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Pupils' education is all up in the air now

PUBLISHED: 16:10 31 January 2008 | UPDATED: 14:43 07 September 2010

FEARLESS kids at a Hampstead Garden Suburb school will be sky high today as they embark on an adventurous day trip

Ben McPartland

FEARLESS kids at a Hampstead Garden Suburb school will be sky high today as they embark on an adventurous day trip.

A class from Oak Lodge special educational needs school on East End Road are taking to the air for a flying visit across the Irish Sea to Dublin for the afternoon.

The 11 pupils from Year 7, many of whom have never flown before, are being taken by their geography teacher Sally Adams who is also a licensed pilot.

Ms Adams, who has just returned from a weekend in Hong Kong visiting her boyfriend, a Jumbo Jet pilot, has been putting her qualification to good use at the school.

She said: "I usually try to get the kids out on public transport as much as I can. Usually it's a boat, a bus or the tube but now I have started taking them up in a plane.

"But this time I have two boys in wheelchairs and nobody will let them go in a light aircraft because of the evacuation procedures. You cannot get them out of a plane in an emergency.

"So I thought I would take the class up in a bigger airline and after writing to all the airlines, eventually Ryanair agreed to take them to Dublin."

The class will follow in a long line of pupils at Oak Lodge who have conquered their fear of flying with the help of Ms Adams.

"The kids are really looking forward to it. Lots of them have not flown before. It's important they go on a plane and see what it is like up there," she said.

"We have taken autistic kids and children with Down's syndrome and they have been really apprehensive but I take no notice and just shove them on and they loved it.

"The best way to kill their fear of flying is to take them up in small aircraft." The pupils from class M1 are due to leave Luton airport at 1pm. They will touch down in Dublin at 2pm, enjoy a short trip around the countryside, a quick lunch and if time allows it, a visit around the famous Guinness factory.

Ms Adams, who used to take pupils on high flying trips when she was a teacher in Kenya, said: "I have been teaching them all about what happens to aeroplanes when they fly.

"They have also been learning about the history of Dublin and Guinness.

"Because it is special educational needs school, whatever we teach them here is in lead-up to a school trip. They want to learn about it and they remember it."

The Dublin trip is being funded by Hearts of Oak, a trust fund set up by parents and governors to raise money for the school.

ben.mcpartland@hamhigh.co.uk

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