Henley Youth Festival 2019 | Website by Jen digital

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Reg Charity: No 1044280

Art & School 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.

This year, work from Lily's Dreamy Puppet Props and Emily Cooling's Mixed Media workshops will be used as props and a backdrop at the Kenton theatre during a performance of an excerpt from A Midsummer Night's Dream. This performance will be given by some schools taking part in our Young Shakespeare Workshop who will be invited to perform.  Artwork from some of our other school workshops will be on display at our Art & Film Exhibition and in various shop windows around Henley whilst some children who take part in our Cha Cha Cha workshop will be invited to perform at HYF Dance at the Kenton. Further information on this will be available from the schools who are taking part.

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, Henley Town Council, Rupert House School, Moulsford Preparatory School, St Mary's School, Shiplake College and St Joseph's College we are able to offer even more workshop places in this year's programme.

We are offering the following free Art Workshops in schools - schools apply for these on behalf of pupils.


Artpod: Whimsical Watercolour Wildlife (Dreamlike Animals)

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 dream topic for the Henley Youth Festival 2019. Art Pod @SCPS (formerly ‘SCPS KS2 Art Club’) were excited to win 1st place in Henley Youth Festival’s collaborative artwork category in both 2017 & 2018! 

In the HYF workshops we’ll be creating playful (dreamlike) images of each child’s chosen animal. This will be a whimsical exploration of favourite animals using both watercolour and pattern. (We’ll have lots of animal images available, but if any child has a very special favourite animal they are very welcome to bring pictures to work from.) 



Clinton Osborne Amazing Animation Dreamscape!

Learn how to make a fun dreamy animation and mini movie! Learn how to use Apple iMac’s, iPads and laptops to make a short stop frame animation in this fun hands-on workshop and schools get an electronic copy. Learn quick and simple animation using cut-out, drawings to tell your own animated moving story. Working together in small groups you will decide a story, design scenes, characters and backgrounds to structure own story and bring it to life on screen. Add sound effects and a voiceover to make it appear real. Learn how to storyboard, create characters and animate them live on the day


Theme: Explore your dreams for the future, Henley or the world using your imagination, paper, cartoon and music? You decide! 



Create 'n' Make Dream Jars with Michaela Clarke

Michaela has a knack for pitching her art at the younger pupils producing wonderful original individual and collaborative artworks. In her 1 hour workshops children will create a dream jar which will be decorated on the outside with the children’s dream words and inside will see the children add a mixture of dream materials including of course magical glitter! 



Nick Garnett: Dr Brian Squabbles

Working with Doctor Brian Squabbles and his Red van full of ‘objects from a previous life’ the children will create moments from imaginary worlds. Using the doctor’s famous maxim ‘Ask not what it is, ask what could it be?’ they will re- invent their world. Each workshop gets a poster sized photo of their amazing imaginary worlds. 

All materials used by Nick are recycled. Some pieces from these workshops will be displayed at the HYF Art Exhibition. 




Screen Printing with local artist Camilla Shelley

Camilla will be running screen printing and block printing workshops inspired by the beautiful ‘An Earthly Paradise : William Morris and the Thames’ exhibition at the River & Rowing Museum in Henley. Children will print cotton bags with repeat designs that explore symmetry, balance and colour in nature. 

The two-hour session will be based at the museum and the children will visit the William Morris exhibition. 

Mixed Media with Emily Cooling

Emily is a real creative force who in the last few years has helped children have a taste of carnival with her amazing carnival masks and headdress workshops. This year we want to tap into her textile skills. She is currently working on some fantastic ideas along our Dreams theme. 

Children are encouraged to develop their ideas through investigating the work of the traditional batik textile method using hot wax as a resist and dyes in her workshops. It is an ancient process commonly used in Indonesia and India to create beautiful pieces of fabric to be used as banners, bunting or flags. 

The children will create batik backdrops inspired by “Dreams” that will be used on the Kenton Stage during a performance of Midsummer Night’s Dream during the festival week. 


