School & Art Workshops

We provide workshops which take place in local schools and these form a major part of the HYF Programme.  We offer over 2,000 places to young people from Reception age upwards.  A diverse range of workshops gives children a flavour of different activities that they might not have attempted or experienced before. The programme is designed to stimulate children's imagination, build confidence and to inspire them to try out new experiences.


Please see below for an overview of the workshops that are on offer this year. Workshops are selected and booked by schools who will provide details to parents.

Click here to find information for schools



Art Workshops

These workshops have been generously supported by funding from The Arts Society of Henley whose members also assist in our workshops.


Thanks to additional sponsorship from Cornerstone in association with South Oxfordshire District Council we are able to offer even more workshop places in this year's programme.

We are offering the free sessions and workshops with the following providers - schools apply for these on behalf of pupils.



Art Pod workshops give children the time and space to explore their creativity. We can’t wait to lend our Art Pod creative thinking to supporting the Ocean's topic for Henley Youth Festival 2020. 


Clinton Osborne Amazing Animation

The incredibly popular and amazing Clinton Osborne returns to schools during HYF with his amazing animation workshops.


Create 'n' Make with Michaela Clarke

Michaela will be working with younger pupils to make hanging jellyfish then working with year 5/6 students to make sculptures out of plastic bottles.

Nick Garnett: Dr Brian Squabbles

Nick will be building a submarine with children and exploring the deep ocean!


Screen Printing with local artist Camilla Shelley

Camilla will be running screen printing and collage workshops at the River & Rowing Museum in Henley.

Mixed Media with Emily Cooling

Last year, Emily worked with children to create fantastic batik backdrops for our Kenton shows. This year, she will be working on our Oceans theme in her workshops - all children need to bring is a plastic bottle!

Lily's Dreamy Puppet Props

Lily Rossiter is an illustrator and ceramicist and all time lover of patterns and picture books. She loves to work with paper cut outs, pencils, crayons and is never seen without a sketchbook! Inspiration comes in the form of EVERYTHING from a scrap of card, to the weather, a snippet of conversation, a funny thought, grey buildings to the beautiful countryside, even a smudge of coffee on the table and everything in between! 

School Workshops

Our School workshops have been made possible by funding from the following sponsors:

Invesco, Henley Educational Trust, Henley Town Council and The Lions Club.

Freedom of Movement

Michal Rosiak is one of the most experienced freestyle gymnastics coaches in the country. Fully qualified and insured by British Gymnastics (BG) and with full DBS clearance, Michal is Director of Freedom of Movement, an established company focused on delivering a first-class gymnastics education, mainly in primary and secondary schools across the South of England.

FreeG - is a rapidly developing branch of gymnastics which encourages participants to learn challenging skills and through achievement fosters confidence, self-discipline and motivation. The workshop will place the emphasis on freedom, individuality and creativity with regard to the skills that each participant learns and performs.

Explorer Dome - interactive science experience

This popular workshop returns to HYF and offers students a fantastic experience in the only mobile, inflatable planetarium dome in the UK with 100% presenter-led, interactive, lively, hands-on science shows.

The presenters specialise in pitching the content and presentation of the shows correctly, to help make science exciting and inspiring and for all ages and all abilities.


Travelling by Tuba

Returning to HYF, these workshops feature a range of instruments from around the globe. Each child plays a simple musical instrument in small groups under instruction from the workshop leaders which builds into a whole class performance of what they have learnt.

Line Dancing

Line dancing is a new workshop for 2020 following the success of the Country Dancing last year. The workshops will be a lively, fun dance session guaranteed to make children smile. It will include chart toppers, a touch of Irish, Latin and even some Bollywood as well as country and western music! The dances will be suitable for all abilities and can be adapted for those with particular needs if appropriate.


Skipping workshops promote skipping as a fun, healthy and creative way for children to get exercise. The workshop will offer individual and group skipping and will teach children the basics including individual steps and popular skips and tricks.

Urban Strides

Following the success of the last two years, Jenny is returning with her fun Urban Strides workshops. Urban Strides inspires confidence and give an great introduction to Street Dance skills. The children will learn a choreographed dance based on the building blocks they are taught. Urban Strides' focus is creating a positive and energised environment whilst having fun in the process.

Simons' Drama Workshops

You will know Simon from Little Blue Monster/Blunderbus. Simon has been creating theatre for children for over 20 years. He now returns to HYF with his popular interactive workshops which will be based around the Oceans theme.


Young Shakespeare

The Tempest

Five Young Shakespeare Company actors perform Shakespeare's tale of magic, comedy and drama in a fast-moving fully-costumed promenade-style production. The play is brough vividly to life around and among the children, at times including the whole audience to create such dramatic scenes as the storm that wrecks Prospero's boat.

Throughout the performance the children become actively involved in the play through a carefully structured range of drama and language activities. They are encouraged to explore the motives, thoughts and feelings of the characters. Volunteers from among the children are also chosen to become individual characters in the story and all the children have the opportunity to speak and enjoy Shakespeare’s words in short, accessible sections.



This year we are delighted to welcome back ten  Literature  students from Henley College who will be telling stories based on the Oceans theme to groups of children.

Singing with Lucy Hewes

Lucy Hewes is a local choir leader and West End musician and has been playing the piano since the age of 5, discovering her vocal ability along the way. Lucy’s previous experience ranges from teaching singing and piano to appearing in the feature film of ‘Joseph’ and performing on stage at the Royal Albert Hall with the London Philharmonic Choir and more recently playing keyboard for ‘Jersey Boys’ on tour. Lucy is thrilled to bring all of her talents and experience into the local schools as part of the Henley Youth Festival for the sixth year.



This is a great opportunity to give your students a free taster session in the sport of Squash, delivered by Andras Pal from the Henley Squash and Racketball Club. A mobile squash wall will be installed in school halls to enable children to have a go at squash in their own school hall.


A new workshop for 2020, Stageworks will work with the youngest children on a performing arts experience.


HYF is introducing yoga workshops this year run by The Great Little Yoga Company. The workshops will introduce children to the art and techniques of yoga, giving them the tools which will help them in their daily life. They will learn skills to relax and focus, transform fear and anxiety into confidence and strength, through breathing exercises, posture and meditation.