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At the heart of English folk

The Full English nominated for education award

The Full English learning programme in schools has been nominated for a top award.

Best Musical Initiative 2015

The English Folk Dance and Song Society (EFDSS) project has been shortlisted for the Best Musical Initiative Award at the 2015 Music Teacher Awards for Excellence.

The programme involved 19 schools across England taking part in creative projects inspired by The Full English digital archive that we launched in 2013.

The Full English learning programme, which was led by the EFDSS education department and delivered by 30 professional folk musicians, dancers, and storytellers, is up against four other initiatives for the award.

The winner will be announced at a gala ceremony in March, presented by Classic FM’s Margherita Taylor.

"It is a wonderful endorsement of the success of The Full English project in schools that it has been shortlisted for this prestigious award.

"We know it has had a positive effect on the schools and young people involved and helped to educate a new generation of children and school staff about the relevance and value of traditional folk music, dance and other arts in education. For this to be recognised with this nomination is the icing on the cake."

Rachel Elliott, EFDSS Education Director


About The Full English Learning Programme in schools

Schools taking part were a mixture of primary, secondary and one special educational needs (SEN) school. The projects involved pupils from four to 18 years of age, from Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) and all five key stages and took place during 2013-14.

In each of the country's nine regions, EFDSS worked with two schools to deliver bespoke projects based around music, song, dance, drama, storytelling and other folk arts, mostly from their local area and sourced from The Full English digital archive.

Each project was designed to link with relevant curriculum objectives, including cross curricular links where possible. As well as working directly with children and young people, the projects included training for school staff and, in some cases, worked with the wider school community including parents.

We also created 11 traineeships to encourage the development of the next generation of folk educators. They worked on the planning and preparation for their relevant projects, and helped deliver sessions.


Showcase conference

The project culminated in a showcase conference in Birmingham in July.

Including keynote speeches from award winning artist poet, playwright and short story writer John Agard and EFDSS Vice President Eliza Carthy MBE, the stars were young people from the schools who performed their projects to each other as well as an audience of teachers and professionals from the education, culture and heritage sectors.


Watch video of the primary schools involved


Watch the secondary schools involved

Download the school case study booklet

For more information about The Full English learning programme, which also involved delivering events for family, youth and adult learners as part of the community aspect of the programme, visit our learning programme page.

Visit the resource bank that provides free access to learning materials developed through the project.

The Full English programme was funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and National Folk Music Fund with additional support from The Folklore Society, English Miscellany and individual donations.

The Full English was initiated and led by the English Folk Dance and Song Society in partnership with a range of cultural organisations across England and beyond.



National Youth Folk Ensemble

National Youth Folk Ensemble


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