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At the heart of English folk
Folk music in schools

Folk music in schools - new mini documentary film from The Full English learning programme

The latest film to share learning from The Full English learning programme is now available to view online. This lively and informative 11-minute film features folk song and instrumental music in action across the curriculum with pupils from key stage 1 – 5, including young people studying GCSE Music and students with special educational needs. Visit the EFDSS website to see this film and other films from The Full English learning programme.

Footage is taken from creative learning projects which took place in 2013 – 2014 in schools in each region of England, as part of EFDSS’ The Full English project funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, and which has been nominated for the Music Teacher Awards for Excellence 2015.

“This film demonstrates the vibrancy, relevance and potential of folk music in schools today, showing how traditional songs and tunes can be valuable aspects of music in schools whilst contributing to many other areas of the curriculum - from English to History – as it sheds light on our shared, and sometimes hidden, intangible cultural heritage.”
Rachel Elliott, Education Director

The film comprises a series of mini case studies showcasing a diversity of approaches to using folk music to enhance learning in the curriculum with young people from 5 – 18 years of age.  Footage is shown of young people learning and performing folk material as well as interview clips with teachers, pupils and artists. Music activities featured on the film include: singing folk songs (ballads, dialect songs, sea shanties and singing games); taking part in creative song writing; playing folk tunes aurally on traditional instruments (accordions, melodeons, banjos); singing harmony arrangements as part of school choirs; playing settings of folk tunes and songs for school bands and orchestras; and participating in creative projects involving music and dance students working collaboratively on morris and ceilidh tunes and dances.

The film was filmed and edited by: Roswitha Chesher.

Resource bank

Learning resources created through the projects featured in the film (eg songs, harmony arrangements, instrumental parts, scores, audio files, contextual background information, ideas for cross-curricular learning and many other resources) are now available to freely access and download from the EFDSS Resource Bank.



National Youth Folk Ensemble

National Youth Folk Ensemble


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