Schools Workshops

Folk music and dance workshops for schools bringing local culture, history and traditions alive in active, creative and relevant ways.

FolkActive workshops always use live music, and where possible culminate in a
sharing or short performance. Most workshops are adaptable across the primary
school age range. Contact us to see what we can develop together.

Download our schools workshop brochure

Our Workshops

Country Dancing and Ceilidhs KS1 KS2

Portsmouth Schools CeilidhCountry dancing is enjoying a comeback and we’re delighted to help schools wishing to get involved! On a bigger scale, ceilidhs or barn dances are popular for school celebrations and are great for Key Stage transition projects which bring children from different feeder schools together in their new school.

Morris Dancing KS1 KS2

Based on traditional morris dances from the Welsh borders, this workshop uses sticks which add a great rhythmic dimension. Creativity within the style is encouraged, and dances can be themed to mark an event, to develop a story, or to represent the turning of the year. It’s challenging, good fun and you could end up with a school display team for the summer fair!

Stepping : Drumming with your feet KS1 KS2

Stepping or step dancing is the original street dance and the ancestor of tap dancing. It used to be common in Hampshire but is rarely seen nowadays. We’d like to change that! Starting very simply with accessible building blocks this session really encourages confidence and individual creativity. Where relevant we can include simple social dances collected in the New Forest one hundred years ago from Romany families.

This video was taken at the end of a 45 minute stepping workshop with Year 3 children.

We also have access to 60 pairs of English clogs which can help KS2 classes to connect through dance with the lives of working class Victorian children.

Broom Dancing KS1 KS2

Broom dances were once performed by individuals all over the country and are lively and great fun. We teach some simple traditional steps and moves before adding a creative dimension and possibly a competitive challenge for the brave.

Mini Melodeons KS2

Schools WorkshopsThese accessible instruments give children the experience of playing a traditional folk instrument and have an infectious and appealing sound. Workshops can range from playing short phrases and chords to accompany a folk tune, to playing scales and simple melodies. Melodeon playing can be included with other workshops enabling children to accompany dances and songs.

Way Haul Away EY KS1 KS2

A nautically themed workshop which can include shanties, broom dancing, mini melodeons and step dancing. This is definitely our most popular and flexible workshop to date, and it can involve pirates!

Old MacDonald Had a Barn Dance EY

This popular themed workshop for early years is the ideal introduction to country dancing, using action songs, singing games and simple dances to develop a class barn dance.

On Your Doorstep KS1 KS2

What are the songs, tunes and dances which best reflect your local community’s rural or industrial heritage? We enjoy developing individualised projects with schools to enrich and enliven local studies, or to commemorate significant events and anniversaries.

Midwinter Mummers Plays and Folk Carols KS2

Traditional mummers plays were a country custom usually performed at Christmas time and they are easily adapted for schools. We use an authentic Hampshire play, or a basic script which can be developed to reflect a school’s situation. A day’s workshop could also involve making simple costumes, learning a local Hampshire carol, and a simple dance, providing opportunities for each child to take part in a seasonal performance.

Maypole DancingMaypole Dancing EY KS1 KS2

Prepare for May Day and summer celebrations with maypole dances old and new. We can use your school’s maypole or bring our own, and offer a whole day of differentiated workshops culminating in a shared performance, or half day
sessions tailored to your school’s requirements. We also run staff sessions to establish confidence with the dances and can advise on music and other resources.

And there’s so much more!

Contact us about songs and dances relevant to KS1 topics including Castles, The Great Fire of London and Scottish Islands.

“What a brilliant way to meet curriculum requirements for British culture and values in a really creative way”
– Southampton Music Teacher

“I can do this! I know this from home!” – 6 year old Lithuanian boy

“All the children were involved in something that was inclusive, non threatening and confidence building but to them was just sheer good fun. Thank you so much” – Andover Barn Dance

Download our schools workshop brochure

Arts Award Supporter

FolkActive is an Arts Award Supporter. Arts Award SupporterAll our workshops can provide a fantastic experience of the arts for pupils working towards their Arts Award.