J411: Migrants to Britain c.1250-present

Hello, and welcome to the community for 'Migrants to Britain'.


This forum is a space for you to talk about the content and assessment of this unit, to share ideas and best practice with others teaching this unit. We will be updating this forum with information relating to this unit including any resources and CPD events that come up, plus any other news or events that we think you should be aware of. We will also be able to answer any queries about this unit that you may have.


All centres teaching this option will be invited to join this forum, so if you would like to get in touch with other teachers teaching this unit, this is the best place! 


Some information for you to begin with:


A new textbook for this unit ‘Migrants to Britain' is due to be released 24/06/2016. You can find more information about this on Hodder Education’s website: http://www.hoddereducation.co.uk/Product?Product=9781471860140


Our CPD plans for next year are being drawn up now and will be circulated shortly. 


We have a whole range of resources planned for the next academic year, including for this topic:

·         Teachers' guide

·         Candidate style answers

·         Resource lists


We hope that you find this forum provides you with information, news and support.



Happy posting!






As part of our Spec Creator initiative, we have created this forum for those teaching this option and we will be sending you an invitation to join this forum if you have filled in Spec Creator. If you have yet to fill out Spec Creator you can do so here: http://www.ocr.org.uk/qualifications/by-subject/history/specification-creator/gcse-history-b-specification-creator/


Does anyone have any

Does anyone have any resources put together for this unit yet? We are struggling a little bit with the overview of the characteristics of medieval Britain. Should we just teach similar kind of spec that we would in KS3? Or should we have a focus on race/religion etc?

We are teaching this straight after Easter so any help would be greatly appreciated.

Hi thanks for your post. The

Hi thanks for your post. The overview is not focussed on race/religion but rather a general, short introduction to the characteristics of medieval Britain, so that students (who might not have studied medieval Britain since year 7) have a point of reference. Regards, Asher, OCR

Overview: You could cover key


You could cover key aspects of life in medieval England and ask students to consider how these might affect these key issues: reasons for migration and the experiences of immigrants in England.

Aspects to cover could include kings (how they ruled, what regions they controlled and didn't control and didn't and how that changed because of eg the 100 Yrs War, conquest of Wales and Ireland; town life, the role and power of the guilds; village life, serfs and freemen; uprisings and rebellions, eg 1381; the Church and the relation of Christendom with Judaism and Islam incl the Crusades; communications including merchants and trade, esp wool; plague and disease; crafts and artisans. 

Go to www.englandsimmigrants.com for its wonderful searchable database of medieval immigrants. Get to know it so that you can show students how to use it: they have a guide. You can find who was living in your locality, often with names, occupations and place of origin. The site is really user friendly: you can look at individual entries, create graphs, select by occupation, origin, place of residence etc.  In the Quick Search, enter your locality, then when the list of names appear use the panel on the left to create visualisations or narrow down a search. If you click on uk icon under Residence, and then keep clicking on the coloured circles containing numbers, you can home right down to your locality. Students could use this site to carry out enquiries, create presentations, frame questions etc. In the process you'll be diving into two more of the four topics: the diversity of medieval immigrants and the attitudes to them.

Back on the home page, under Background, you'll find Individual Studies, leading you to some really fascinating true stories, some of which throw up questions of who was and wasn't considered to be 'alien' and how the foreign-born were regarded. Some of these stories could form the basis for a lesson. Perhaps students could be given particular characters and asked to present their case to the class for judgement on whether or not they should be taxed as 'aliens'?

The OCR SHP textbook will be published in June (https://www.hoddereducation.co.uk/Product/9781471860140.aspx) which I realise is late if you're starting after Easter, but I'd be more than happy to help you with ideas for that first term. I'm one of the writers of the book. Asher at OCR has my contact details.

That would be absolutely

That would be absolutely amazing Thank you Martin, I have previously tried the Englands Immigrants site, but not really found it as user friendly as I hoped, However I will follow your instructions and see what I can find. With regards to help with ideas for the firstterm that would be truely amazing, I will get your details fromAsher. Thank you for the help!

Great. I look forward to

Great. I look forward to hearing from you.

In anticipation of teaching

In anticipation of teaching this unit, I am going to an event at the Jewish Museum in London next week, details below;

Cecil Roth Lecture - Living with Others: Jews and Other Minorities in England since the Seventeenth Century

Date: Thursday 7 April 2016

Time: 7pm

Price: Free with museum entry

Categories: talk

In 1656, despite considerable controversy and opposition, Oliver Cromwell allowed Jews to come to England and live here openly. In this lecture Professor David Feldman traces how, from this beginning, we reached our current diverse, troubled, multicultural society and how Jews have figured in this story.

David Feldman is Director of the Pears Institute for the study of Antisemitism. He is a Professor of History at Birkbeck and has written on the history of Jews in Britain, as well as on the history of immigrants, ethnic minorities and migrants, from the 17th century to the present day.

Box office: 020 7284 7384 / admin@jewishmuseum.org.uk

Hi Thanks to all for the

Thanks to all for the ideas so far. I'm excited at the thought of teaching this unit and I'd love to share ideas and thoughts with other colleagues.

Hi Fin, thanks for your

Hi Fin, thanks for your comments and your offer to share ideas. Regards, Asher, OCR

Teachers, save the date! Join

Teachers, save the date! Join OCR and the Migration Museum Project on the morning of Wednesday June 22nd for the official launch of our joint competition on offer to all pupils taking the new 'migration to Britain' units of the OCR GCSE courses.

The launch will be hosted at the Migration Museum Project's exhibition Call me by my name: Stories from the Calais camp and beyond at the LondonNewcastle project space on Redchurch Street in Shoreditch. You will have a chance to hear more details about our exciting competition, hear from our keynote speaker author Robert Winder, look around the exhibition, participate in OCR CPD workshops associated with the new specification and do a guided walk of nearby Spitalfields which has a fascinating migration history.

Formal invites and more details to come soon but please save the date in your school diaries in the meantime. Regards, Asher, OCR

Hi all, we still have some

Hi all, we still have some spaces left on 22nd June please go here to book your free place and view the full programme: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/migration-museum-project-and-ocr-exhibition-competition-launch-event-tickets-25814113709?aff=es2

Regards, Asher, OCR

OCR / Migration Museum

OCR / Migration Museum Project Competition – win a trip to New York with your students!

A reminder we are running an exciting competition for all schools teaching the migration topics on either of OCR’s GCSEs in conjunction with the Migration Museum Project. Full details of how to take part including a teachers’ briefing pack can be found here:  http://www.migrationmuseum.org/ocr/

The deadline for submitting entries is 2nd March 2018 and shortly after the winning team will be judged and the prize – the opportunity to visit New York City and visit the Ellis Island Museum, the Tenement Museum and other key sites  - will be awarded in a ceremony in April. It’s not too late to enter!

Any questions about this please email us at history@ocr.org.uk or Emily Miller of the Migration Museum Project at Emily@migrationmuseum.org

A message from Jonathan

A message from Jonathan Hanley, University of York

Calling all history teachers! I’m pleased to invite you to a FREE study day on medieval immigration based on research undertaken at the University of York (www.englandsimmigrants.com )  and in partnership with the Museum of London on Friday 29th June. Please see the attached electronic flyer for details and a link to registration here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/teaching-medieval-immigration-study-day-for-history-teachers-tickets-44880334288


The day will include workshops on resources for teaching medieval history, talks from curatorial staff at the Museum of London, medieval academics from the University of York and members of the education department at the National Archives, and will finish with a tour of the Charterhouse Museum. Further enquiries can be directed to Jonathan Hanley (jonathan.hanley@york.ac.uk).