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Southport Reporter®

Edition No. 218

Date:- 11 September 2005

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SURVIVAL expert Ray Mears is supporting an initiative by Britain's national mapping agency, Ordnance Survey, to provide free maps for every 11 year old in the country. The television presenter shot to fame through programmes such as World of Survival, Trips Money Can't Buy (with Ewan McGregor) and The Real Heroes of Telemark.

Ray's love of the outdoors started as he was growing up in Southern England on the North Downs, where he discovered countryside abundant with wildlife. Now he wants youngsters to use their free maps from Ordnance Survey to experience the same thrill as he did when he went exploring. Ray Mears says:- "My passion for the outdoors really began as a child. Looking for adventure, I remember setting off with a compass and my first ever Ordnance Survey map, relishing the freedom these tools offered me. Successfully reaching the spring which I'd set out to find filled me with a sense of achievement. Giving youngsters a map of their own gives them the opportunity to do what I did - get out there and explore while learning vital navigation skills."

This is the 4th year of the free maps for 11 year olds scheme. In the last 3 years, over 2˝ million maps have been distributed to British schoolchildren. From this August another 750,000 Year 7/Primary 7 pupils will be able to get their free OS Explorer Map of their local area. The children themselves keep their own map - they can take it home and benefit from having it with them at all times.

This year, to encourage youngsters to use their maps, they can enter a competition to spend the day with Ray Mears learning about bushcraft and having a go themselves. This could include eating from nature's larder, learning how to fashion a rope out of raw materials, or even making fire. All pupils have to do is answer a few simple questions about map-reading and describe how they use their free Ordnance Survey map.

Information on how to enter the competition is included with the free resources that accompany the free maps. These include a map reading made easy leaflet and a teaching pack.

"We are delighted Ray Mears is supporting the free maps for 11 year olds campaign.

Maps really bring the area where children live to life. They also play an important part in the school curriculum. They help youngsters understand more about the world around them and enable them to explore the landscape confidently, responsibly and hopefully with great enjoyment." says Vanessa Lawrence, Ordnance Survey's Director General and Chief Executive.

Minister for schools for England Andrew Adonis says:- "Providing free maps to schools is a welcome initiative. Encouraging more young people to engage safely with the world around them opens up a range of new ways to learn. I would urge all schools to get involved."

Education and Lifelong Learning Minister for Wales, Jane Davidson says:- "This is a wonderful scheme that gets young people out and about in Wales' beautiful wilderness, while teaching them about hands-on, practical geography. It's great to see Ray Mears involved with this campaign. He's a bushcraft master who I'm sure will teach the lucky competition winner a trick or two about surviving in wild Wales and how to get the most out of their free Ordnance Survey map."

Deputy Education Minister for Scotland, Robert Brown, says:- "Map reading is a great practical skill for everyone, but maps are more than a source of information. They can spark the imagination and motivate youngsters to get out and explore their local community and learn more about the history and geography that they live with everyday. This is a superb initiative by Ordnance Survey. It will encourage Scottish pupils to learn new skills and discover hidden knowledge of their local area."

To take advantage of the scheme teachers have to first register their order on the map-maker's web site, ...freemapsfor11yearolds


THOUSANDS of school children will be living a virtual life on the ocean waves for the next 11 months. Every school in Liverpool is being invited to use a special internet classroom to follow the Clipper 05-06 Round the World Yacht Race, which starts from Liverpool on Sunday, September 18. And to launch the programme pupils, aged from 6 to 16, have been invited to Liverpool's Albert Dock this week to see how the crews are going to survive and race aboard the 68 foot yachts.

The fleet is currently undergoing last minute training on the Irish Sea to be fully ship shape for the race, which finishes in Liverpool in July 2006.

During the school visits pupils will be given a tour by Clipper crew members, who will show them how they use satellite technology to enable schools to track the fleets, as well as how they cook and clean during a force 10 gale. St Vincent's School for the Blind became the first school to take a tour of the yachts at on 7 Wednesday, September 2005.

Pupils at the West Derby School, one of the oldest of it's kind in the country, with a catchment area from Carlisle to Harrow, will be following the fleet via the specially create web-based education programme. Jenni Armstrong, Assistant Head at St Vincent's confirmed they'll be signing up to the Clipper classes. Mrs Armstrong added:- ''The tour is a unique opportunity for the children. They've never been on a yacht before. Because they are visually impaired the more they can experience the boats hands on, the better for them in class. It brings the lessons we will be teaching them about other cultures to life and help them understand what the race is about.''

Schools who sign up to the programme will be supplied with the Clipper Education programme - an on-line resource which supports Key Stage 2 and 3 in geography and history in the national curriculum. The site is designed so that children can learn about the different countries and cultures the yachts visit.

Liverpool '08 Clipper Skipper Tim Magee said:- ''Many people never step aboard a racing yacht, but when they do it transports you to a different way of life. The children will be really taken aback when they realise how small the yacht is and can't believe seventeen people can live on it, never mind race them. Hopefully these visits and the education programme can open up a new world to them.''

Councillor Warren Bradley, Executive Member for Leisure and Culture, said:- ''The Clipper Race is a unique event and a unique opportunity to showcase the benefits of living in a port city. I'm delighted our schools will be using the race to learn about other cultures. A lot of hard work has gone in to involving as many people as possible and I'm sure it will help make the race a big success.''

Clipper is the world's longest amateur sailing race, circumnavigating the globe on a gruelling 35,000 mile route. The starting gun for the Clipper 05-06 race will be fired at noon on September 18, when ten crews will set sail on an epic 10 month adventure in a bid to bring home the coveted 'Clipper Cup'. Yachts representing 10 nations, including Australia, Singapore, China, South Africa as well as Jersey and Glasgow, will be taking part, all crewed by international teams. Each of the ten identical 68ft yachts contains a crew of 17 amateurs and a professional skipper.

England's hope of lifting the Clipper Cup rests with the Liverpool '08 Clipper, sponsored by Liverpool Culture Company. The yacht will be lead by 27-year-old skipper, Tim Magee, an avid Everton fan with a wealth of sailing and leadership experience who already has a number of successful ocean passages under his belt.

The Liverpool '08 crew includes 3 Liverpool residents who won their places through a Liverpool Culture Company competition. Claire Daley, who sails out of the first leg to Brazil, Peter Mulcahy and David Dowling have all completed an intensive training programme to get ready for their once-in-a-lifetime experience on the high seas.

The Clipper 05-06 race is divided into 7 separate legs, following a newly challenging route around the globe.

The yachts will visit 12 international ports during their 10-month ocean encounter, including Salvador (Brazil), Fremantle (Australia), Qingdao (China) and New York; before the race reaches a thrilling climax in Liverpool in July 2006.

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