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At the heart of English folk

From Archives to Action! The Full English showcase conference

An inspirational day of performances, presentations and discussion celebrating high quality folk arts projects in schools, it will share and celebrate the outcomes of The Full English learning programme that has been taking place across England over the past year.


From Archives to Action!

Making folk arts relevant in schools and beyond

The Full English learning programme will culminate in a one-day showcase conference on 25 June 2014 at Town Hall, Birmingham.

A must-attend event for everyone from the education, cultural and heritage sectors!

Award winning poet, playwright and short story writer John Agard is the keynote speaker. The other major speaker is boundary crossing folk musician and EFDSS Vice President, Eliza Carthy. Find out more about the conference speakers, presenters and the day’s schedule

This will be an inspirational day of performances, presentations and discussion celebrating high quality folk arts projects in school - the largest-scale event of its kind to have been hosted in recent history in England.

What can you expect?

The day will include:

  • Performances featuring hundreds of children and young people from primary and secondary school groups, showcasing their work with traditional folk song, music, dance and storytelling developed during creative learning projects based on The Full English digital archive
  • Speakers to explore the inspiration that lies in our heritage and traditions and show how and why this is relevant and vital to creative work with schools and communities
  • Networking opportunities to discuss and share experiences, ideas and approaches for working with intangible cultural heritage
  • Introduction to online resources for teachers and artists to use and develop in their school and community work

The main feature of the day will be vibrant performances featuring hundreds of children and young people showcasing their creative work with diverse folk art forms:

Dance: morris, ceilidh, sword, clog, molly, broom
Song: ballads, shanties, chorus songs…
Music: reels, polkas, jigs, hornpipes…
Drama: stories, tales, folklore…

Download the conference leaflet (PDF)


Tickets: book now and save!

  • Early Bird rate (available until 6 June): £40
  • Full rate (from 7 June): £60


Book now





Tickets can be purchased via Eventbrite (please note there is no booking fee)

Ticket price include all refreshments, lunch and drinks reception.


About The Full English Learning Programme

In 2013 - 2014, nineteen schools (primary, secondary and SEN) have been taking part in creative learning projects inspired by The Full English digital archive of English folk song, tune, dance and custom manuscripts.

The Full English projects in schools have been led by professional folk musicians, dancers and storytellers exploring traditional material from their local area. They demonstrate the successful use of folk arts to enhance learning in the school curriculum from key stages 1 - 5 (young people aged 5 - 18 years of age), including ground-breaking work at GCSE and A Level.


Quotes from The Full English schools

“…the project is having a tangible impact on both the curriculum and musical enrichment activities as well as raising the profile of both folk music in general and the new digital online resources.” Edwin Holmes, Head of Music, Durham Johnston School(secondary)

“The Full English… surpassed my expectations. It reached across the curriculum. It improved the standard of imaginative writing. It prompted us to start a community band. And it definitely deepened the children’s love of history.” Ben Stephenson, Headteacher, Marton Primary School

“I really enjoyed doing the folk, because when you hear ‘folk dancing’ you don’t really get into it much, but when you actually start doing the practical aspect of it you start getting into it, and I think it’s really cool!” Year 11 student, Horizon Community College


The Full English is led by the English Folk Dance and Song Society (EFDSS), working in partnership with a number of archives and cultural organisations. It is supported by the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund, the National Folk Music Fund and The Folklore Society.

Find out more about the showcase conference


National Youth Folk Ensemble

National Youth Folk Ensemble


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