21st April 2000 at 01:00
A week in the life of King Edward VI Handsworth school, Birmingham.

The snow was just perfect for the 80 skiers from this girls' grammar school when they arrived in Kossen, Austria, for a half-term break. The resort is ideal for beginners, with two nursery slopes just outside the hotel where the pupils stayed. "It was just like skiing on a Christmas cake. It's also useful for better skiers such as headmistresses who want to practise flashy turns on easy slopes," says headteacher Elspeth Insch, who has nearly 15 years' skiing experience. There was only one minor accident, when a girl injured her thumb. but the party was reminded of the dangers of the mountains when a German boy went off-piste and was killed and the school's hotel was used as a search and rescue base. The 877-pupil inner-city school runs a skiing trip every other year and exchange visits most year to France and Germany - historians, for instance, have been to Normandy to see where William the Conqueror launched his invasion. There has also been a trip to Russia. To mark the millennium, Miss Insch plans to take a photograph every day of the year and present the collection to the school library - here are a few for the album.

Snaps by Elspeth Insch

* Gambling den: 'I want you all in your rooms getting ready for bed at 10.30'.

* Beware children: arrival at base camp.

* Meg Ilsley was the party's sole casualty when she fell and injured her thumb.

* Vicky Smith, left, and Rachel Fisher learn the German for 'Big Mac'.

* Got the blues: Stephanie Wongsam wins the hat of the day contest.

* This'll sleigh 'em: a tour round the village by horse and sled.

* You put your right leg in: showing solidarity on the ski slopes.

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