Migration to Britain 1500s to present day

To what extent can the lives of individual people and their portraits help us understand the history of migration to Britain? 

This session explores migration stories, from the 1500s to the present day with a focus on the British Empire. Students analyse portraits to discover what these historical sources, and how they have been displayed, can reveal about the experiences of people who have moved to Britain from around the world, and the impacts they have had on British history and society.

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    Demonstration of Anti-Racist Committee of Asians in East London (including Mala Sen and Chomok Ali Noor),    by Paul Trevor,    1976,    NPG x201506,    © Paul Trevor
Demonstration of Anti-Racist Committee of Asians in East London (including Mala Sen and Chomok Ali Noor), by Paul Trevor, 1976

Session duration: 90 mins

Free

Secondary, key stages 3 and 4

This session is for one class of up to thirty students to take part.

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Learning objectives

  1. Use portraits and portrait elements including clothing, pose, expression and objects, as evidence of the history of migration to Britain.
  1. Explore diverse stories, people and artists throughout British history.
  1. Recognise migration has impacted our everyday lives in Britain in many different ways, including politics, science, food, sport and the arts, for hundreds of years.
  1. Evaluate the extent to which portraits and individual stories can help us understand the history of migration to Britain.