Education is a holistic process and comes in many forms. It can be academic, it can be life skills, it can be about fun. And for two Thanet pupils this week it can even come from juggling at a professional circus.
The two Laleham Gap pupils got their opportunity, alongside their juggling-keen headteacher Les Milton, when Santus Circus came to Ramsgate.
Toby, who has great unicycle skills and Leo, a promising juggler, went with Mr Milton (himself a proficient juggler) and met the Ring Master, one of the Santus brothers, for a discussion and a private lesson in the Big Top!
Ernest Santus was happy to take the boys for a lesson with the cicus’s Portuguese juggler. The boys were impressed to get a chance to pass clubs with a top juggler. They were further amazed as the juggler demonstrated 8 ring juggling and phenomenal pick-ups.
The pupils got a chance to ask questions of the performers and learn about circus history. They discovered the dedication and the practise routines required to succeed. Lessons that, as Mr Milton explained: “Apply across all aspects of life.”
Mr Milton thanked the circus for the generosity of their time and said: “Laleham Gap School is very much about learning, growing and succeeding. That’s exactly what these pupils have been able to do today. These opportunities are really important in that process.”
For Laleham Gap School this is not a one off, but part of their approach. Not only does Mr Milton often showcase and teach juggling to pupils, but also circus skills are a part of the Year 7 drama lessons.
Mr Milton said: “Today it was circus skills…but another day and a different pupil it may be something very different. If teachers can find the thing that a pupil loves or can excel in, then it may be not only something that is incredibly motivating but can also be transformative for their entire future lives.”