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Education Projects – morris & sword dance

Grant awarded for teaching morris in schools

In May 2023, the Morris Federation was awarded its very first grant from Arts Council England!

Some of our members asked what we are doing to promote the teaching of morris and related activities in schools. So we applied for a grant from Arts Council England.

Arts Council England grant for teaching morris in schools: “Old dances, new people, new age” aka ‘Buzzing Britain’

Barry Goodman Dancing for Fun British Schools Museum 2The aims of the £27k grant are to create exciting new videos introducing morris and sword dancing, a schools topic called ‘Buzzing Britain’, kit bags for classes of 30, and to teach morris and sword dancing in 18 primary schools across 3 regions.  The regions chosen were ‘levelling up for culture’ areas with a diverse cultural community – Preston, Kirklees, and NE Derbyshire – and the teaching will happen in late Spring term and early Summer term 2024.  The teaching will culminate in 3 regional showcases where all the schools in that region get together to display their dances.

Funding has been made available from Arts Council England, Lancashire Encounter, and Preston City Council.

Buzzing Britain logoA new schools resource pack called ‘Buzzing Britain’ has been created by educator Sally Smith.  It is designed for KS2, to be used in a number of different ways, including: A scheme of cross curricular topic work for a year group; A themed topic week for one or more classes including creating a show at the end with a mummers play, Morris Dancing performance and costumes; A themed topic day for one or more classes; Show what you have done in a class assembly or a show for family and friends.

Warwick Hashu Mohammed interviews The Outside Capering Crew 2023New short (1-2 minute) videos introducing morris and sword dancing have been created by Hashu Mohammed (aka SMASHBengali from the BBC Asian Network) by interviews with performers at Warwick Folk Festival in July 2023 and by Soham Nathani at Bromyard Folk Festival in September 2023. These videos are being released on YouTube and other social media each Sunday between January and early May, and added to our YouTube ‘Buzzing Britain’ video playlist showcasing different styles of morris and sword dancing.

Breaking Tradition LogoAs tutors for Preston and Kirklees we have engaged ‘Breaking Tradition’ with Damien Barber and their hip hop dancers …

… and for NE Derbyshire we have Folk 3D logo‘Folk 3D’ with Sarah Matthews and Sara Rose.

Morris sticks for the schools Kit Bags provided by: Creativity Design and Production (Lincoln).

We have partnered with EFDSS and One Dance UK to share our videos and teaching experience more widely.

This page will be updated as the project progresses.  If you have skills to help us with future Educational or Youth projects, please contact us (use dropdown for ‘Education’).

The project team is: Esther Ferry-Kennington, Sally Smith, Barry Goodman, Jenny Everett, and Pauline Woods-Wilson, see us on meet our Committee.

Donate morris equipment

Goathland childrenIf you have any usable equipment suitable for primary school children, such as bells, smaller Cotswold/Border sticks, North West sticks, rapper swords, or longswords, that you would be happy to donate to the kit bags, please contact us (use dropdown for ‘education’).


Supported by:

Arts Council England logo

Preston City Council logo

Encounter Festival Logo 2023

Breaking Tradition Logo
Folk 3D logo

Feedback.  We welcome feedback on the Education resources. We also welcome suggestions for other Education-related topics which could be included.  Please send a message using the Contact Us form (select ‘Education’ in the Enquiry Type drop-down).

Who Can Use These Resources?  The resources are freely available for use by all; access is not restricted to members of the Morris Federation or, indeed, just to the morris community.

Last updated: February 2024

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