CHILDREN had a taste of the circus life on Friday as they spun plates and practised juggling.

Pupils and families from Hawthorns Primary School in Worthing got the new year off to a spinning start when performers Kate Wright and Lee Sutton delivered an evening circus skills masterclass.

The Poi Passion Circus Arts teachers taught pupils hula hooping, juggling and balloon modelling among other skills.

After learning how to spin plates, pirouette and take part in mock combat with staffs, the pupils chose their favourite new skill and made their own routines.

They then performed their newfound circus expertise as part of a grand finale in front of their parents.

Chairwoman of governors Karen Ashworth said the event brought new opportunities to the pupils.

“It is so important all of our children have the chance to take part in a rich breadth of experiences,” she said. This was a lovely way for the school to create opportunities for children and also bring the community together.”

One youngster encouraged other children to improve their circus skills.

He said: “The circus skills were amazing – everyone should try it. Some of the tricks look hard but we learnt easier ways to do them. It was fun.”

The circus skills event was part of a series of Family Friday activities run by Hawthorns Primary.

Ms Ashworth said the programme enriched pupils and their families. Poi Passion Circus Arts was founded 20 years ago by experienced circus performer Ms Wright.

She also teaches fire dancing to students and directs a dance troupe.