Voices of London: stories of migration with Wendy Baverstock

Wendy Baverstock, primary school teacher at Eldon Primary, curriculum resource creator, and amateur historian, has created a series of resources designed for year 6 pupils about 20th century London migration.

The resources are a fantastic look into the lives of migrants to London during that time, and they include personal stories from relatives and ancestors of students and teachers in present-day Enfield.

Whose voices?

Listen to this episode of HEP Talks to hear stories about Granville James Brown, whose daughter Diana would become Deputy Headteacher at Eldon Primary School, as well as Joe, whose family moved from Ghana to live in Wood Green in London in 1985.

Wendy’s resources also include several other personal tales dating from World War II to the present day. There are quotes from Audrey about the bombing of London, and the story of Lilian Bader, one of the first Black women to join the British Armed Forces.

Following the chapter on World War II is the chapter on the Windrush, featuring characters like Asquith Xavier from Dominica, who worked for the British railways, and Sam King from Jamaica, who went on to become the Mayor of the London Borough of Southwark.

These intensely personal and relatable stories interwoven into the historical context provide many pathways by which to pique student interest in the historical subject matter.

What’s in the resources?

Wendy has generously made available for download at the link here. Feel free to read and use the curriculum, and you can even give feedback about the resources on the poll attached to the podcast on Spotify.

The resources themselves include five lessons plus a synoptic task, as well as a booklet and attached lesson plans. The lessons chronologically travel through London’s history and focus on diverse aspects of immigration to the city. As mentioned above, Lesson 1 is about World War II, titled “Keep Calm and Carry on” while Lesson 2 is called “From War to Windrush”.

Lesson 3 is titled “End of Empire” and deals with the relationship between India, Pakistan, and the United Kingdom as the partition occurred and the two countries gained independence from the British Empire.

Lessons 4 and 5 talk about a more modern London, and are called “New Opportunities” and “A changing city”, respectively. All of the lessons have associated PowerPoints and include classroom activities as well as vocabulary and questions for discussion.

Listen to the podcast to find out more about how this great selection of resources was inspired and created.

Listen to the full interview on HEP Talks

As always, we hope you enjoy listening to the full interview on HEP Talks, which can be found on AppleSpotifyGoogle, or wherever you get your podcasts. 

If you have a topic that you’re interested in or want to talk about on our podcast, please send me an email at Luke.Kemper@haringeyeducationpartnership.co.uk and you might get featured on an upcoming episode. Stay tuned to HEP Talks!

About the Author:

Luke Kemper

Luke Kemper is Insight and Intelligence Lead at HEP. He recently graduated from the University of Cambridge with an MPhil in Education, Globalisation and International Development. Before that, he worked for seven years as a university lecturer and high school teacher in China and Poland.

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The voice of Haringey Education Partnership. A weekly briefing on the latest stories in education news, deep diving into developments and interviews with leading voices in Education.

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