Why Morris?

Morris is a natural developer of  movement, coordination, use of space, balance and team building. Musical and mathematical ability is enhanced by the need to follow the tune and move to the beat. It is part of British social history and tradition. It is also good exercise and good fun.

Morris provides a non-competitive opportunity to simultaneously develop skills of movement, rhythm, listening and teamwork.

Grimsby Morris Men dance to the drum and tabor, see Kempe's accompanist.

Grimsby Morris Men dance to the drum and tabor, see Kempe’s accompanist.

The Music curriculum requires that children should have the opportunity to listen to music from different cultures. With Morris they can not only listen to it but dance to it too.

The stick dances are good for overcoming the reluctance of older boys to participate in dance activities.

If you go on to Youtube and type in  “Back to the quarry” you will be able to access videos of some of the cross curricular work done in Music, Drama, English and, of course, Dance by a group in Oxford who base their work around their local Cotswold style.
They have an informative website at http://www.backtothequarry.net

Schools we have worked with so far have also based art and filming work around our activities.

Relevance to the P.E., Music, History and English sections of the National Curriculum:

Physical Education

Purpose of study

A high-quality physical education curriculum inspires all pupils to succeed and excel in competitive sport and other physically-demanding activities. It should provide opportunities for pupils to become physically confident in a way which supports their health and fitness. Opportunities to compete in sport and other activities build character and help to embed values such as fairness and respect.

Aims

The national curriculum for physical education aims to ensure that all pupils:

  • develop competence to excel in a broad range of physical activities
  • are physically active for sustained periods of time
  • engage in competitive sports and activities
  • lead healthy, active lives.

Attainment targets

By the end of each key stage, pupils are expected to know, apply and understand the matters, skills and processes specified in the relevant programme of study.

 PE Curriculum Subject Content P221

 Key stage 1

Pupils should develop fundamental movement skills, become increasingly competent and confident and access a broad range of opportunities to extend their agility, balance and coordination, individually and with others. They should be able to engage in competitive (both against self and against others) and co-operative physical activities, in a range of increasingly challenging situations.

Pupils should be taught to:

  • master basic movements including running, jumping, throwing and catching, as well as developing balance, agility and co-ordination, and begin to apply these in a range of activities
  • participate in team games, developing simple tactics for attacking and defending
  • perform dances using simple movement patterns.

Key stage 2

Pupils should continue to apply and develop a broader range of skills, learning how to use them in different ways and to link them to make actions and sequences of movement. They should enjoy communicating, collaborating and competing with each other. They should develop an understanding of how to improve in different physical activities and sports and learn how to evaluate and recognise their own success.

Pupils should be taught to:

  • use running, jumping, throwing and catching in isolation and in combination
  • play competitive games, modified where appropriate, such as badminton, basketball, cricket, football, hockey, netball, rounders and tennis, and apply basic principles suitable for attacking and defending
  • develop flexibility, strength, technique, control and balance, for example through athletics and gymnastics
  • perform dances using a range of movement patterns
  • take part in outdoor and adventurous activity challenges both individually and within a team
  • compare their performances with previous ones and demonstrate improvement to achieve their personal best.

Music

Purpose of study

Music is a universal language that embodies one of the highest forms of creativity. A high-quality music education should engage and inspire pupils to develop a love of music and their talent as musicians, and so increase their self-confidence, creativity and sense of achievement. As pupils progress, they should develop a critical engagement with music, allowing them to compose, and to listen with discrimination to the best in the musical canon.

Aims

The national curriculum for music aims to ensure that all pupils:

  • perform, listen to, review and evaluate music across a range of historical periods, genres, styles and traditions, including the works of the great composers and musicians
  • learn to sing and to use their voices, to create and compose music on their own and with others, have the opportunity to learn a musical instrument, use technology appropriately and have the opportunity to progress to the next level of musical excellence
  • understand and explore how music is created, produced and communicated, including through the inter-related dimensions: pitch, duration, dynamics, tempo, timbre, texture, structure and appropriate musical notations.

Attainment targets

By the end of each key stage, pupils are expected to know, apply and understand the matters, skills and processes specified in the relevant programme of study.

Subject content

Key stage 1

Pupils should be taught to:

  • use their voices expressively and creatively by singing songs and speaking chants and rhymes
  • play tuned and untuned instruments musically
  • listen with concentration and understanding to a range of high-quality live and recorded music
  • experiment with, create, select and combine sounds using the inter-related dimensions of music.

 

Key stage 2

Pupils should be taught to sing and play musically with increasing confidence and control. They should develop an understanding of musical composition, organising and manipulating ideas within musical structures and reproducing sounds from aural memory.

