For the past few years we've taken the kids to America. It's not the kind of holiday you can buy in a shop; they see the real America rather than just Disneyland, says the acting depute head at Menzieshill High in Dundee.
We stay for five days in Baltimore, where they are put up by families and attend Calvert Hall College. We go to Pennsylvania and Washington while we're there, and then on to New York for a few days. But going to the American school is usually their favourite part. I think because it's so different: it's a private, all-boys Catholic school.
We fundraise for 18 months before going and usually have to raise around Pounds 14,000 through activities such as quiz nights and bag-packing. For the last trip, two fifth-year boys organised a sports dinner and made more than Pounds 5,000.
The kids have to be on their best behaviour to go. They need to be on target in class and must opt into doing supported study for an hour a week after school.
There's no doubt about it, the whole experience changes their confidence and builds character.
Last time was the best out of the three trips we've run so far. I think it was a combinaton of the kids who were there and the sites we saw. Three sixth-year lads met Sean Connery (above, as James Bond), which was the icing on the cake. They saw him getting into a limo outside our hotel and shouted: "Sean! Sean!". He came over to talk to them and they got their picture taken with him.
None of the adults got to meet him we were busy sorting out the luggage.