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At the heart of English folk

The Full English Learning Programme

19 English schools take part in unique folk arts projects to engage pupils with their local cultural heritage.

Nineteen schools across England have been selected to take part in a unique learning programme inspired by The Full English, the most comprehensive free searchable digital archive of English folk songs, tunes, dances and customs in the world.

The initiative led by the English Folk Dance and Song Society (EFDSS) will see each school develop a project based around dance, music, drama or other folk arts using material from their local area that has been sourced from The Full English digital archive.

Schools are a mixture of primary, secondary and one special educational needs (SEN) school. The projects will involve pupils from five to 18-years-old in all key stages.

The Full English learning programme aims to introduce traditional English folk arts, music and dance to a new audience. Professional folk artists including musicians, dancers and storytellers will lead each project. They will work with the school to create work that is bespoke and complements ongoing educational work.

Each project will also include strong links to the curriculum and develop a performance piece inspired by the folk material. The Full English learning programme also provides training sessions in using folk arts in the curriculum for school staff, and will provide traineeships for 10 emerging folk arts educators.

 “Combining The Full English digital archive with school projects allows artists to tailor the content to include material that is relevant to the school and that originated from communities in their region. This should bring the archive to life and we hope will interest and inspire students and staff as they work with local and regional songs, tunes and stories.”
- Frances Watt, The Full English Learning Manager

The schools are:

East: Bewick Bridge Community Primary School, Cambridge; Impington Village College, Cambridgeshire

East Midlands: Marton Primary School, Lincolnshire; Branston Community Academy, Lincoln

London: Primrose Hill Primary School; Acland Burghley School, Camden

North East: The Federation of St Godric's RCVA Primary School, Thornley & St Mary's RCVA Primary School, Wingate, County Durham (joint project); Durham Johnston Comprehensive School, Durham

North West: St John with St Mark Primary School, Bury; Holy Family College, Heywood

South East: Loughton School, Milton Keynes; Stantonbury Campus, Milton Keynes

South West: Pathfield School, Barnstaple (SEN School); Hanham High School, South Gloucestershire

West Midlands: Allens Croft Primary School, Birmingham; Queensbridge School, Birmingham

Yorkshire: Shawlands Primary School, Barnsley; Horizon Community College, Barnsley

“Each project is geared towards creating a legacy showcasing how folk arts can be used effectively in education settings in the future. It will help us develop the skills of schools staff through training support and every school project will be documented so it can provide resources and case studies for future education work.”
- Frances Watt, The Full English Learning Manager

All of the projects will culminate in a national folk arts in education conference at Birmingham Town Hall on 25 June 2014.


The Full English is supported by the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund, the National Folk Music Fund and The Folklore Society.

National Youth Folk Ensemble

National Youth Folk Ensemble


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