Windrush Stories teaching pack (secondary students): Creative writing activities

Creative writing ideas and activities that draw on the histories, people and objects featured on Windrush Stories

In June 1948 the Empire Windrush arrived at Tilbury Docks, Essex carrying hundreds of people from the Caribbean. Many aboard had been to Britain before. Some had fought in World War Two. Most were filled with excitement and hope about coming to the ‘Mother Country’. However, this was not the first nor the last ship to carry migrants from the Caribbean. Nor was Britain an unknown world. Slavery, colonialism, and struggles for freedom had entwined the two societies for centuries.

Using original sources, these creative writing activities invite you to explore the arrival of Empire Windrush and reflect on this wider history, including the experiences and contributions of people who migrated from the Caribbean to Britain.

Before you start the activities, we suggest reading:

Information for teachers

  • Suitable for secondary school students (Key Stages 3, 4 or 5). We also have activities for primary students.
  • Key curriculum areas: English Literature, English Language, Creative Writing; Black History Month activities.
  • Students can pick-and-choose standalone activities, or work through the complete set.
  • The activities provide students with opportunities to:
    • creatively respond to original sources, from photographs to literary drafts;
    • work with language and form across a range of genres, from journalism to poetry;
    • explore Caribbean, British and Black British history, culture and experience.