YOUNGSTERS are preparing for a school trip with a difference, Down Under.

Ten year five and six pupils at Bullion Lane Primary School, in Chester-le-Street, will spend two weeks in Australia at the beginning of March.

They have been raising the £1,000 individual cost of the long-distance trip for the last three years.

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Headteacher Sarah Barningham said: “It started before I came to the school.

“One of the members of staff has contacts with a couple of schools in Australia and they linked up. It started from there and they went over a few years ago.

“The other schools did not come here but there was interest in another group from here going over when they had saved up.

“They go to Cairns, around by Sydney. They will stay in campsites or a large house, the accommodation has yet to be sorted out.

The ten and 11-year-olds will be accompanied by three members of staff and a parent.

Mrs Barningham added: “It is unusual to go that far on a school trip. The last trip was really successful so we though there was no reason not to take another group.

“Last time they went to a lagoon, zoos, they went to the Outback and they had a night under the stars.

“They did a variety of things to really soak up the atmosphere of the place.’’ “The children are all really excited now that it is definitely going ahead.”