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"The circus allowed the children, that would possibly not experience circus Starr, a chance to attend with their families. Children have been role-playing the circus acts and encouraging others to juggle balls! It gives them a purpose and an interest."
"The circus means the children live fulfilled lives and can be included, it also educates others in the community. It helps our children deal with different environments and different people. It goes to show that there are people that want to put the needs of our children first."
"One pupil, who is severely autistic, was able to independently purchase some popcorn which was a big achievement for him. Pupils also enjoy taking part in an out-of-school activity which helps to build social skills and confidence as well as their relationships with peers and staff."
"Circus Starr is enabling SEN children to have similar opportunities as mainstream children with their families."
"Our pupils look forward to this event each year. it's great to get the families out and about, and the pupils come back to school after the event motivated to write, draw and talk about it all!"
"Some of our children would never get the opportunity to see such a wonderful performance. The children were very chatty about the performance afterwards, which was very beneficial for the children with speech and language problems."
"Our children are quite vulnerable, they are on various stages of special needs, some are living on poverty line, some (a lot) have free meals. They could never afford such an event. So we value the fact that for at least one day, the children and their families have a whole evening of fun together."
"Circus Starr enhances 'family time' and it allows a positive, all-inclusive event to share."
"Circus Starr provide an experience that many children would not get without your work. It's also really great for language development."
"The pupils that received tickets from us hadn't been before and it gave them, and their families time to experience something nice together. One girl has just lost her mum and she said the circus made her laugh and her dad laughed too."
"We decided to work alongside Circus Starr because of its mutually benefiting relationship, it helps our children and families and helps circus stay alive. It's an opportunity to treat some of our most vulnerable children and their families."
"Children and families get to enjoy something they could not afford to pay for. Or may avoid because of their child's SEN. The children were keen to talk about it using descriptive language. We have been working on this in class."
"Our children have special needs and the experience of the circus is their first. Usually our children are left out of events. It made the children feel valued."
"The families who are able to watch the performance from our school benefit enormously from this. It's lovely for our families to be able to get together and enjoy such a welcoming, inclusive event."
"Our children thoroughly enjoyed the performance of which they would not have been able to attend without the support of Circus Starr. The performance was so entertaining that our children were glued to their seats fascinated."
"It gives the children a chance to visit a circus and talk about it. It is a great way to encourage their personal and social development. It enables the children that attend our nursery to go to the circus with their family and have fun as a family."
"The children really enjoyed the circus. They were engaged, excited, well behaved, soaking up the atmosphere. Going out of school helps us to bond and be more cohesive as we rely on each other. The children's imagination is stimulated, and they have a common experience together."
"We are a special needs school, so a lot of our students get pleasure from having sensory stimulation. The students always come back saying how much they have enjoyed the show. One of our parents said her son was glowing and engrossed whilst watching."
"Your show gives the pupils and their families the opportunity to enjoy a social occasion together in a non-threatening and non-judgmental environment."
The circus has always been a very popular activity and social events like this are very important to us as it helps to integrate our children and young people in their local community. It is always quite difficult to find activities that our children and young people really enjoy so opportunities such as this are really appreciated.
"Circus Starr is a great opportunity for families with disabled children to spend a lovely time together and enjoy an experience that enhances the children's self-esteem."
We are a school for students (aged 11-19) with severe and complex learning difficulties. As a school we try to offer as wide a range of opportunities as possible here in the city and further afield, however many events do not fall within the school calendar or need such levels of support that they become impractical ...which makes an invitation to a performance like this a real treat.
The pupils were buzzing with excitement and still chatting about the show all the next day. Here are just some of their comments; "It was ace!...the clown was super-funny... the music was brilliant and worked well with the acts...when can we go again?!"
LEAP College is an independent specialist residential college for young adults with Autistic Spectrum Disorder. Their recent visit to Circus Starr gave them a unique opportunity to participate in a community based activity which also supports their learning in social and independence skills. Events like this make all the difference to our young people's learning and development and you have been instrumental in providing for this.
"Thank you to all the businesses who sponsored our tickets. Kemball is a school for children with moderate, severe and profound multiple learning difficulties and without their help our children would have been unable to attend the circus."
A very heartfelt thank you for your kind donation of tickets. Our school is a special needs school with an age range from 3-19 years. The majority of our students have severe learning difficulties, autism and /or challenging behaviours. For many years they have been attending the yearly Circus Starr show and I am sure you can appreciate that for some outings or events are very difficult. This gives them an opportunity to go out as a family and enjoy themselves.
For many of our pupils it was the first time they had been able to visit a Big Top Circus and when they returned to school they were giddy with excitement. You will be aware that our pupils have severe learning needs and it was wonderful to see this communicated in ways that didn't involve speech. A huge thank you for making a difference to our children.
"Lots of language was used by the children, including lots of new words. This is very beneficial as many have delayed speech. One little girl, who is usually very quiet, danced at the performance as she was so inspired and talked non-stop about it afterwards; an absolute transformation!"
"We specialise in teaching pupils with communication and interaction difficulties. Most of our pupils have a diagnosis of Autism as well as severe learning difficulties. Many of our pupils also present with challenging behaviours if they feel anxious, particularly in an unfamiliar situation. The six-monthly visits to Circus Starr are extremely important to many of our families who struggle to access many social opportunities as their child finds it so difficult...the circus allows the whole family to attend together and because it is a regular event, the child is familiar with the routine. All our families are very grateful for these opportunities and really appreciate your donation of tickets."
"The Haven Nursery is in a deprived area of Portsmouth and the experiences of the children in the community are limited. Receiving tickets for Circus Starr enables the children and their families to have an adventure in a different world - that us usually unattainable to them. A big 'thank you' from the children and their families."
"So many of our pupils, parents and carers who attended the performance in Torquay have said what a fantastic show it was! Several children have told me about the funny clown and his broken bike and the dancing characters from Madagascar and what a great time they had. Thank you for giving us the opportunity to attend such a fantastic event."
"Our pupils have a vast range of profound and complex physical disabilities or learning difficulties, which present both the pupils themselves and their families considerable challenges in their lives. Any opportunity then which enables them to spend quality time together as a family unit, engaged in an activity which they can all enjoy together, regardless of ability or disability, is so enormously welcome and gratefully received."
[Through Hillside School, Portslade] "...thank you for offering Sam the opportunity to see your show, he really enjoyed the ‘Toy Story’ section – dancing along! As Sam’s condition is life limiting, we are trying to create memories to cherish and offer him wide ranging experiences whilst he can still enjoy them.
A show such as yours offers him a wonderful experience with the space and environment to be himself. Thank you again."
Hannah - mother of Sam (aged 6)
"We'd like to pass on thanks from the children and their parents who attended your show. As you are aware, our school is for children with severe special needs and to be able to enjoy the circus at a local venue was wonderful for them."