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Starturns;Interview;Kenneth Steven;Arts

School: Glendelvine Primary, Caputh, Perth and Kinross, school roll 40, classes involved P1-7; headteacher Lorna Sabbagh What was the best arts company to visit your school in the past year?

For the past couple of years, we've had the writer Kenneth Steven putting on writing workshops.

How did you hear about him?

At a poetry workshop I attended at Stirling University. He lives in Dunkeld and I asked him if he would visit our school.

How long did he spend with you?

He was with the children for an afternoon workshop and he did a community event for the local people in the evening. He's coming up again in the next week or so to judge a national poetry competition.

What did he do?

It was an imagination workshop. He read some of his own work and he talked about pictures in the mind, he looked at areas of expression - at the kind of things that might make people want to write. It was very visual and practical. He did what he called "The Story Kettle", using a big, old, black kettle and getting the children to wonder what sort of scenes the kettle might have witnessed. Basically, it was about how all of our senses are involved in writing.

Did you do any preparation?

Not really, because he's been here before.

Did you do any follow-up work?

Yes. We used what he'd taught the children as part of creative writing.

What did the visit cost?

pound;80 plus travelling costs.

Who paid?

The school paid half and the Writers in Scotland scheme matched that. We couldn't have afforded it otherwise.

What was so good about the visit?

He was good with the children and good at helping them to create word pictures in their minds. He held their attention for the whole afternoon.

How relevant was it to the curriculum?

It was very relevant for creative expression.

Kenneth Steven, 01350 727359

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