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Our teacher's justmagic ...

Byline: By Janet Tansley

FORGET Hogwarts! A school inMerseyside is offering lessons inmagic, thanks to thewizardry of teacher David Lay.

And his pupils think it's spellbinding.

"I do three classes aweek after school," says David, an English supply teacher at TheMosslands School in Wallasey.

"It's calledMr Lay'sMagic Academy and, at the moment, there are 180members. The children really enjoy it and it's great fun."

'Mr Lay' started teachingmagic tricks at the end of lessonswhen workwas finished but the bellwas still to go.

Instead of suggesting pupils read or did crosswords he decided to introduce this extra-curricular activity.

"The children can get bored and, because one ofmy hobbies ismagic, I decided to showthem.

"After awhile itwas 'can you do a card trick?' and then one of the kids said 'why don't you start teaching it?' "

David put a flyer around school to gauge interest andwas delugedwith positive replies.

"I thought Iwould get about 10 or 15 people interested, butwe had 150 and, now, 180."

David is teaching card tricks and shuffles and says it's verymuch 'streetmagic, stuff that's in your face'.

He adds: "The children are fascinatedwith the likes of David Blaine. Part of the reason I set up this club is thatmagic seems to reintroduce a sense ofwonder in kids' lives "It helps build their confidence and is awonderfulway for them to socialise and meet newfriends.

"It promotesmanual dexterity, fires up their creativity and focuses their minds on the present.

"It also gets them away from their PlayStations for a couple of hours.

"It's great, evenwithADHD children because they get to concentrate; it puts them in the zone.

"Different ages get different things from it. Younger children, maybe eight-year-olds, believe it's real, whereas the older oneswant to learn the technical side and understand howit's done.

"We plan to have sponsored competitions for the best cardthrower, most entertaining trick, best shuffle, etc, and even raise money for charity."

And that - as a certainmagician says - ismagic!

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CARD SHARP: David Laywho is teachingmagic tricks to his pupils
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Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Date:May 13, 2008
Words:336
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