The School of Circus - An Amazing Learning Environment

I have relocated to Brussels since a year and a half and in this period, as a curious enthusiast, I've been gathering many good case practices in education - school or preschool. The following project has just ended last week and took place at the International German School of Brussels.

The staff of the German school had a fantastic idea! They took the children out of the confines of the classroom for one week, everyday, and dropped them in the magical world of the Circus.

Now many of you would perhaps be a bit reticent to such eccentric endeavor.  Such a project could cause delays in the teaching of all those important subject areas, such as maths, science or languages. It might put the children in potential danger, disrupt their learning rhythm, or they might just loose precious learning time from school, playing around for a whole week!

But hold your thoughts until you hear what the children have, actually been doing! For five days, all classes have been working hard during different workshops: animal training: dogs, goats, pigeons and horses, circus arts: clowning, aerial or floor acrobatics, trapeze artistry  and juggling. Some children were the editorial team of the project - journalists and editors, from the second to the sixth grade, writing articles from the venue which were published in the school magazine and on the school website. In one of their first articles they described the cheerful reaction the children had when they were told about the project and the excitement it brought to the whole school. In another they wrote about the story of the circus, run by the Kaselowsky family for more than seven generations. Today, this circus specializes in working with schools and nurseries to develop Children in the Circus programs, respecting child safety norms and enabling children to develop knowledge, skills, attitude and values related to this theme. 

So if we start doing the maths, it sums up to a whole load of competencies developed around an exciting theme through practical hands on activities: refinement or gross and fine motor skills, balance and orientation, oral communication, teamwork, social skills, writing articles, taking interviews, reading and editing, knowledge about animals, how they live, what they eat, animal behavior and anatomy, self-confidence, self-awareness, resilience, discipline and coordination of movement. 

And this is not everything! At the end of the week, on Friday, the children had a performance for family and friends showing them some of the things they have learned throughout the week!

Can you imagine your child going through such a project? The explosion of colors, knowledge and skills? The emotions and confidence after performing in front of the whole school? The joy of collaborating with younger or older children for a newspaper? The pride in taking interviews or training a dog?

These are the kind of projects that break norms and create such intense learning experiences  that transcend textbooks or any other types of lessons! I am sure this was one week the children will remember all of their lives!


No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you for reading this post! Please make sure your comment enriches everyone's learning!