Star turns

7th April 2000 at 01:00
School: Glengowan primary, Airdrie, North Lanarkshire, pupil roll 103, age of children involved 3-11, headteacher Jean Gairn

What was the best arts company or event to visit your school in the past year? Douglas Cameron's Magic with Smile.

How did you hear about him? From a flyer in the post, I think. I always store up mailshots like this for future reference.

I have a whole box of such things for whenever we have saved up some money to spend.

How long did he spend at the school? Much of a morning. The show lasted one hour and 15 minutes.

What did he do? All kinds of magic, illusions, tricks. He brought all his own stuff, including music - what I call garage music to kick it off (ie, loud crashing disco music).

He had his own backdrop, costume, props - everything.

I have to have someone like that because we don't have a stage, lighting or sound systems of our own.

He did balloon twistings, making animals, he had the children dressing up as Teletubbies, he did card tricks, optical illusions and had them floating in the air on a magic carpet (he brought that himself, too).

Did you do any preparaton? We did wee bits about magic, stories about it in assemblies, that kind of thing.

Any follow-up work? Oh yes, the children wrote stories about what they enjoyed, did their own critiques and appreciations and P7 did their own gradings of the show.

What did the visit cost? Just pound;85 - and that was one of the wonderful things about it, the cost!

Who paid? The school fund.

What was so good about him? Just about everything. He was excellent in terms of children participation and enjoyment.

It's so important for me to give my children a sense of being part of an audience, because in a village like this - once a mining village, then a paper mill village and now no industry - it's just television, video and all that that entertains them, as all the parents have to travel to Edinburgh or Glasgow if they're to work at all.

He was what I call "trouble free" - in other words, not asking for this, that and the next thing. That's a big plus too.

How relevant was it to the curriculum? It related to just about everything.

For further information, contact Douglas Cameron, Magic with Smile, 0141 778 8391


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