Our Migration Story was designed explicitly with teachers in mind. Recent changes to the National Curriculum in History, and the prioritisation of Spiritual, Moral, Social, and Cultural (SMSC) development across Key Stages, have widened the opportunities for teaching students to understand and appreciate the range of peoples, from all places, who have journeyed to and helped to shape the British Isles.
This site brings together a range of migration stories and supporting sources to make it as easy as possible for you to find material for the classroom and top up your own understanding.
This section, aimed solely at educators, offers advice on how to use this website in schools and provides teaching resources ready for immediate use in the classroom.
The main information on this site falls under four period headings: AD43–1500; 1500–1750; 1750–1900; 1900–2000s. In each section you’ll find a video by a leading historian offering a summary of the major movements of the period, a text summary of other significant events and migrations in the same era, and a range of ‘migration stories’ of individuals and groups who came to Britain within the given timespan. The videos and text summaries are presented for use as introductions with pupils and/or to provide you with a sense of the many potential avenues you can explore in the classroom. The migration stories move from the general overviews provided by the videos and introductory text into the specifics of individuals' and communities' lived experiences.
The value of scaffolding
Migration stories take up most of the website. They have been written by our academic contributors and, while each one offers definitions of difficult vocabulary and generally accessible historical source material, they all use historians’ own words and may require some scaffolding in the classroom. Although certain pupils may benefit from exploring the site alone in a computer room or at home, others might be best served by more guided activities, such as those in the Teaching Resources section, that are structured around the stories on the pages rather than focused solely on the page contents themselves.
The migration stories give comprehensive overviews of historical events and contexts and offer different avenues for further exploration. Most stories end with a section of ‘Questions and Student Activities’. These sections invite pupils to think about similarities and differences between migrant groups, time periods, and, where appropriate, between the time period discussed and our own. In addition, all articles are organised by searchable and clickable topic and continent-of-origin tags. These navigation options provide alternative ways, besides chronology, to sort and move through the site, and sit alongside a more traditional search field.
What really matters is that everything on this site exists for your use — it functions as raw material to be adapted, reframed, expanded and remixed in order to best engage the young people in your classroom.