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Folk Culture: Curriculum

Volume 464: debated on Monday 15 October 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families if he will bring forward proposals to include the teaching of English folk dance and song in the national curriculum; and if he will make a statement. (157781)

For children aged 5-11, dance is already a compulsory part of the current physical education curriculum, and schools may choose to teach English folk dancing as part of that compulsory requirement. The current National Curriculum Programme for the Study of Music states that the breadth of study should be taught through a range of music from different times and cultures which may include music from the British Isles.

For pupils aged 11-14 there has been some freeing up of the Programmes of Study in the new secondary curriculum, which is being phased in over a three-year period beginning in September 2008. Dance is one of six optional activities within the National Curriculum for Physical Education and schools will be able to teach more dance for their pupils if there is sufficient demand for it. The new Programme of Study for Music at Key Stage 3 says that the study of music should include “a range of classical and popular traditions” and this is expected to include “music from different national and cultural traditions”, which not only includes the western classical tradition but can also include folk music.