The École takes the unique step of making Circus Arts part of the curriculum for its first graders
Although circus activities have been offered through The École’s after-school program for some time now, this year, we have decided to make Circus Arts part of the curriculum for our 1st Grade classes. At six and seven years old, children move with a natural grace and flow to their movement. Gravity can’t hold them down. Engaging and fun, the exercises the first graders participate in as part of Circus Arts allow them to find their place in space, gain confidence and develop creativity.
Circus activities also incorporate a high level of social interaction. Social interaction is the foundation of all circus activities. Through the Circus Arts exercises and play, students learn how to work together in groups or in pairs. As they get older, children gradually become more aware of their individuality, and they start to lose their innate spontaneity. Even though the social aspect of Circus Arts is the basis of all the activities, each student is able to express and improve their individual talents and evolve at his or her own pace.
In addition to fostering teamwork and social interaction, Circus Arts also helps to develop the following skills in children:
- Spatial orientation: In Circus Arts, students have to take into account the space around them. Finding their place and knowing where their partners are is essential.
- Ambidexterity: Through the various circus activities, children develop the use and coordination of both hands, including coordinating movement between their hands and eyes.
- Persistency and focus: If games are all about playing, circus activities systematically require persistency and concentration.
- Gaze: As the digital world prompts us more and more to keep our heads down, cut off from those around us, Circus Arts trains students to look up and connect with those around them. Juggling, spinning plates, walking on a tightrope, these things all help to draw the gaze up and out.
- Fitness: Circus Arts requires students to develop their strength, coordination and the use of their whole body. It helps lay the foundation for all kinds of future physical activities and sports.
Since the implementation of the Circus Arts curriculum, we are already seeing progress in our young students as they learn how to better work together, develop as individuals and, in general, find more outlets for their creativity.