A royal visitor for Newton Mearns

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THE newest school in East Renfrewshire welcomed a royal guest today, after a particularly grand entrance by helicopter.

Prince Edward visited the Isobel Mair school and family centre in Newton Mearns – East Renfrewshire’s only school for children with additional support needs – where he was treated to a display of wheelchair Scottish country dancing performed by pupils.

After a grand show of reels on wheels, His Royal Highness was shown around the facility by head teacher Mari Wallace and 17-year-old pupil Fabio Ramaglioni.

The school building – which cost £12.1 million and opened earlier this year – caters for 132 pupils ranging in age from three to 18.

Prince Edward was shown around its 16 classrooms and three-roomed family centre, before planting a tree and unveiling a plaque commemorating the school’s jubilee wood, part of this year’s diamond jubilee celebrations.

The royal visitor also sat in on another special visit, from Commonwealth gymnast Steve Frew.

The gold-winning sportsman was visiting the school as part of a Sky Sports and Youth Sport Trust initiative, aimed at boosting confidence in young people, and provided an insight into what inspires and motivates him to succeed.

Meanwhile, prior to the school event, Prince Edward had also been greeted by a crowd of Newton Mearns residents who spotted his helicopter landing at Leslie Avenue.

One onlooker told The Extra: “Residents were pleased when the prince spoke to them, before being driven away to his appointment at the Isobel Mair school”.