PUPILS from Yarm preparatory school have returned in triumph from last Sunday's British Schools Orienteering Championships in Sherwood Forest, Nottingham.

The school's year five boys' team stormed to the under-10 team title, while the girls' team finished runners-up in the same age category. A total of 40 schools from across the country were taking part.

The teams competed in pairs, with the first three couples home counting towards the team score. Andrew Thick and Gareth Russell-Hughes finished fourth overall, with Richard Lucas and Henry Slade one place behind and Richard Les and Douglas Dixon-Barker 13th.

For the girls, Amy Bonavia and Emily Macaulay were 12th, Rebecca Pearson and India Ferrard finished 22nd and Jessica Clark and Nina Saughera were 24th.

The school had 35 pupils taking part in the championships, with year six boys Bowla Ajekigbe and Oliver Turner also performing particularly well. They finished eighth overall in their age category.

The school's orienteering co-ordinator Mark Crewe-Read was delighted with the results. He said: "I was quite surprised by the girls' achievement, but the boys have done well competing in the Cleveland schools league.

"I knew they were quite strong, but you don't know what will happen until you get there."

The school has only been competing in the sport, which combines map-reading skills with cross country running, for less than two years.

Mr Crewe-Read added: "Our pupils have gained valuable experience competing in the Cleveland schools league, which is run by the Cleveland Orienteering Klub. They have been fantastic with their help and support."

The sport has proved very popular at Yarm and Mr Crewe-Read added that a growing number of schools were now competing in orienteering competitions.