For circus workshops in schools in Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire or Buckinghamshire, (or herts beds and bucks for the lazy typists) look no further. We do venture further, Northamptonshire, Cambridgeshire and Essex are pretty common destinations too as well as London. If we can't cover your area, we probably know someone who does.
Using circus skills as a medium, Try Circus Skills enforce, or re-enforce, the positive skills and values we all need to improve our ability to learn.
Complex problems are broken into manageable, fun challenges that are solved with focus, patience and perseverance because we Try... and try... and keep trying...
...until we succeed.
Obviously this all comes with improvements in balance, dexterity, and coordination, but the real bonus, is how it improves basic problem solving ability, tenacity, and self belief.
Kids love circus. Half the battle is already won, because the children will be excited and engaged from the word go.
Juggling has been shown in scientific studies to aid development of the brain, and also been linked to improved academic skills, so it's not surprising that school circus workshops are becoming more and more popular.
If you're thinking of booking a circus workshop for your school, here are a few things that might help you plan your circus school day, or afternoon.
It very much depends on how many children you've got, how much space you've got, and how much time we've got, what will be the best way to run a circus workshop in your school.
The shortest lessons we've done is twenty minutes per class, but this really is for just a taster session. The longest we've done is a week (and they still wanted to stay and do more afterwards). Two hours is a good length per class. Generally class size is anything from fifteen to thirty. We've done up to sixty. Obviously the more time we can dedicate to each pupil the better, so lower class sizes are more productive.
We know that schools are always running to a tight budget, so we'll do everything we can to provide the best experience we can for all your children in the time allowed. Just talk to us, and we'll see what we can arrange.
When running circus workshops in schools, we tend to use a combination of show/demonstration, formal teaching, and simply letting the children explore everything while we offer all the help we can. We find this provides the best way of ensuring that the children are guided in the right direction, while allowing them time to practice, and then through circus, develop their own transferable skills.
Our sessions are generally split into a combination of demonstration
and then 'play time'. We work in a number of formats depending on
how long we've got, and how many people we're working with.
If we're working with a lot of students, and packing a lot of sessions into a day (which often happens with schools), then it's often beneficial to do a 'show/demonstration' to everyone at the start of the day, so there's more time for serious play when each group gets to have their session.
In a perfect world, it's preferable to do the demonstrations in smaller groups, in which more people will feel more comfortable contributing or asking questions, but if you're planning a timetable, and it's looking a bit packed (individual session length is under an hour), then talk to us about doing the demonstration side of things in one go to everyone at once. The demonstration can take anything from 20 to 50 mins (it's usually towards the longer end as kids like to join in) so it really can help to do this for everyone in one go, rather than include it in each individual session.
We break this rule quite happily all the time, but because there are issues of attention span, and starting ability level with very young children, we try to make sure everyone has reasonable expectations when running circus workshops with younger children. We suggest seven as a good age to start, but often work with children as young as five. There's no age that is too soon to start learning how to learn, or how to improve your coordination; Just ages where it's harder to work in large groups of children without plenty of adult/teacher support. Talk to us if you're unsure.
Obviously we don't have a maximum age limit. Older kids love "skills". Kids who love skating and such things appreciate when you can ride a unicycle down a mountainside.
Try Circus Skills only use people with high skill levels to deliver our workshops. This means that we can provide a level of awe and wonder basic children's entertainers might not be able to deliver. When you're looking to hire a circus workshop, always ask about the skills of the person who'll be running it. There are different circus workshops for different markets.
All of the circus props/toys that we bring are intended to help either learning coordination, or balance. We bring in a range of toys for all abilities and there is often a natural progression from one to another. For instance, a pedal walker helps the pupil to learn the basic balance skills for riding a unicycle, juggling scarves help to learn juggling balls, and chinese ribbons help to learn poi.
We use quality circus props, even though we call them 'toys', because we recognise, that it's simply not the same pleasure learning if you don't have good equipment to do it with.
Of course, if you've got any questions at all about circus workshops and circus skills sessions in schools, please just ask us.