OCR’s History GCSEs from 2016 will contain a new strand of study on ‘Migration into Britain’, looking at significant periods of migration into Britain since Roman times.
With the help of an extensive network of teachers, academics and subject experts, OCR is currently developing two new History GCSEs for teaching in 2016, one on the Modern World and the other in conjunction with the Schools History Project (SHP). Both will include migration as an optional topic.
The two draft History GCSEs will be submitted for accreditation in Spring 2015. The Modern World GCSE will be more focused on the key international events and interactions of the 20th century while the SHP GCSE will put more emphasis on a range of periods and different approaches to studying history.
Mike Goddard, Head of History at OCR said: “Migration is an ideal history topic for GCSE students to study, allowing them to consider fundamental historical concepts such as continuity, change and significance, rooted in the major events of England’s history. Doing this through the lens of the movement of diverse groups of people has the added benefit of contemporary relevance and will make for a rigorous, stimulating and enjoyable course.”
He continued: “Migration has been a constant and, in many important ways, a defining feature of our history. Tracking it thematically over time makes for a complex and fascinating study, will build on recent academic research, and will reveal many new and enlightening aspects of our past.”
Key requirements will be for students to demonstrate that they understand the reasons people migrated to Britain, the experience of migrants in Britain and their impact on Britain. They also need to be able to explain the roles played by factors such as Britain’s connections with the wider world, beliefs, attitudes and values, governments, economic forces and communications.
Mike Goddard continued: “GCSE History students will now have the option of exploring and understanding the constant shifts in the British population. Migration may be due to other peoples trading with, or extending their empires, into Britain (such as the Romans, the Vikings), British overseas expansion (such as in India or the slave trade) or peoples coming to Britain to flee persecution (such as the Huguenots, the Jews, or more recently, the Syrians). While numbers migrating into and away from Britain have fluctuated over the centuries in response to politics, economics and social conditions, migration has always been a feature of Britain’s history and make-up.”
“For example, students might be surprised to learn about the size and experiences of the Black population in London in the 1750s, which, although estimates vary, may well have numbered up to 15000 people,” said Goddard, “or that at least ten languages were in use in medieval England.”
More information on OCR’s GCSE and A Level reforms