BIGGAR Primary School was transported back in time to the China of Emperor Qin Shi Huang on Monday, January 26 with the help of Scottish Opera who had been working with pupils from P5, P6 and P7 to enable them tell the story of Emperor Qin’s incredible 2000-year-old terracotta army. It is these clay warriors that continue to enthral visitors, readers and television viewers alike.

Emperor Qin was the first Emperor of China who, according to the tale that was brought to life by the pupils, drank the elixir of life, a potion promising immortality. However, the potion turned out to be a deadly poison. The 8,000 soldiers, horses and chariots were gathered together to watch over the Emperor after death, each of them fashioned from clay.

Work with Scottish Opera included an advance visit from one of their specialist choral musicians and the day-long workshop with a team of arts education specialists to help the pupils build on their many hours of practice and take their hard work to the next level as a professional performance.

The production, entitled Warriors! The Emperor’s Incredible Army, used a lively combination of songs both rousing and more haunting to engage performers and the audience. There was superb comic timing as successive peasants’ plots to despatch the Emperor were foiled. There were even gymnastics on display as one of the pupils gave an example of the Emperor’s warriors’ strength and prowess. The songs were performed powerfully and beautifully by the pupils and the array of costumes added to the spectacle that brought this tale to life for other pupils in the school and later that afternoon, for friends and families. Margo Thomson, the acting headteacher at Biggar Primary, said: “This visit and performance provided an innovative and enjoyable approach to learning that is at the heart of curriculum for excellence. The calibre of the performance and the way in which our senior pupils have mastered complex lyrics and music demonstrates that they are truly confident individuals.”