Essential Information

National Maritime Museum
Queen's House
Cutty Sark
Key Stage Key Stage 2
School Subject Art, History
Resource Type Teacher notes

The National Maritime Museum tells the history of Britain's relationship with the sea. The collections tell many stories of migration and how these journeys impact on our sense of belonging. Through the objects and artworks in our collections you and your students can learn about your own, as well as other people’s journeys.

What is in this resource?

A versatile toolbox of different objects, artworks, stories, classroom activities and discussion points you can mix and match to transform the way your students understand migration and belonging. Explore the slider below and download the full resource pack to discover fascinating objects, artworks and ideas to kick-start your creative lesson planning.

Explore our collections

Here are some of the objects in our collections that have something to say about the themes of migration and belonging. You can download a full resource pack with classroom activities below.

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Street art dedicated to Windrush

This mural was created by street artist Deanio X’s as part of his work Fresh off the Boats. As with much of his art, the mural honours the sacrifices of the Windrush generation and their descendants, to Britain today and throughout time.

Discussion points

  • Are Deanio X’s artworks making a statement, sending a message, or asking a question?
  • What are your views about the experiences of the Windrush generation and their descendants?
  • Can you show this through your own art?
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Teachers Windrush Resource

Download our powerful teachers resource and discover powerful activities to help your students learn about the arrival of HMT Empire Windrush and reflect on the experiences and contributions of people who migrated from the Caribbean to Britain.

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‘Identity’ by Rachelle Romeo

Identity is a contemporary embroidered map created by Rachelle Romeo, reflecting on British identity, racism and government policy in the wake of the Windrush scandal. In this map Romeo reflects on and expresses the experiences of her father as part of the Windrush generation and their descendants.

Discussion points

What does this map tell us about the experiences of the Windrush generation and other people who have migrated?

How might these experiences impact their identity?


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The maps of Jean Rocque, a Huguenot refugee

‘An Exact Survey of the cities of London and Westminster’ created by Jean Rocque who arrived in London as a young child in 1709. His parents had left France as Huguenot (French Protestant) refugees, going first to Switzerland, where Jean was born, and then to England. A talented draftsman and mathematician, he carried out an accomplished survey of London, published in 1745. The maps he created in this survey were the most extensive survey of London made to that date.  

Classroom activity

  • Check out what London looked like in the 1800s 
  • Why not make your own map of your local area
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See refugee art symbolising resistance

This kite is made from a road map showing northern France and south-east England. It was made in a refugee camp in Calais in March 2016 as part of a session facilitated by Art Refuge UK. When the southern part of the camp was destroyed in March 2016, the kites took on a symbolic meaning. When people’s movements across borders are prevented, kites can become a symbol of hope - one can still go up, if not across. Made from traditional symbols of borders, the kites also act as a symbol of resistance to contemporary border regimes.

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Classroom activity: make your own migration art
  • Learn how artist Shorsh Saleh uses his art to explore themes of migration, border and identity 
  • Why not research and discuss the challenges faced by refugees today? 
  • Can you make your own art responding to these issues?
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Eve Shepherd's Sea Deity representing Action for Refugees in Lewisham

Artist Eve Shepherd worked with Action for Refugees in Lewisham (AFRIL) to create this bust entitled Sea Deity. This artwork responds to the under-representation and marginalisation of displaced peoples such as refugees in history and misconceptions about their communities today. It depicts not just one person, but is a portrayal of an entire community and each object in the artwork holds a deeper meaning.

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Classroom activity Sea Deity
  • What objects can you see in this bust? 
  • What might they represent? Visit Eve Shepherd's blog to find out more.
  • If you made a bust to represent you, which objects would you you choose? 
  • What important things would they show about your identity?
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Highlighting issues of contemporary migration

Ship of Fools is a large oil painting by Kehinde Wiley. Created in 2017, the painting makes visible the problems that contemporary displaced people face. The artwork demands us to think about the dangerous journeys encountered in the hope of building a better life. Learn more about migration and the words we use to talk about displaced people.

Discussion points

What could make someone leave their country?

How might you feel about making this journey? 

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Journeys Key Stage 2 Teacher resources

Journeys Key Stage 2 resource leads you through a series of creative classroom activities that will spark your classroom learning and discussions about themes of migration and belonging.

These resources were created with communities in London impacted by displacement including Action for Refugees in Lewisham, Barnet Refugee Service, The Baytree Centre and Nova.

The Teacher Guide, PowerPoint and Picture Glossary will help you and your pupils build greater understanding around the language used to talk about migration and reflect on your own personal journeys.