This project was funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and run by Ladders, a Leyton-based youth and community organisation that uses the creative arts and education to develop confidence and give a voice to young people.  

Children aged 11 to 15 were at the heart of the process: after training sessions in the art of oral history interviewing they devised questions and carried out the interviews.  Our twelve adult interviewees responded to the issues raised by their young questioners which, although not always heard in the clips, were what generated such rich responses. 

The resulting interviews, which will join the oral history archive at Vestry House Museum in Walthamstow, offer an insight into what migration means for those who experience it, and therefore into the process of change for people and places that results from population movement. 

The interview videos have been developed into a teaching programme for anyone wishing to use first-hand evidence as a learning source. We hope that this work can be a valuable resource for teachers at any school.

Resources for teaching and learning. Wherever your school is located, migration has affected the surrounding community. These interviews with adults from a small part of East London give an insight into how migration affects the lives and decisions of those who move, and how migration changes a community.

The learning suggestions here are intentionally open-ended and fluid. They offer ideas of ways to use extracts from the interviews to get children thinking about themselves and their own community as well as important themes in social history, human geography and citizenship education. There is also the opportunity for children to respond creatively – in personal writing, art or drama – to the individual life stories revealed in the interviews. 

Some activities will develop literacy and numeracy applied to real world contexts. They can also supplement three of the new GCSE history thematic studies: Migrants to Britain (OCR B), Migration to Britain (OCR A) and Migration and Empire (AQA). We hope that teachers will refine and adapt the suggestions here to fit their own context. They can be adapted to suit any age group from upper primary to sixth form. 

Ladders - Young Writers and Performers Club.