Pupils should be taught to:

  • play and perform in solo and ensemble contexts, using their voices and playing musical instruments with increasing accuracy, fluency, control and expression
  • improvise and compose music for a range of purposes using the inter-related dimensions of music
  • listen with attention to detail and recall sounds with increasing aural memory
  • use and understand staff and other musical notations
  • appreciate and understand a wide range of high-quality live and recorded music drawn from different traditions and from great composers and musicians
  • develop an understanding of the history of music.

History

Purpose of study

A high-quality history education will help pupils gain a coherent knowledge and understanding of Britain’s past and that of the wider world. It should inspire pupils’ curiosity to know more about the past. Teaching should equip pupils to ask perceptive questions, think critically, weigh evidence, sift arguments, and develop perspective and judgement. History helps pupils to understand the complexity of people’s lives, the process of change, the diversity of societies and relationships between different groups, as well as their own identity and the challenges of their time.

Aims

The national curriculum for history aims to ensure that all pupils:

  • know and understand the history of these islands as a coherent, chronological narrative, from the earliest times to the present day: how people’s lives have shaped this nation and how Britain has influenced and been influenced by the wider world
  • know and understand significant aspects of the history of the wider world: the nature of ancient civilisations; the expansion and dissolution of empires; characteristic features of past non-European societies; achievements and follies of mankind
  • gain and deploy a historically-grounded understanding of abstract terms such as ‘empire’, ‘civilisation’, ‘parliament’ and ‘peasantry’
  • understand historical concepts such as continuity and change, cause and consequence, similarity, difference and significance, and use them to make connections, draw contrasts, analyse trends, frame historically-valid questions and create their own structured accounts, including written narratives and analyses
  • understand the methods of historical enquiry, including how evidence is used rigorously to make historical claims, and discern how and why contrasting arguments and interpretations of the past have been constructed (sorting out Morris myth & morris fact)
  • gain historical perspective by placing their growing knowledge into different contexts, understanding the connections between local, regional, national and international history; between cultural, economic, military, political, religious and social history; and between short- and long-term timescales.

Attainment targets

By the end of each key stage, pupils are expected to know, apply and understand the matters, skills and processes specified in the relevant programme of study.

Key stage 2

Pupils should continue to develop a chronologically secure knowledge and understanding of British, local and world history, establishing clear narratives within and across the periods they study. They should note connections, contrasts and trends over time and develop the appropriate use of historical terms. They should regularly address and sometimes devise historically valid questions about change, cause, similarity and difference, and significance. They should construct informed responses that involve thoughtful selection and organisation of relevant historical information. They should understand how our knowledge of the past is constructed from a range of sources and that different versions of past events may exist, giving some reasons for this.

In planning to ensure the progression described above through teaching the British, local and world history outlined below, teachers should combine overview and depth studies to help pupils understand both the long arc of development and the complexity of specific aspects of the content.

Pupils should be taught about:

a study of an aspect or theme in British history that extends pupils’ chronological knowledge beyond 1066

For example:

  • changes in an aspect of social history, such as crime and punishment from the Anglo-Saxons to the present or leisure and entertainment in the 20th Century (NB Morris dancing has existed pre Tudor to the present day)

English

The experience of Morris dancing is a great stimulus for poetry:

Morris poems can be found on the internet at

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2009/jan/06/morris-dancing

http://onlyinhull.wordpress.com/folklore/
see also “Folklore2” “Rambling Sid” No 7 & “animals” No 7

Belfagan women’s Morris
http://www.belfagan.org.uk/poetry.htm

Francis Duggan
http://www.poemhunter.com/poem/those-marvellous-morris-dancers/

Hull's Rackaback Morris dance out in the Market Place at the Bridlington Old Town Festival.

Hull’s Rackaback Morris dance out in the Market Place at the Bridlington Old Town Festival.

A Morris Poem:

A jingling of bells and a clatter of sticks
The clear throbbing beat of the drum.
My senses are numbed by a hypnotic tune
That repeats as the Morris Men come.

Like the tunes that charm the Indian snake
And cause it to sway and to slither.
Did the ancient pied piper play music like this
As he led all the rats to the river?

Try as I may to stand still and watch
My feet just take off on their own,
Possessed by the rhythm, they have to join in,
All of my will overthrown.

Twisting and twirling, twizzling around
Leaping and bobbing about,
Clattering sticks to the beat of the tune
With many a loud whoop and shout.

Where is it going to, how can we tell?
For certainty never was cast.
Where does it come from? Nobody knows.
It’s lost in the mists of the past.

Rambling Sid

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