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Departures: Understanding Emigration

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This free, in-depth resource pack shines a spotlight on 400 years of British emigration – one of the largest movements of people in modern history, yet a history that is often overlooked.  

Who are the many millions who have departed these shores and why did they go? Can exploring their motivations help us better understand the motivations of people who arrive? What impact has this mass movement had on the world – and on Britain? Our resource pack features stories spanning four centuries – from Mayflower Pilgrims to Welsh emigrants to South America, Child migration schemes to the Windrush scandal.

This resource pack will be helpful to any student studying the impact of emigration from Britain; both on the countries people emigrated to, and on Britain itself. However, the resource pack is designed specifically for Key Stage 4 students studying GCSE History: AQA’s ‘Migration, Empires and the Peoples’ unit. The pack was designed by David Cox and the Migration Museum, with input from AQA teachers and the board’s History subject advisor.

The Departures: Understanding Emigration resource pack accompanies the Migration Museum’s Departures exhibition, but is designed to be used as a stand-alone resource, or in conjunction with a self-guided or facilitated learning visit to the exhibition. To find out more about organising a visit to Departures for your students, please contact our education manager Liberty Melly: liberty@migrationmuseum.org.

Family Tree Activity

Exploring our family history can help us uncover amazing things about our family and ancestors – and these stories often feature migration.

Here is a helpful guide to help you begin to explore your family tree and the stories hidden within. How much do you know about your parents, grandparents or relatives? Do you have someone in your family who migrated somewhere?

We have created some questions for you to ask your relatives. You will also find a family tree outline to print off and fill in! You can even pin stories, drawings and photos to illustrate it. Fill in the names and draw the connecting lines – or draw your own tree. We have also highlighted some great online resources to help you dig even further.

In these times of social isolation, it is more important than ever to reach out to those you can’t see via phone or video chat. And being at home for an extended period of time is a great opportunity to find out more about your family and relatives. Tell us who you got in touch with and what type of technology you used to do it.

Click here to download and view the resource