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At the heart of English folk
National Showcase Conference

National Showcase Conference now on sale

The English Folk Dance and Song Society (EFDSS) will host a national showcase conference on Wednesday 25 June 2014 at the Town Hall, Birmingham to celebrate and showcase The Full English learning programme – an innovative England-wide folk arts education project. The conference will share learnings from The Full English and is the largest-scale event of its kind to have been hosted in recent history, highlighting how to make folk arts relevant in schools and beyond.


From Archives to Action!

A national showcase conference for the education, cultural and heritage sector


Rachel Elliott, EFDSS’ Education Director, said: “This will be an inspirational day of performances, presentations and discussion celebrating high quality folk arts projects in schools.

“Each project, and accompanying resources, has created a legacy showcasing how folk dance, song, music and drama can be used effectively in diverse education settings. The showcase conference will allow us to share this with educators whilst demonstrating how folk arts can be relevant in a range of sectors.”


Register now

Tickets are now on sale, with early bird prices available until 9 May, and include all refreshments, lunch and drinks reception.

Book and pay by 9 May: £40 (early bird)
Book now via Eventbrite

From 10 May the price will rise to £60 (full price).

If you have any queries about this event please contact EFDSS’ Education Administrator, Jenny Wass, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 020 7241 8953.


What to expect

The conference is a must attend event for anyone working in the education, culture or heritage sectors who wants to learn how folk dance, song, music and drama can be used to enhance learning in the school curriculum at key stages 1 - 5 (young people aged 5 - 18 years).

The day will include:

  • Two vibrant performances featuring hundreds of children and young people from nineteen schools showcasing their creative work with diverse folk art forms, including:

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

  • Speakers uncovering the inspiration that lies in our heritage and traditions
  • Networking opportunities to discuss working with intangible cultural heritage
  • Introduction to resources for educators to use in their work

Need a slightly longer explanation? 
Download the conference “save the date” leaflet (PDF)


Children singing folk songs


Day schedule

Registration from: 9.15am
Event starts: 10am
Drinks reception: 5.30pm
Event ends: 6.30pm

We're working on the programme at the moment; speakers and presenters will be announced soon, so keep checking back for further information as we get it.


Who will attend?

If you are looking to discover the latest developments in folk arts education in schools, are interested to see the practical outcomes of recently completed projects that have breathed life into archive manuscript materials and want access to case studies, attending the Archives To Action! conference is an absolute must.

This event is particularly relevant to people working within the education, cultural, museums and heritage sectors.


Secondary school pupils working out parts to folk tunes


About The Full English

Nineteen schools across England – primary, secondary and SEN (special educational needs) – have been taking part in creative learning projects inspired by The Full English, the world’s largest free 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 – most of it sourced from the archive. 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 work at GCSE and A Level.

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

Discover The Full English learning programme
Explore The Full English digital archive


National Youth Folk Ensemble

National Youth Folk Ensemble


Donate now

There's never been a better time to donate to EFDSS - between now and 2019 your donation will be matched by Arts Council England!