Star Turns

School: Lybster Primary, Wick. Pupil roll 100. Headteacher Sheila Stewart

What was the best arts company to visit your school in the past year?

Jack in a Box.

How did you hear about them? They send their details each year: we've had them several times.

How long did they spend with you?

An afternoon.

What did they do?

They put on a performance of The Elves and the Shoemaker. They're a very talented couple - Jack Swann and Kay Facer - and they sing, dance and act. They use just a few props but very skilfully. They put up a backdrop, a screen, and one keeps the children occupied while the other pops behind to change. They tend to choose stories like this or, as they're doing next year, Puss-in-Boots - well loved tales.

Did you do any preparation work beforehand?

We tend to go over the stories with the smaller children in particular.

If the performers have a spare minute afterwards, they come into the classroom and talk about how they put on their shows. The older children write stories and draw pictures.

What was so good about the visit?

They are just so talented - their voices, whether speaking or singing, are so beautfiul. Living in a remote rural area, 15 miles from the nearest town, a live performance is a real treat for everybody and the children are entranced by it. They're also very good at getting the children to participate, to sing, clap and shout back answers.

How relevant was it to the curriculum?

Very relevant across all the expressive arts.

How much did the visit cost and who paid? pound;100. The children pay a contribution and the school fund pays the rest - it depends on our finances at the time.

Jack in a Box, tel 01335 345433

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