History Matters: creating 'joined-up' resources for a diverse history curriculum

Lead Research Organisation: University of Manchester
Department Name: Social Sciences

Abstract

The new National Curriculum for Schools in England came into force in September 2014 in the wake of prolonged controversy, notably around the revisions to the English and History curricula.
The History National Curriculum was particularly controversial, accused of being overly focused on a narrowly conceived and celebratory British 'island story' at the expense of a more global outlook and content. Moreover, the 'island' narrative was heavily criticised for promoting a homogeneous account of 'British identity' and 'British history', which erased its global/imperial past, its long history of migration and the foundations of contemporary multicultural Britain. A campaign by Operation Black Vote in 2012 to retain key black figures in the curriculum garnered over 36,000 signatures, including leading politicians, while a 2015 recent campaign to make black history a mandatory part of the primary curriculum received nearly 44,000 signatures.

While the revised curriculum addressed some of these concerns, and offers the opportunity for study of ancient civilisations, slavery and non-European histories, there is still little scope for engaging with Britain's diverse history 'at home'. Accordingly, in December 2014, the OCR exam board revealed its plans to introduce a new GCSE history module 'Migration into Britain', exploring the impact of migration on Britain over the past 2000 years - the first and, to date, only module of its kind. However, the content and resources underpinning this module are as yet undeveloped.

Our previous two successful AHRC funded follow-on projects 'Making Histories' and 'History Lessons', which used oral and local histories to explore migration to Britain, revealed both an appetite for black British histories amongst pupils and teachers, and uncertainty on the part of teachers as to how to teach diversity, as well as a lack of available resources. This lack of easily accessible resources, along with the increased demands on teachers' time and expertise, is likely to doom the OCR's and other future initiatives to failure. However, our previous projects also demonstrate a strong willingness by academics, museums and archives, oral and local historians and black history archives, as well as teachers, to collaborate on producing materials that can be adopted by teachers and schools.

The current project plans to build on previous research experience and collaborative links to develop coherent and accessible resources to support the teaching of diverse histories at Key Stage 4 (GCSE). In partnership with Runnymede and the OCR exam board, we will bring together a range of academics, historians, teachers and stakeholders, to develop an innovative online interactive website, which examines the history of migration to Britain in the 20th and 21st centuries, and explores the various migration flows that have shaped contemporary multicultural Britain.

The project seeks to engage a range of partners and stakeholders in a unique collaborative venture aimed at diversifying the history curriculum and producing appropriate, innovative and accessible online resources to support teachers and pupils in this process. Drawing on similar research-based websites and resources, such as those dealing with slavery, the project will facilitate a 'joined-up' approach to curriculum development and support, bringing together academic research, schemes of work, primary resources and supporting material to provide a 'one stop shop' for schools, teachers and young people wishing to teach or study Britain's diverse histories.

Planned Impact

Our previous projects represent a groundbreaking partnership between the AHRC, academic researchers and the Runnymede Trust. The work to date has disseminated the findings of the original 'Bengal diaspora' research to a broad audience outside of the academy, including community groups, national, local and community media, policymakers and practitioners, and young people and schools. The two follow-on projects involved project work with over 230 young people in 7 schools in 5 cities around England and Wales and has been adopted by 4 of these schools as part of their KS3 curriculum. The project brought together national and local museums and archives with community based resources and the current project will draw on, and extend these connections as an integral part of the website design. The earlier projects formed the basis of two highly rated impact case studies for the Department of History in Cambridge and the Department of Sociology at the LSE in REF2014.

The Banglastories website received nearly over 33,000 'hits' worldwide and over 1600 visits to the accompanying teaching resource in the period March 2014-March 2015. The 'Telling Community History' site, launched in November 2012, and the updated 'Making History' re-launched in November 2014 had nearly 3,500 unique visitor visits in the same period. The accompanying 'History Lessons' film on YouTube has had over 300 views since November. The co-authored 'Making British Histories' publication published in the high profile Runnymede Perspectives series informed Runnymede's invited briefing to Michael Gove's office on the history curriculum and played a significant role in the successful OBV campaign to retain black history in the curriculum (over 35,000 signatures), while the latest 'History Lessons' publication and expert roundtable has generated considerable interest from leading professional organisations (Royal Historical Society, Historical Association, NUT, TeachFirst) and civil society institutions (Migration Museum, Museum of London, National Maritime Museum, AIURRRC), local media, as well as politicians, academics in education, history and sociology fields. This earlier research and publication underpins the collaborations in the proposed project. There has been positive coverage of the projects across social media, such as Twitter.

