Folk Arts Oxford aims to promote folk and traditional dance, music and song in the Oxfordshire region. In particular we are interested in improving access for those who might face barriers to participation in the arts.

Through our funded project work: children in Headington have learned about local lad William Kimber, and the musical legacy he has left; a new band called Iris has been formed, who accompany all their songs with Makaton signing; children from mainstream and special schools in Oxfordshire have the chance to create music together, and perform on the main stage at Folk Weekend: Oxford.

Alongside our own projects and events, FAO works collaboratively with other local organisations, forging links and creating opportunities for folk artists to work in education and community projects, as well as showcase their talent in local events. 

This was supposed to be our second workshop day, but the first one was snowed off! Thankfully the weather had cleared enough to let us get up to Bicester, where we spent the day with a group of sixth formers in Bardwell School, along with some visiting Year 10 students from the nearby Cooper School.

Initially most of us were a little nervous (pupils and artists alike!) as we didn't know quite what to expect - however we soon got in to the swing of things as we taught everyone how to sign their name in Makaton. The pupils really enjoyed exploring the different instruments we'd brought along, and learning some folk songs with signing. The pupils from Cooper School were fabulous singers, and were soon singing in three part harmony for one of the songs. After lunch we did a little performance for some of the other pupils at Bardwell and finished off the day with a ceilidh!

Unfortunately my phone died a death around lunchtime, so I don't have many photos of this day, but I did manage to get some nice clips of the ceilidh on my ipad!