Creating a comprehensive curriculum

How to develop a comprehensive curriculum on Violence Against Women and Girls:

To ensure that activities to end Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) are embedding within the annual work of the organisation they must be firmly stated in the organisation’s curriculum. This can mean agreeing the learning objectives across different subject areas and different age groups to ensure a comprehensive programme of learning.

Activities to learn about Violence Against Women and Girls can be delivered across different curriculum areas. There is a tendency within schools to focus on the PSHE curriculum but other subject areas can be just as relevant and ensure that there is a drip feed of content to reinforce the learning.  Youth centres and Pupil Referral Units can also offer great opportunities to deliver a long term course that develops content. Out of school locations mean that sessions can be off the education curriculum and really start to explore issues and develop learning outcomes.

The AVA curriculum review tool tool shows ways to link across the Secondary curriculum in subject areas from Maths, Science, Geography and English.

Curriculum review tool:

There are many opportunities within the school curriculum to develop young people’s understanding and skills to prevent violence against women and girls. Many schools are already doing interesting and innovative work. This tool will help teachers to map out opportunities across the curriculum, where work on the following main themes can be integrated:

  • Changing gender norms, roles and expectations
  • Building respectful relationships
  • Identifying and understanding violence against women and girls
  • Acting to stop violence against women and girls

How to work across the curriculum:

  1. Make a strategic decision to integrate work on violence against women and girls and gender equality into the curriculum, ensuring governor and head teacher support.
  2. Put commitment into relevant school policies, for example the School Improvement Plan or link into the school equality duty (or the former gender equality duty).
  3. Create a working group or support a member of school staff to co-ordinate department leads’ development and implementation of the work.
  4. Organise staff and governor seminars to raise awareness, assess aims and implementation, and develop a clear action plan.
  5. Plan a school INSET session on equality, with a training session for each department on how to integrate violence against women and girls and gender equality issues into the work that they are already doing.
  6. Work with curriculum leads to create a map across the curriculum that shows where gender equality and violence against women and girls are discussed.
  7. Implement the work with ‘whole school’ structures, activities – assemblies, use of World Days (International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, 25 November) – and tutorial programmes.
  8. Ensure that school staff members are aware and informed of procedures for school incidents or disclosures, and that clear and active links are established with relevant external agencies, for pastoral and curriculum inputs and support.
  9. Seek help and guidance from local professions within the local authority or voluntary sector, including within child protection, violence against women and girls (VAWG) and youth services. Link into local partnerships and national ones, where they exist.

10. Work in partnership with other schools, in clusters or federations to develop the work.

Curriculum review map

WOMANKIND Worldwide produced a curriculum review tool to map out possible subject areas that school staff can include and expand upon in their lessons. Column one shows the links to the current English National Curriculum and the Every Child Matters (ECM) agenda. Column two shows the lesson title and main theme of violence against women and girls. Column three shows ideas for lesson content, including discussion themes and ideas.