School Children Enjoy Waves of Workshops as Part of Ocean Themed HYF

Henley Youth Festival is over for another year but children in local primary schools were free to move or chill out with 80 hours of drama, science, music, dance and sport activity workshops over the last couple of weeks.

HYF timetabled eight days of workshop activity for pupils to enjoy. with more than 2,500 workshop places on offer.

New workshops and HYF favourites were on the programme, including: Freedom of Movement, Yoga, Urban Strides, the Young Shakespeare Company, Explorer Dome, Singing with Lucy, Travelling by Tuba, Yoga, Squash, Line Dancing, Performing Arts, Simon’s Drama and Skipping.

Freedom of Movement introduced freestyle gymnastics to Year 5 & 6 pupils; Skipping coached all ages in basic footsteps, plus popular skips and tricks; and Urban Strides fun intro to street dance was popular with Key Stage 1 pupils.

‘Yoga is our Superpower!’ HYF Newcomer, The Great Little Yoga Company, introduced children to the power of Yoga teaching them to relax and focus through breathing exercises, posture and meditation.

‘The Tempest’ arrived in Henley last week for around 90 children visiting the Young Shakespeare Company workshops. Five young actors performed a fast-moving fully-costumed promenade-style production, actively involving children from Sonning Common, Nettlebed, Trinity, Badgemore and Sacred Heart through drama and language activities.

Explorer Dome say they make science exciting and inspiring. They brought the only mobile, inflatable planetarium dome in the UK to Trinity Hall, Harpsden Road last week for an interactive, hands-on science show.  Eight schools took part, including Badgemore, Rupert House School, Sacred Heart and Peppard. A Bishopswood pupil described the experience: “It was awesome”; their teacher said: “We loved it!”

Russell from Explorer Dome said: “We have had a really good couple of days at HYF.  The kids loved it and so did we!  It is great to be part of such a great event and we are looking forward to coming back next year.”

Travelling by Tuba was at Sacred Heart for a day of making music. Pupils from five schools tried different instruments – maracas, triangles, claves and the didgeridoo -before rehearsing a piece of music for a short performance.

Co Chair of the HYF, Jo Dickson said, “It has been a fantastic festival again this year and we have seen so many brilliant workshops which engage the children; they have covered all aspects of the curriculum including science, English and lots of exercise! The Kenton shows and other performances have been wonderful to see; the talent of the young people of Henley never ceases to amaze us and we are so grateful to all the volunteers who make the shows possible. The competitions exceeded our expectations this year; and the theme provided lots of inspiration to the artists, filmmakers and writers. Finally, the HYF Run attracted more runners than ever and was a wonderful morning.”

By the end of the festival, HYF 2020 organisers will have timetabled more than 3,200 workshop places and 150 hours of educational workshops to primary schools in the Henley area.

For more information, visit Henley Youth Festival 2020 on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter or  Photos by Iona Price and Henley Herald