Chickenshed K&C at Oxford Garden's School

Since 2016, Chickenshed Kensington and Chelsea has been working with Oxford Gardens, a primary school in North Kensington. The school was a key partner in our large scale project, Dreams of Freedom that was performed at The Royal Albert Hall in June 2017. Two weeks before the performance the tragic fire at Grenfell tower hit the community, directly affecting Oxford Gardens through losses and disruption due to the very close proximity to the tower. The school chose to continue with the performance and really valued the positive experience for the children in such a difficult time. Chickenshed dedicated the performance to all those affected by the fire.

In the immediate aftermath, Chickenshed Kensington and Chelsea ran workshops throughout the summer with children who had been directly affected and began to plan for a longer term project that could help bring the community together. Through funding from the City Bridge Trust (part of the children and Young People Funder's Coalition), we now run weekly children's theatre workshops at Oxford Gardens, specifically targeting those directly affected and the community in the surrounding area. The workshops have been very special. There is a genuine feeling of support and joy between the children as they work together and create theatre. We've been looking at the theme of 'wonder', gathering ideas from the children about all the things in the world that amaze and intrigue them. Through spoken word, movement and music they've filled Oxford Garden's school hall with wonder itself. Here is an extract of the work they've already done this term.

I sometimes sit and wonder, full of random thoughts,

Like will I ever get that letter sent from Hogwarts

I wonder if there’ll ever be an everlasting cake,

Does magic really exist? Or is it all just fake?

What would the world be like if people weren’t unique?

We’d all be identical; I think that sounds quite bleak.

I wonder if Earth stopped spinning, would we cry or laugh?

And if you had a huge tall cage, could you fit in 8 giraffes?   

I often wonder if there’s good inside of everyone, 

I wonder about wondering, coz wondering is fun.

Oxford Gardens project supported with funding from the City Bridge Trust and Ingles &
Hayday in partnership with the Tri-borough Music Hub.