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Star turns

School: Bryans Primary, Midlothian; 220 pupils plus 40 nursery.

Headteacher: Norrie Locke

What has been the best arts company to visit your school in the past year? Scottish Opera

How did you hear about them?

Via the education authority in Midlothian. The schools education officer arranged for them to visit the school last October.

What did they do?

The group spent a morning with around 100 children (P5, 6 and 7), practising songs, organising them into large groups, selecting soloists, dressing them in costumes and organising a production on the theme "Alba". At the end of the morning, the children presented a 15-minute show to an audience of parents and pupils.

Did you make any preparations?

The classes involved selected a pack entitled Alba. This provided de-tailed background inform- ation and songs to learn, and explained what was needed in the way of props and so on.

Any follow-up work?

This depended on the class involved. Some decided to use the theme as part of a wider project on the Vikings, others as a context for a variety of language work.

How long did they stay? About three hours.

How much did they cost?

I don't know. The education authority met the cost.

What was so good about them?

The information packs were very good for preparation and helping the children understand what they were attempting. Given the number of children involved, and the complexity of what the group was attempting, the result was excellent and the experience rewarding for the children and thoroughly enjoyed by all.

How relevant was the work to the curriculum?

The production was relevant to expressive arts, but also provided a suitable context for work in language arts and environmental studies.

Scottish Opera, tel: 0141 248 4567

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