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At the heart of English folk
Invicta Primary School

How folk arts inspired learning with museums: new resources from The Full English Extra

Through The Full English Extra learning programme, funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, museum and folk educators have worked together over the past year to create powerful new learning experiences shedding light on Britain’s rural, mining and maritime heritage.

The programme led by EFDSS took place during the 2015-16 academic year working in partnership with three national museums: the Museum of English Rural Life at the University of Reading; the National Coal Mining Museum for England, with Wakefield Music Education Hub; and the National Maritime Museum.

EFDSS is delighted to share the learning developed through this project via a number of freely downloadable resources.

Case study booklet

How folk music, dance and drama inspired learning with museums, written by Dr Alison Daubney, the project’s external evaluator.

Learning resources

Eighteen new learning resources were created by museum and folk educators, reflecting the projects’ rural, maritime and coal mining themes. They include contextual information, class room activities and creative exercises, song lyrics, music notation, scores for choirs and instrumentalists, instructions for rapper sword dancing and audio files.

One of the packs, Songs of Rural Life, was developed in partnership with The Makaton Charity and Folk Arts Oxford, and contains Makaton symbols which increases its accessibility for participants with learning and communication difficulties.

All the below packs, and accompanying audio files, are available to download from the EFDSS Resource Bank.

Resources created with the Museum of English Rural Life

Introduction to playing folk music: working with intermediate and advance players new to folk music by Rob Harbron
Threshing Machine: a musical interpretation of a heritage resource by Rob Harbron
Songs of Rural Life: accessibility and adaptability in SEN settingsby Cat Kelly (this resource was created in partnership with Folk Arts Oxford and The Makaton Charity)

Resources created with the National Maritime Museum

A Sailor’s Life Key Stage 1 - by Hazel Askew and Martha Burns Findlay
A Sailor’s Life Key Stage 2 - by Hazel Askew and Martha Burns Findlay

Resources created with the National Coal Mining Museum for England

In our own words: exploring coal mining through folk song by Bryony Griffith
Blue Scars by Bryony Griffith
Tools of the Trade by Bryony Griffith
A Collier Lad by Bryony Griffith
Pony Driver by Bryony Griffith
The Miner’s Dream by Bryony Griffith
Shots Fired by Bryony Griffith
(The above resources were created in partnership with Wakefield Music Education Hub)

Collier Lads – choral arrangement by Bryony Griffith
Rapper Set for KS2 Instruments – Yorkshire Tune by Bryony Griffith
Rapper Set for KS2 Instruments – a dance for 1811 by Bryony Griffith
Rapper Set for Brass Band – Oatlands House by Stephen D Wood
Rapper Set for Brass Band - Tekely by Stephen D Wood
Swords and Stars: Rapper Dance for Primary Schools by Bryony Griffith and Lucy Huzzard, with diagrams by Will Hampson



Four short films documenting different aspects of the project are available to view on the EFDSS YouTube channel:

Museum of English Rural Life and Arbour Vale SEN School

Museum of English Rural Life and Berkshire Maestros’ Reading String Orchestra

National Coal Mining Museum for England, schools in Featherstone and Wakefield Music Education Hub

National Maritime Museum and Invicta Primary School

Background information

The Full English Extra learning programmereached around 1400 people through creative learning projects in the 2015 – 2016 academic year, working with young people from eight schools and two music education hubs in Berkshire, London and Yorkshire.

Material used in the learning programme came from The Full English digital archive and other archival sources, including the museums’ own collections. 

  • Museum of English Rural Life at Reading University – work took place in the spring term 2016 with pupils at Arbour Vale SEN School in Slough and with Berkshire Maestros’ Reading String Orchestra, focusing on rural and agricultural themes from the museum’s collection and redevelopment of its galleries. 
  • National Coal Mining Museum for England, Yorkshire - this project involved folk song projects with six local schools in Featherstone, Wakefield during the spring term 2016, working in collaboration with Wakefield Music Education Hub.
  • National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London – this project worked with the museum’s formal learning team focussing on themes in the Nelson, Navy, Nation gallery and developed these through folk song and dance with Invicta Primary School during the autumn term 2015.


More information about The Full English Extra


National Youth Folk Ensemble

National Youth Folk Ensemble


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