to add to your collection, too.

By now, most schools should have enough sheets to keep them going.

However, if you have registered within the last couple of days, you may not have received yours yet. But don't worry - they're on the way.

PRIZES

1st

A trip to Walt Disney World Resort in Florida for the whole school.

PLUS pounds 10,000 to school funds.

10

pounds 2000 RUNNERS -UP PRIZES

THE 10 schools with the next highest token collect per pupil ratio will each win pounds 2000 for school funds.

13

REGISTRATION PRIZES

ALL schools registered before the contest begins will be entered into a daily draw to win a pounds 500 donation to school funds.

40

TOKEN TEAM PRIZES

EVERY school day throughout the World's Biggest School Trip Ever contest a participating school will receive a visit from our Token Team and pick up a donation of pounds 500.

10

TOP PUPILS

THE 10 pupils who collect the most tokens in the contest will each win a pounds 1000 personal computer and their families will win pounds 500 of Marks & Spencer vouchers.

10

SCHOOL CO- ORDINATOR PRIZES

AT the end of the contest, we will hold a grand prize draw for school co- ordinators, and TEN lucky winners selected at random will each receive a pounds 2000 holiday.

TO REGISTER: FREEPHONE 0800 389 7070
COPYRIGHT 1999 Scottish Daily Record & Sunday
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1999 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Features
Author:Oxley, Ken
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Jan 21, 1999
Words:1129
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