These earlier projects provide a strong foundation and template for the proposed website. Building on this profile and established links from education and museum sectors, the project team will work closely with the OCR exam board to develop resources to support their new GCSE module on Migration to Britain, which goes onstream in September 2016. OCR is the largest UK Awarding Body for GCSE History - offering a pool of over 93,000 potential students for their new unit. There has been extensive national press coverage of this new unit and it is expected to have a high take-up. The timing of this new resource, and the partnership with OCR, will maximise profile for, and engagement with, the new website, as will the collaboration with leading academics, museums and archives. We will seek OCR official endorsement for the website/resource, and OCR have agreed to publicise it through their website, an email update which goes to c3500 recipients (the majority of which are heads of department). We are also working closely with Martin Spafford of the Schools History Project, which is partnered with OCR to produce resources, and which may also be used to promote the resource.

The new resource will be launched at a high profile event in Parliament, hosted by the APPG on Race and Community, and on Runnymede's respected Race Card online publication, which has over 3600 subscribers, including government ministers and departments, and the Runnymede website has 4000 unique visitors per month. This event will be used to generate policy debate around education policy, diversity and equality at a national level.

Publications

10 25 50
 
Description This website provides a resource for teachers wishing to teach the history of migration to Britain at KS3 level and above. It is particularly linked to the OCR and AQA modules on migration. It brings together original resources, teaching materials, lesson plans and links from leading academics, museums and archives to show how Britain was formed through migration from the Anglo-Saxon period onwards.

The website has been used to support GCSE options on migration by the OCR and AQA exam boards, and has been welcomed by teachers, professional associations (Historical Association and Schools History Project) and teacher trainers (Oxford University and Teach First). We have also conducted a survey and focus groups with history teachers and users of the site to refine the site and identify barriers to teaching an inclusive curriculum and associated training needs. It has also been used by young people and students in their campaigns to 'decolonise the curriculum'.
Exploitation Route The website resource is designed for use in schools, by teachers, pupils and the general public. There is also an interest in using the resource to diversify the curriculum at University level. The website has already been taken up as a template for related work on Empire (by Nandini Das and the TIDE project at University of Liverpool), and by the People's History Museum in Manchester.
Sectors Creative Economy,Education,Culture, Heritage, Museums and Collections

URL http://www.ourmigrationstory.org.uk
 
Description The findings formed the basis of a website, 'Our Migration Story', which was launched on 19th September 2016. Since that date to 22nd February th February 2019, there have been over 142,000 visitors to the site, and 7,750 views of the project videos. Runnymede's Facebook publicity for the site attracted 8,500 people. The website has been used by teachers and pupils in support of their GCSE and KS3 history courses. The site was also used as part of a twitter campaign by the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants. there was also extensive media coverage (see elsewhere for details)
Sector Education,Culture, Heritage, Museums and Collections
Impact Types Cultural,Societal

 
Description ESRC Impact Accelerator Award
Amount £23,937 (GBP)
Organisation Economic and Social Research Council 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 04/2018 
End 12/2018
 
Description Our Migration Story 
Organisation Runnymede Trust
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution Runnymede Trust: this is part of an ongoing collaboration across three AHRC funded follow-on projects. The project leads worked closely with Runnymede in developing the site, establishing relevant contacts with academics, museums and cultural institutions, as well as advisory board members from leading academic historical associations and exam boards. We held 4 expert sessions, to examine different time periods and collect resources. Runnymede researchers then worked with contacts to develop teacher-friendly resources, videos, lesson plans etc. in collaboration with OCR and Schools History Project.
Collaborator Contribution Runnymede project researchers were central to designing and developing the site, establishing relevant contacts with academics, museums and cultural institutions, as well as advisory board members from leading academic historical associations and exam boards. They helped organise 4 expert sessions, to examine different time periods and collect resources. Runnymede researchers then worked with contacts to develop teacher-friendly resources, videos, lesson plans etc. in collaboration with OCR and Schools History Project. Runnymede also organised the two project launches, with APB Autograph and BBC Black/Asian staff network.
Impact The project is multidisciplinary, bringing together resources from history and sociology, in particular, but also drawing on material from a range of cultural archives and institutions
Start Year 2012
 
Description Cambridge Festival of Ideas 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact •Sundeep Lidher, 'What does a global Britain mean post-Brexit?' panel, Cambridge Festival of Ideas, October 2018
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Engaging with Belonging and Migration in the Curriculum 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Teacher training workshop around curriculum reform in collaboration with University of Liverpool (TIDE) - has led to further discussions with teacher training organisations and a planned fellowship on teaching empire.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Expert panels 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact We held 4 expert roundtables bringing together academics, cultural institutions and archives to explore resources available on this history of migration to Britain.
Meeting 1 - (pre 1000 - 1500) 12th May 2016 - Jewish Museum, London
Meeting 2 - (1500 - 1750) 13th May 2016 - Museum of London, Docklands
Meeting 3 - (1750 - 1900) 10th May 2016 - Imperial War Museum, London
Meeting 4 - (1900 - present) 6th May 2016 - Autograph/ABP Rivington Place, London

These expert panels formed the basis of collaboration for development and provision of materials for the 'Our Migration Story' website.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://www.ourmigrationstory.org.uk
 
Description Guardian Comment Piece 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact •Omar Khan, 'We Damage Britain by Denying Its Migrant Past', The Guardian, 27 October 2016
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/oct/27/britain-migrant-past-brexiters-immigrant-histo...
 
