History - Lives of the immigrants

What is it?

A collection of Teachers TV videos on immigration into the UK after 1945, aimed at key stage 2 (P4-7) pupils, covers a range of topics - from the lives of the first immigrants to stories more familiar to today's generation, such as one boy's experience of being raided by the police during the night.

Getting started

The videos deal with the early experience of race relations, how immigration has changed the face of a neighbourhood in Bristol and the impact on religion. The first wave of immigrants have their stories told through Jamaican Roy Hackett, who tells of the "colour bar" to employment he found when he arrived in Britain, lured by tales that "there was nobody jobless in England and jobs were well paid". Lessons can then move on to modern times as a specialist Asian shopkeeper speaks of his new customers - Kurds, Poles and Somalis. Then a video on "Changing Churches" reminds us, surprisingly, that many Africans come to this country with a Christian background, which has boosted the number of Christians in the UK. Pupils are invited to consider the face of their own neighbourhoods in the light of these changes.

Taking it further

History lesson ideas for these primary stages, readily linked to the immigration story, include the development of children's enquiry skills, encouraging them to think about generating their own questions, assess the best sources and how to start good research.

Where to find it


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