Lily's Dreamy Puppet Props

Lily Rossiter is an illustrator and ceramicist and all time lover of patterns and picture books. Her work is naive and quirky with a charming, playful twist. 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!


In this workshop students will create large scale dreamy puppet props to accompany the children’s production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Kenton Theatre. Children are encouraged to work together to illustrate and create large imaginary flowers/ foliage/bugs/insects/stars/moons/animals inspired by the theme a Midsummer Night’s Dream. 


Introducing this year - Floral Circus

Jo has been working in the creative arts for 25 years. She’s worked as a costume maker on West End Shows such as Phantom of the Opera, The Lion King and Jesus Christ Superstar. Jo has also been a model maker for movies including Harry Potter Chamber of Secrets. But it was when she moved to Henley-on-Thames in 2003 that her love affair with flowers and nature really began. Jo now runs Floral Circus – a floristry business with a difference. Her theatrical background & love of nature enables her to create almost anything out of flowers. 

This is the first year that Jo has joined HYF to offer an exciting workshop creating a Dream Catcher out of natural materials. This 2 hour workshop will be split into 2 halves. The 1st hour, outside foraging for anything that will help create a beautiful and interesting Dream Catcher. The 2nd hour, inside adding foraged finds with flowers, twigs and feathers that Jo has brought along. 


School Workshops

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

Invesco, Henley Educational Trust, Henley Town Council, Henley Municipal Charities, The Lions Club and IBS Office Solutions.

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 topic this year is Environment and 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. 




Cha Cha Cha

The County School of Dancing began in 1957 and is well established in the UK. It has a reputation for teaching excellence, producing some of the top young dancers in recent years. Hailey Simmons has a passion for dancing and represented Great Britain all over the world, reaching the top 12 in the world in the under 21’s category.


Children taking part in the Cha Cha Cha workshops will learn a simple dance and one class will be invited to perform their dance at the Kenton theatre. 



Scottish Country Dancing

Fun introduction to Scottish Country Dancing with Deborah Draffin - an RSCDS certificated teacher who runs Scottish Country Dance classes in Berkshire. 



Take 3 Academy

Introducing Tyler Kennington from Take 3 Academy and his Stunt workshop: ‘Bullet hits, fight sequences, throws and falls - all the basics! Our team reveal leading industry secrets as we train our students step-by-step and maybe inspire them in becoming the next Hollywood Stunt Artist’.

Tyler has worked in show business from a very young age. With his father (Paul Kennington) being a Stunt Co-ordinator with hundreds of credits under his belt, he has assisted and worked alongside him on a number of projects such as - Electric Dreams, Camelot, Frankenstein Chronicles, The Tupperware Party and The Durrells, to name but a few.


Urban Strides

Following last year’s success, Jenny is returning with her fun Urban Strides workshops. Urban Strides inspires confidence and give an great introduction to Street Dance skills. They say: ‘why are people drawn to the Urban Strides flava? We let you be you, whoever you are. We celebrate people’s differences and draw on everyone’s collective passion of having fun and doing it in a positive environment.’ 


Little Blue Monster Productions

Simon Sanchez returns with the very popular Little Blue Monster Productions - an interactive workshop which will be based around the ‘Dreams’ theme. 

They tour theatres, arts centres, outdoor venues and festivals across the UK, Europe and Internationally, travelling as far afield as Hong Kong, Dubai, Singapore and Malaysia. The team behind Little Blue Monster have been creating theatre for children for over 20 years.   



Young Shakespeare

A Midsummer Night's Dream

A storyteller and four Young Shakespeare Company actors perform Shakespeare's enchanting comic tale in fast-moving full-costumed interactive production. The play is brought vividly to life around and among the children, at times including the whole audience to create such enchanting scenes as the bustling Athenian market and the wood full of mysterious fairies and sprites. 

Throughout the performance the storyteller enables the children to 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 Literature students from Henley College who will be storytelling for groups of younger 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 fifth 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.