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Star turns

School: Kaimhill Primary, Aberdeen; 330 primary pupils, 80 nursery; headteacher Alan Baxter.

What has been the best arts company to visit your school in the past year? Professional freelance artistssculptors Chris Bailey and Paul Kelly.

How did you hear about them? They had already built up an impressive CV in terms of working on previous Aberdeen City Council arts and recreation projects, eg Chris on weekend woodcarving classes, Paul within a photography group for those with learning disabilities.

What did they do? They worked with one of our P6 classes to produce life-sized, 3D sculptures reflecting elements of the sea. These have been designed to feature in the opening carnival parade for the Cutty Sark Tall Ships Race this summer. The central feature is a life-sized (five-metre long) manta ray and other sculptures include sea horses and jellyfish.

Did you do any preparation beforehand? An initial meeting took place between a senior member of the city arts and recreation department, the children's class teacher Dorothy Robertson, myself, Chris and Paul, to develop the format of the workshops right at the outset.

Any follow-up work? Apart from featuring in the parade, the finished pieces will form part of a static quayside display throughout the Tall Ships event.

How long did they stay? Chris and Paul worked with two groups of 14 children for 12 weekly one-hour sessions.

How much did they cost? Aberdeen City's arts and recreation department funded the project based on the following criteria: need; city-wide community interest, school curricular needs and current city issue-based projects, eg environmental concerns.

What was so good about them? Throughout the project, the artists provided the flexibility of approach which this type of work needed. Their wide-ranging experience and qualifications as practising artists shone through in their work with the children and in the quality of the finished pieces.

* Chris and Paul can be contacted through Aberdeen City arts and recreation department. Telephone David Atherton, 01224 522080

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