A typical circus workshops for schools day starts in assembly, when our instructor will entertain teachers and pupils with a performance of the circus skills that the children will be learning. This will be followed by structured circus skills workshops during the day, for one class at a time (maximum 35 pupils per class). All year groups will learn plate spinning, scarf juggling and feather balancing. Depending on age, ability and the time available, other circus skills may also be covered.
Suggested timings for workshops:
Nursery and Reception classes: 30 – 45 minutes
Years 1 – 2: 60 minutes
Years 3 – 6: 75 minutes
Years 7 – 13: 75 minutes
The above timings are intended as a guideline: our instructors can be flexible about workshop lengths. Please note that a member of school staff will need to be present at all times.
Scarf and Beanbag Juggling. Brightly coloured chiffon scarves are ideal for teaching young children the concept of juggling, whilst older children can progress to learning to juggle with beanbags.
Plate Spinning. The children are taught to spin colourful plastic plates on sticks, they then learn tricks working individually and with other children.
Diabolo. A hugely popular juggling prop with children. The challenge is firstly get the diabolo to spin and then to see if it can be thrown and caught… plus many other tricks!
Balancing. The children are taught to balance a peacock feather on their hand and on other parts of their body, including their chin. The weight and shape of the feather make it easy to balance so children can master the skill quickly.
Pedal Gos and Hand-held Stilts. With this equipment children will develop their balance and co-ordination skills. Team building and co-operation are also required as the pupils learn to help each other.
· Motivates children who may not be interested in conventional sports
· Develops skills through structured activities
· Builds confidence and inspires creativity
· Improves cardiovascular fitness, co-ordination and motor skills
· Provides fun, inclusive activities which every child can enjoy
Supporting the physical education curriculum:
· Acquiring, developing, selecting and applying skills
· Evaluating and improving performance
· Playing and working co-operatively
Teachers can use Circus skills workshops to link to other subjects in addition to PE: e.g. science (gravity), mathematics (patterns and logical thinking), music (exploring and expressing ideas and feelings about music using movement) and PSHE (developing confidence and responsibility and making the most of their abilities). Our workshops will help schools to achieve their Every Child Matters outcomes.
Learning for life:
· Pupils work individually and in groups, setting goals and supporting others
· Teamwork promotes good behaviour and supports anti-bullying strategies
· Every child will discover a skill at which they can succeed
· Skills can be built on to produce performances and set up a school circus club, involving parents and the wider community
Circus skills workshops can assist significantly in your school’s physical education and cross-curricular aims: to develop confident, healthy young people who enjoy an active lifestyle. These workshops will engage your pupils in teamwork, co-operation and creative thinking, enriching their learning and their lives.