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Dalkeith Primary Pupils Take Centre Stage at TradFest’s Braw Nicht Oot

Celebrating Scots and Creative Engagement at Edinburgh’s Traditional Culture Festival, pupils from a primary school in Dalkeith join the event to continue advocating storytelling as a key part of learning, with teachers equally enthused by the engagement created by the artform.

Over the last year and a half storytelling has been a key part of learning at Lawfield Primary School, with storyteller and education advocate Tim Porteus working closely with pupils to inspire their creativity through storytelling, a baton taken up this year by Lea Taylor, the school’s resident storyteller. Headteacher Zena Richardson has stated that she would now never want to work in a school that doesn’t have a storyteller, because of its positive impact on learning culture and attainment.

The inspiration has worked, with the pupils stimulated to start their own storytelling club, and an example of the creative engagement will be showcased by two P7 pupils performing at A Braw Nicht Oot at the Scottish Storytelling Centre, Edinburgh on Friday 28 April, 8pm.

Abi Dillon, aged 11 will recite a Scots version of ‘Little Red Riding Hood’, initially penned by Lawfield P6 pupil Conor Durie with the help of Tim Porteus, and cannily retitled ‘Wee Rud Riding Hood’, which is an hilarious original version of the classic fable with modern twists on the original. Abi will be joined by classmate Jennifer Robertson, also aged 11, who will treat the audience to some Scots singing.

Event Organiser Tim Porteus has been overwhelmed by the schools response to storytelling, from pupils and teachers alike, showcased in a short video featuring Abi and Jennifer being joined by Zena Richardson and teachers Martyn Wood, Catherine Harding and Lyn Ross insisting you “dinnae miss” the event, which is a great celebration of Scots in story, song and a wee bit of drama.

Tim Porteus states:

‘This is what TradFest is all about, including local communities in the celebration of their language and their own creativity. Many more children wished to take part, but for practical reasons this year Abi and Jennifer can be seen as representatives of a school brimming with enthusiasm and engagement with the traditional arts of storytelling and song at the centre of TradFest.

The Braw Nicht Oot will bring together musicians, storytellers and singers in a modern version of the traditional ceilidh, with young and not so young sharing their love of the Scots language, and of having, well a braw nicht oot together!’

A Braw Nicht Oot is at the Scottish Storytelling Centre on Friday 28 April, 8pm. The event is part of TradFest Edinburgh – a twelve-day festival showcasing Scotland’s traditional arts. The festival runs from April 26 to May 7, spanning the ancient celebrations of Beltane and May Day with events across the city, including dance, music, song, storytelling and more.

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