Woodcarvers at Word as School’s Festival comes to a close

The successful School’s Festival at Word will draw to a close today (May 13) but the fun is far from over as final preparations are made for the main event.

More than 730 pupils from across Aberdeen city and shire have visited the Marathon Oil School’s Festival for a series of interactive and educational sessions ranging from survival workshops to a joking computer.

The three-day School’s programme will finish today (Thursday May 13) with wood carving, an interactive dinosaur story and weather watching all on the menu.

It has been the biggest Schools’ Festival yet and this year attracted schools from outwith Aberdeen, including Portlethen Primary and Academy, Boddam School, Mearns Academy, Peterhead Primary, Hatton of Fintry Primary and Tipperty primary.

It is a prelude to the main Word Festival, which runs from May 14 to 16 and will celebrate its 10th birthday with a diverse programme including big names from the worlds of literature, science, politics and music.

Highlight’s of the programme include Father Tedand Shameless actress and author Pauline McLynn, adventurer Benedict Allen, wildlife expert Simon King and former BBC war correspondent and ex-independent MP Martin Bell.

For the first time in 2010, Word will also include opera with the launch of Scottish Opera’s successful Five:15 series of short operas on Saturday May 15 and two further performances on Sunday May 16.

The fun also continues for young book lovers with a separate Children’s Festival, also sponsored by Marathon Oil, running on Saturday and Sunday (May 15 and 16).

All events are free and youngsters can go on a treasure hunt, learn the secrets of comic book making and enjoy storytelling and a magic show.

Alan Spence, artistic director of the Word Festival, said: “We are delighted so many young people have had an opportunity to enjoy the range of free events on offer for the School’s Festival.

“All of the events are educational, informative and fun and we hope they will inspire Word Festival-goers for generations to come.”

Jill Burnett, coordinator of the Word Schools’ and Children’s Festivals, added: “All of our events are specially designed to fire young imaginations and thanks to our ongoing sponsorship from Marathon Oil we have been able to stage the largest School’s Festival to date.

“This year we welcomed more schools from outwith Aberdeen than ever before and once again we enjoyed strong support from those in the city.

“We are sure those who came along for the first time this year will want to return again and again and the School’s and Children’s Festivals can continue to grow.”