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Skills exchange at Chilton Foliat
The children at Chilton Foliat School have been treated to a weekend of circus skills.
Thanks to parent governor Amy Malikov they have been learning the skills as part of a cultural exchange between their school and the Upsala Children’s Circus from Russia.
Ten of the Russian circus youngsters aged from 12 to 18 have been staying with the Malikov family in Chilton Foliat and they demonstrated their circus skills to a packed crowd at the school on Saturday and put on impromptu performances again at the school fete on Sunday.
Head teacher Donni Blackwell said the visit by the Russian circus children was part of a cultural exchange.
“The Russian children have come to Chilton Foliat to share their circus expertise with our children,” she said.
Mrs Blackwell said the children worked together on Monday morning cooking pizzas and fairy cakes to take with them on a canal cruise on the Rose of Hungerford in the afternoon.
“Our children have been sharing their cookery expertise with the Russian children,” the head teacher said.
Mrs Malikov has four children with the younger two, Luca, eight, and Yasha, six, attending Chilton Foliat School. She lived in Russia for 18 years and said: “I helped out with the Upsala Circus while I was there.”
Upsala Circus was set up in 2000 as a social programme for underprivileged children from St Petersburg, taking up to 50 children from the streets and teaching them circus skills, giving them a full-time education and trying to return them to their families where possible.
Some of the children go on to universities.
The children are taught traditional circus skills including juggling, acrobatics and mime which this week the visiting group have been passing on to the Chilton Foliat school children.
After showing off their skills on Saturday and again on Sunday at the school fete the Russian teenagers spent Monday morning helping the Wiltshire children learn skipping and juggling.
The circus is touring Europe performing in Frankfurt, Paris and Belgium.
The proceeds of Sunday’s fete will be shared between Chilton Foliat School funds and the children’s circus.