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Star turns

School: St Columba's Primary, Kilmarnock, East Ayrshire; number of pupils 149; age of children involved 5-79-11; headteacher Mary Kavanagh What has been the best arts event to visit your school in the past year? Scottish Opera's touring group, Opera for All How did you hear about them? They write to us each year, offering the choice of two performances

What did they do? There were four performers, two male, two female, and they performed Alba, a piece about Scotland, and involved the children in the singing and percussion. The pianist taught the children how to add the percussion. The morning culminated in the presentation of the performance with the children taking part and parents were invited to this Did you do any preparation beforehand? Opera for All sends out a teaching pack beforehand with instructions and the teachers have to teach the songs to the children in advance and make sure that they understand the background to the story. The group provides its own costumes, but the children made shields, crowns and that sort of thing in class.

Did you do any follow-up work? Not a lot, because the live performance is really the climax of the visit.

How much did it cost? About Pounds 240 for a maximum of 90 children.

Who paid? The school.

What was so good about them? We have a lot of visiting arts events but this one has particular appeal. The children enjoy it and it gives them the chance to work with professionals.

How relevant was it to the curriculum? We didn't link the visit to specific strands but it is highly relevant to expressive arts.

Opera for All, tel: 0141 248 4567

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