I've just finished a 4 day circus extravaganza at Hillborough Junior School in Luton. I did a little email out to a few different primary schools in the area. I was approaching primary schools in Luton with my circus skills workshops and shows offering, as I've been booked by Warden Hill Junior school for the last 4 years or so.
Hillborough Junior school booked me as an alternative to their usual pantomime trip which was ruled out due to the Covid pandemic. At the time of writing this article I've worked with 90 Year 6 pupils and 90 Year 5's, and I can honestly say I'm immensely impressed at their attitude to learning and behaviour. More than that, i've been excited to see their quick progress in the short time i've had with them.
Check out the highlights of or circus show at Hillborough Junior school below.
Just in case you're short on time, here's the video to show exactly what we provided as part of circus week.
What did the pupils learn as part of circus skills week?
They've sussed out plate spinning at a really high success rate, some of them are almost juggling! Everyone has been good at flower sticks and the Year 6 girls in particular were really good at Diabolo. Managing to throw and catch it and listening to my instructions and feedback then improving each time. I only wish I could of stayed longer.
Demonstrate having a Growth Mindset using circus skills
I've been told that they have used our circus skills week as a launch of Hillborough Habits. I always try to tell schools that it's a great way to teach children about perseverance and practice and sometimes I'm not always there long enough to see the fruition but there obviously some quite co-ordinated children in this community.
What makes our circus skills sessions in primary schools so popular?
We kick every day off with a circus show to get all the pupils excited, this show is pretty top notch with some fantastic finales to make a genuine circus experience that is fairly unrivalled in the schools market.
On this occasion, in line with Covid regulations the children sat in their bubbles and we only had 3 classes very well spread out in the hall. I'm hugely grateful to the staff at Hillborough for trusting us to deliver this in these uncertain times.
I know the show was well received because one of the teachers at the end of the show announced that it was the ''best thing she had seen in 33 years at the school!''
Some touching thank you letters from Year 5
As well as using circus to boost children's co-ordination skills, most schools that I visit use the show and workshops as a point of interest to inspire the pupils writing, sometimes it's poetry, this time it's practicing their thank you letters. Side note: the pupils at Hillborough have exceptional manners, they all said thank you and some of them gave me the most articulate thank you's when it was their turn to do the workshop.
Circus Skills is an international language!
I noticed the many different nationalities of the pupils at the school so I thought this was a nice chance to show you some different circus acts from around the world.
Female club jugglers in Afghanistan!
Here we have an International Juggling Association documentary which documents juggling in Afghanistan and particularly focuses on young female jugglers. Skip to 1.55 for an impressive shot of 3 girls juggling 5 clubs each which is as many clubs as I can juggle!
GKB Unicycle Academy in Nigeria.
I'm friends with the Nigerian man who runs this unicycle school on Facebook so I see all his videos and the progression of his students. He takes kids that would otherwise be on the street in Nigeria and teaches them to unicycle. The kids learn the benefit of practicing and it teaches them resilience. I'm always amazed at how quickly the kids progress and they have interesting twists on traditional circus tricks using items that they find in there community.
Have you ever seen acrobatic skills like this act from Ethiopia?
My partner in circus is Jony Tesafaye from Ethiopia, Ethiopia has a strong tradition of producing the most talented circus performers and one of the circus skills that Jony tells me they are the best at in the world is Icarian game! It's jaw droppingly amazing circus and makes me wish I had trained harder when I was a child.
So how to book a circus skills day for your primary school with Lucas Jet?
If you're a primary school teacher reading this and like the look of what we do, you could drop me an email through the contact details at the top of this page. Alternatively you could go here for more information about my school days on my other website.