Pupils at Cartmel Priory School had an unusual and exciting week in summer 1988 with groups travelling as far afield as London and the unspoilt Hebridean islands.

Normal lessons were suspended, but pupils had been hard at work taking apart in everything from windsurfing, canal cruising and abseiling to drama, bird spotting and learning about fashion and beauty methods.

The activity week was the brainchild of deputy head Peter McGaw, who said the school saw it as an integral part of the its curriculum.

"It is not just a holiday. The pupils work very hard. Most of them have to fill in log books and do field studies.

"Pupils learn new skills and it is also about social mixing and character building. It gave pupils the chance to extend an interest or try something new."

The scheme was tried as a pilot the previous year and was a great success. IN 1988 the demand from children, staff and parents for a similar event was very strong.

The school had 350 pupils. Many of the fifth formers had left but a number returned to school for the week.

Thirty children and five staff travelled to the Isle of Mull in the Hebrides. They went rock climbing, abseiling, pony trekking and fishing and visited the famous Fingal's Cave.

Another party was in London, visiting museums and art galleries and shopping. They also saw 42nd Street at a West End theatre.

Another group had been cruising on the Shropshire Union, Trent and Mersey and Staffordshire and Worcester Canals. Other had tried their hand at horse riding, archery and clay pigeon shooting at Bigland Hall.

Pupils interested in fashion and beauty had been learning about make-up, haircare and modelling techniques from professional guest speakers. Participants would present a special fashion show at Cartmel Priory School.

There would also be a drama demonstration by pupils who had been learning about the theatre and acting.

Other spent the week with local companies obtaining invaluable work experience.