Circus workshops for independent schools - Impress the parents!
I've been slowly carving myself a reputation as a reliable and interesting provider of circus skills and circus shows to the independent schools sector. I can't deny it's nice to work with the smaller classes and really get stuck into some learning with the tricks. The main feedback I'm getting is from parents at the gates of the school, they are just so impressed at what's being put on for their children.
Recent bookings have actually been on the weekends as a solution to entertain the boarding pupils. I had great fun with all the guys at Summer Fields in Oxford back in November, we had about 60 boys across 2 sessions. You could see their initial attitude as they walked in was one of doubt, they walked in hesitantly assessing the situation and it was only after I did my show that I had the whole room on side. The majority of the boys were Year 6-Year 8 I believe, so perhaps just getting to that phase where they thought they might be too cool to enjoy a show. You can hear from the crowd reactions this was definitely not the case.
I got a really nice email from the teachers at Summer Fields saying the boys loved it and I will hopefully return soon.
Year 9 Activity Week - Circus Skills Workshop
Last summer was one of my bigger schools bookings at the incredible establishment; Guildford High School. I was initially booked by the Senior school for a Year 9 activity day which grew and grew and ended up with 4 performers teaching different stations. I had Moses teaching Acrobatics, Elly on Hula Hooping and Sophie teaching Trapeze, whilst I taught unicycling and juggling. A highlight of the day for me was one of the girls that could already unicycle, she became a school hero when she attempted and succeeded in riding my giraffe unicycle across the playground. I've never heard cheers like it. An amazing moment which was definitely caught on camera but not by me as I was frantically following her across the playground wondering whether my insurance would cover me for this. It wasn't just me being upstaged though. Oh no. We learn't quickly that there was talent amongst these pupils, living up to the schools motto 'Inspiring Girls'.
In the process of this booking the Junior school got in touch and said they wanted to put on something similar the next day. Which escalated...this time we ended up with 3 performers on different stations, a circus tent on the school field to host it all and various smaller circus tents to host side stalls. It was a gorgeous sunny summers day and couldn't of gone more perfectly. Here's what Toby Day Deputy Head of the Junior School had to say recently.
Staff Wellbeing Evening - Circus Skills activity night
A relatively new idea for me has happened twice now, a staff wellbeing evening, I did my first one last February booked by Guildford High School, after they booked the initial summer date, Karen Laurie asked if myself and Moses could come in to the school during wellbeing week. We performed during the morning assembly and then ran drop in circus skills sessions through out the day. Pupils could come and go as they wish, we even ran a session in the sixth form but credit to their school they were all working hard and very strict on themselves. They would come up to us and say 'ok, I'll have 10 minutes on this then I've got to get back to revision.
As yet another big tick on the good school check list, I was booked to arrive the night before and put on a staff wellbeing evening. We ran short sessions teaching them how to juggle, spin plates, the cigar boxes and hat juggling went down very well. I've also been recently booked by Kingswood School in Bath to orchestrate a staff wellbeing evening. This one was more of a team building event. I performed a short circus show (never been so nervous, performing for all those grown up teachers, and some less grown up).
We also ran trapeze lessons and circus skills. The staff got really into it and super competitive with each other. I would definitely like to do more of these.
Boarding Activities Co-ordinator? Here's a solution you might not have thought of...
My most recent independent schools visit was to Stonar in Bath. I was booked by the activities co-ordinator in charge of putting on weekend entertainment for the boarders. I did my usual thing, a really fun interactive circus show which you can see below. It was so well received by all involved and I had such a fun relaxing afternoon, it really didn't feel like work.
I even made a little compilation video of the show myself to give you an idea of what sort of circus show you will get when you're booking a circus workshop to visit your school. Here's the clip below.