Is it the taking part, or winning?

Lady Alice Primary in Greenock has two contrasting mottos: "It's not the winning that counts, it's the taking part" and "It's not the taking part, it's the winning."

Betty Terris, headteacher, explained that it's horses for courses. "We have two children off to a cycling competition and we said : 'Do your best, you're ambassadors of the school.' But it's not the taking part that counts - it's the winning."

She admits the messages may seem contradictory, but believes it works in context: "Pupils need to have a competitive edge because it is a difficult world out there, but it's also about self-esteem.

"It's about the lessons you learn when you don't win and being a good sport and being able to say 'Well done', because life's like that."

Ms Terris backs a mixture of both. "We do have an old-fashioned sports day where those who are first, second and third in every race get a sticker.

But we also have fun races where there is no prize at all. This is where the non-sporty children may come into their own."

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