York teacher scholar scheme

Applications for this programme have now closed. The results of the programme will be published in 2016.

The University of York, The National Archives and the Historical Association are planning a Teacher Scholar Programme to produce online resources for teachers to support the teaching of British immigration in the middle ages and early Tudor period.

England’s Immigrants 1330-1550 is a research project that has produced a major database which expands our knowledge of early immigration. The database reveals evidence about the names, origins, occupations and households of a significant number of foreigners who chose to live and work in England in the era of the Hundred Years War, the Black Death and the Wars of the Roses.

The database contains the names of a total of 65,000 immigrants resident in England between 1330 and 1550. They were found in all counties, from Cornwall to Northumberland, in hamlets and in major ports. Their nationalities ranged from people from other parts of the British Isles, including Scots, Irish and Channel Islanders, to mainland Europeans from countries including Portugal, Sweden, Greece and Iceland.

In many cases the occupation of the individual is known and include highly skilled craftsmen such as goldsmiths, to weavers – many of whom were Flemish – and agricultural labourers. The research reveals that aristocratic households brought back foreign servants from English-occupied France at the end of the Hundred Years War. Many ordinary families of traders, artisans and workers chose to migrate to England.

The Teacher Scholar Programme

This database is a boon to scholars and academic experts in the field. But it is also a potential treasure chest for teachers and students investigating the story of migration to and from Britain in the medieval period.

Using the database as a springboard, the Teacher Scholar programme will provide support and guidance for ten teachers to produce teaching material suitable for Key Stages 2, 3, 4 and 5. The structure of the database allows us to ask engaging and important questions such as:

  • How many foreigners were there at particular times?
  • Where did they come from?
  • Where did they come from?
  • What were they doing?
  • How did the government treat them?
  • What can their story tell us about our own history?
  • How far do the answers to some or all of the above questions (and many more) differ over time, by region and with context?

This course will be delivered with the University of York, giving teachers the chance to work in partnership with researchers through a virtual learning environment. They will be carrying out their own research on the topic of immigration in the middle ages, drawing on a series of seminars.

At two days of seminars at The National Archives, teachers will critically evaluate different ways of teaching about medieval immigration, using an extensive collection of documents from the collections of The National Archives. Following approval by an editorial board, these resources will be published on The National Archives education website.

The teachers will come together on a trip to York and will work collaboratively to create further resources relating to immigration, based on their work at historical sites. All of the participants’ expenses for the course will be paid, including travel and accommodation for the seminar days and the York tour, as well as the cost of a supply teacher to cover the corresponding Fridays.

Many aspects of the course will be delivered through the virtual classroom and virtual learning environment (VLE). These will be freely available to participants through the internet; no special equipment will be required.

Programme activities

  • Introductory meeting for all teachers delivered via the Virtual Classroom, week beginning 1 February 2016 (outside school hours).
  • Participation in the VLE to get to know the other teachers working on the programme.
  • Two days of seminars on Friday 19 February and Saturday 20 February at The National Archives, led by Ben Walsh, history education trainer and author, and The National Archives education team. Teachers will work with original documents, reflecting on how to design classroom activities which draw on the content of the lectures.
  • Teachers work independently to develop their own teaching resources from February-April.
  • A study tour to York from Friday 4 March to Sunday 6 March 2016.
  • Resources will be submitted to the editorial board on Friday 15 April.

For further information email the education team on education@nationalarchives.gov.uk.