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Star turns Pavla's puppets;Scotland Arts

School. Eastfield Primary, Cumbernauld, North Lanarkshire; school roll 397, classes involved P1-4; depute head Winifred Cowan What was the best arts company to visit your school in the past year?Pavla's Puppets How did you hear about them?By leaflet through the post.

How long did they spend with you?They - well, she - and her puppets spent the whole day with us. Some of the time was spent setting things up and then she put on two performances.

What did she do?She brought along her own stage - about three metres in size - with curtains and all the trimmings and taped music.And, for the older children - the Primaries 3 and 4 - she did a glove puppet stage performance of Jill Tomlinson's novel, The Owl Who Was Afraid of the Dark, the story of Plop, the baby barn owl, who was fat and fluffy with big round eyes and had "very knackety knees". For the wee ones - P1 and P2 - she did performances of Scottishstories such as The Gingerbread House.

Did you do any preparation for the show? Yes, the older children had been studying The Owl Who Was Afraid of the Dark.

Did you do any follow-up work? Yes, the children made their own puppets using gloves, paper, fabric, paper plates and anything they could lay their hands on, and, of course, they went on studying the novel.

What did the visit cost? pound;214.

Who paid?We paid for it out of our activities grant from North Lanarkshire.

What was so good about the performance?Pavla knew the story off by heart and brought the whole Owl novel off the page. And, with the help of the puppets, she made it real for the older children. The same applied to the Scottish folk tales for the younger ones.

How relevant was it to the curriculum?Very, it covered everything from reading and listening to arts and crafts.

Pavla Rowan can be contacted on: 0141 339 3816

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