Big top skills a big bonus for Langlee centre children

It was circus time’ for 21 children of Langlee Support Centre, as three months’ work came to fruition in a burst of fun, colour and performances, including lion tamers, strongmen, and the human canonball.

The centre, which supports children with learning difficulties from throughout the Borders, is based at Langlee Primary School in Galashiels.

Run by Mandy Durkin, the outreach co-ordinator at the Eastgate Theatre, Peebles, Circus Time gave pupils the chance to learn performance skills to help them build confidence, work in a team, and use their creativity, which includes how to mime, improvise and clown around for an audience.

Mandy said: “The circus theme reflected the pupils’ great energy levels and physical skills, and their enthusiasm for performing has been 100 per cent. It was a real circus experience, with flying custard pies, tight rope walking, bending iron bars, performing elephants, the bubblies and ball wizards!”

Joan McKay, head teacher at Langlee Support Centre said: “The project has been great for the children because it gave them the chance to work with a drama expert, and create together a performance they (and we) are all proud of.

“It has pushed the children beyond their usual boundaries, and built up their confidence and sense of self. Access to clubs outwith school hours is often difficult for these children because of their additional support needs.

“This project has given them an experience over and above their usual school experience. We’ve all really enjoyed being part of the end result.”

The event was supported by £2,140 funding from Awards For All.