Questions pupils answer by the end of the session:

  • Who were the Huguenots (what bound them as a people?)
  • What did they believe in?
  • Why did they leave France and where did they go?
  • Why did they come to Britain?
  • What was Britain and London like at that time?
  • What work did they do and how did people train / get employment?
  • Why were their houses designed as they were? Were they all the same?
  • How did they live (food, income, family, health, training and community)?
  • What was their legacy; fabrics and banking?

Schemes of Work and classroom activities

No.ThemeActivitiesLinks / ResourcesCurriculum
1Family tree- Research a Huguenot family name.Research- Find out more about this family by researching and reading about them.

Make a family tree showing clearly how each person was related (group work). See how many family members can you find out about.

Find out more about one member of the family and write about them- where they came from and settled, where they worked, what they wore. Also draw a picture of them.

Research what London was like at the time that this family came to Britain. Research information about how they lived, what they ate and what they wore.

A day in the life- Can you write a diary entry about how this person must have felt settling into a new place and how different it was for them. Show and tell your stories.

Share your work in an assembly, sharing with others what you have found out about the Huguenot family you researched.

THEMED HOMEWORK- Trace your ancestors and make a family tree to share with the rest of the class with help from your parents or carers.
Database of Huguenots/ watch an episode of BBC’s ‘Who do you think you are?’/ Research V&A Huguenot textile designs
Museum of London website
KS1 or Lower KS2 students:
English, PSHE, History, ArtAdapt sessions to suit
2Working childrenResearch the lives and working conditions of the dyers, spinners, weavers and children who worked in the Silk Trade in Spitalfields. Describe their talents and also how they lived and worked in poverty and how it affected their health. Can you write a diary entry about a normal day as a child working in the Silk Trade.

The Homes of the Weavers

Read about and research the elegant Master Silk Weavers’ houses in Spitalfields.

Make a sketch of a room inside the elegant Silk Weaver’s house.

Weaving Class- Weave a small pattern that can be repeated to make up a mat.

Block Printing

Research the methods of block printing. Can you create your own simple design and block print it on fabric?

Poetry or poster- Write a poem on the plight of the Huguenots; weaving long hours, not knowing the language, earning little money and in a strange country. Or design a poster to make people aware of the plight of poor and young workers.

ADDITIONAL THEMED WORK- Look at Huguenot silk designs. Produce your own designs to colour and draw and use the block printing techniques to produce your own designs. Put on an exhibition of the whole classes designs.
Museum of London books and resourcesKS2 students:
Literacy, PSHE, History, Art
Adapt sessions to suit
3Politics / Global issues/ inequalityFight for a living wage, then and now (here and in Bangladesh) and movement of trade between different countries i.e. China to Vietnam

Gap between consumers and producers (and middle men) – parallels to Huguenots and their customers

Study the transition of immigration and exodus in Spitalfields from the Huguenots to the present day- Protestants, Jews and Muslims. How has this transformed and changed the area?

Split into groups – each look at the buildings at a different period of time and display output alongside the other groups. Focus on legacy, architecture and impact. Develop / use a timeline of events and be able to click on “postcards” of events

Produce short films that provide coverage of the Huguenots landing in Dover in the style of a broadcaster describing the scene as a boat docks on the jetty. Describe the exhausted passengers, luggage, emotion and state of health.
Historical records and trade unions; modern day campaigns
BBC3 series taking teenagers to work in factories in Bangladesh
Fair trade material
Response to factory fire last year – pressure to increase minimum wage from industry
Texts, pictures, adaption of buildings and live/ work building and places of worship.
British Library
KS3/ 4:
Economics, D+T, business studies, PSHE, GeographyAdapt sessions to adapt
4Art / fashionResearch how has fashion changed over time and why; how this would affect a street scene (consider difference between dress of makers and customers).

Draw different costumes and explain rationale for differences.
What would you see today and why? Link between fashion and function.

Create a collage of fabrics from each period of time / community and arrange as one vast display in time order across a wall

Produce a series of sketches and drawing of a typical street scene during the time of the Huguenots and contrast this to today’s high street scene. Design this on your computer to show the contrast, colours and how the streets look.

Research weaving techniques and block printing techniques. Can you use these techniques to inform your new designs inspired by the Huguenot’s silk designs?

Produce new designs for fabric using the Huguenot designs as inspiration for high street wear or accessories.
V & A Museum
Research on the internet and books
KS3 and 4:
Art and can be used across D+T, textiles and product designCan be for a whole term or a half-term

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