School: Kingussie primary, Highland, 146 pupils in primary, 22 in nursery, whole school involved. Headteacher Anne Law What was the best arts company or event to visit your school in the past year?
Hopscotch Theatre Company
How did you hear about them? They advertise by circular. In fact, we've just received this year's leaflet asking everyone to book well in advance for this year's Christmas show, Beauty and the Beast.
How long did they spend at the school?
It was very snowy when they came and so they were a little late. They spent about half an hour setting everything up and the performance lasted one hour. I think they were with us for about two hours all told.
What did they do?
There were four of them, two men and two women, and they did Hansel and Gretel for us. They dramatised the whole story in a kind of pantomime style. There was very little in the way of props, but they set up a very simple and effective set around a free-standing house which was the backdrop. They were beautifully made up and their costumes were very attractive. They brought the whole story to life and sang, and got the chldren singing along too.
Did you do any preparation?
Not really, though the little ones had been reading the story and that helped them to understand it, because it can be a bit scary for the youngest.
Did you do any follow-up work? The children talked about it in their separate classes.
What did the visit cost?
The school fund What was so good about them?
They interacted very well with the pupils, had good eye contact with them and made the whole story come alive with their dramatic facial expressions. The whole thing was very physical. The children loved it.
How relevant was it to the curriculum?
It wasn't related to any particular projects they were working on, though obviously it connects with expressive arts. But it's good for children to have exposure to live entertainment. Our P1s and P2s have been involved with the Eden Court theatre's performance of The Selfish Giant, and some of them were filmed last summer as extras taking part in the hill race in episode two of BBC1's Sunday serial, The Monarch of the Glen.
Hopscotch, tel: 0141 440 2025