Description Institute for Historical Research 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Where Do We Fit In? Black British and British Asian History on the Curriculum' - partnered event with Institute for Historical Research
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://www.history.ac.uk/podcasts/where-do-we-fit-black-and-asian-british-history-curriculum/where-...
 
Description Making Manchester 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact We worked for 6 weeks in a school in Manchester with the Olympias Music Foundation, to engage young people in an oral/family history project. The young people conducted interviews with family members and produced a 1 page story. These will be the basis of a a future project to turn these into a creative/musical performance (depending on funding from the Arts Council)
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Media Diversified Blog 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Sundeep Lidher, 'The Windrush Generation: British Citizenship and Mobility Control', Media Diversified, 20 April 2018
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://mediadiversified.org/2018/04/20/the-windrush-generation-british-citizenship-and-mobility-con...
 
Description On History Blog 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact •Malachi McIntosh and Hannah Elias, 'Teaching BAME History as British History: What Does it Have to Do with Brexit?', Institute of Historical Research 'On History' blog, 23 January 2019
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://blog.history.ac.uk/2019/01/teaching-bame-history-as-british-history-what-does-it-have-to-do-...
 
Description Our migration story media engagement 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact There were a number of radio interviews and press pieces linked to the launch of the website:

Our Migration Story secured seven BBC broadcast interviews, plus a prestigious opinion slot in The Guardian by Runnymede's Dr Omar Khan. Omar's article was shared 1,821 times directly from the Guardian's online site, and many more times indirectly. Malachi McIntosh gave radio interviews to BBC Merseyside's Tony Snell programme, and the Ngunan Adamu show, and Sundeep Lidher gave radio interviews to BBC Leeds (Ambreen Pervez), BBC Nottingham (Kaval Vaseer), BBC Manchester (Talat-Farooq Awan), BBC Stoke (Ajmal Hussain) and BBC Sheffield (Gul Nawaz Hussain)

In addition, the site was promoted on Media Diversified in an opinion piece, and In January this year, the Guardian ran an arts article which referenced the OMS project and one of the academics involved.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/oct/27/britain-migrant-past-brexiters-immigrant-histo...
 
Description Parliamentary Policy Roundtable 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Invited policy roundtable in Westminster, hosted by Dawn Butler MP. There were around 30 attendees, including MPs and representatives from the Department of Education, exam boards, teachers' organisations and unions, professional historical associations.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Radio appearances 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact •Malachi McIntosh and Sundeep Lidher appeared various BBC regional radio shows in Oct-Nov 2016:


?BBC Merseyside - Malachi McIntosh interview, Tony Snell show


?BBC Merseyside - Malachi McIntosh interview, Ngunan Adamu show


?BBC Leeds - Sundeep Lidher interview, Ambreen Pervez show


?BBC Nottingham - Sundeep Lidher interview, Kaval Vaseer show


?BBC Manchester - Sundeep Lidher interview, Talat-Farooq Awan show


?BBC Stoke - Sundeep Lidher interview, Ajmal Hussain show


?BBC Sheffield - Sundeep Lidher interview, Gul Nawaz show
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Runnymede Trust blog 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Malachi McIntosh, 'Why the History of Migration is so Important,' Runnymede Trust, Race Matters Blog, 23 September 2016

https://www.runnymedetrust.org/blog/why-the-history-of-migration-is-so-important
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL https://www.runnymedetrust.org/blog/why-the-history-of-migration-is-so-important
 
Description Schools History Project annual conference 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact Plenary panel focusing on the website.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Schools Week Blog 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact •Sameena Choudhury (with Malachi McIntosh and Robin Whitburn), 'The History Curriculum Has a Western Bias', Schools Week, June 2017
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://schoolsweek.co.uk/the-history-curriculum-has-a-western-bias-that-needs-to-change/
 
Description TIDE/OMS teacher training workshop 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Teacher training/CPD event with Schools History Project and members of the Globe Theatre Company aimed at KS3 history teachers.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Tortoise Media Think-In 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact •Malachi McIntosh, Tortoise ThinkIn, 'The State of Racism in the UK: Does the problem start in the classroom?', Tortoise Media, London, 31 October 2018
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Website launch 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact The 'Our Migration Story' website was officially launched on 26th October 2016, at the BBC Broadcasting House, in collaboration with the BBC Black/Asian staff network. The audience was comprised of media, project participants, third sector organisations
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://www.ourmigrationstory.org.uk
 
Description Website/resource teachers' launch 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact The 'Our Migration Story' website was launched on 20th September at an event in partnership with Autograph ABP at Rivington Place. The audience was mainly teachers interested in the new OCR/AQA GCSE modules on Migration to Britain
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://www.ourmigrationstory.org.uk
 
Description York Festival of Ideas 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Inaugural York Festival of Ideas - invited by French Embassy
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017