Gender Respect Project 2013-2016

Aiming to help children and young people to understand, question and challenge gender inequality and violence.

Early Years

Here are a series of activity ideas for EYFS tried and tested by Stephen:

Whatever Next by Jill Murphy

This is one of my favourite stories and is a good starter.

A teddy bear flies in a rocket to the moon for a picnic. Upon his return home, covered head to toe in soot, his Mum asks him ‘Where have you been’?

‘I’ve been to the moon Mum’, says the bear.

Mum says, ‘Whatever Next.’

The children have had a story of a male bear flying to the moon. We can adjust the story when role playing afterwards: The next day the teddy bear is so poorly he’s unable to fly to the moon. So Lola, the bear’s sister, wants to fly to the moon instead (we could also have both the teddy bear and Lola flying together).

Then use images of Eileen Collins, first female astronaut, to fly to the moon and Maggie Aderin-Pocock Phd Space Scientist left for prompt to discussion on the snack table.

These activities help girls to see that space travel is not a male only adventure as well as helping girls and boys recognise female space scientists.

Like mummy bear in disbelief when the bear says he has been to the moon will the boys demonstrate disbelief when told women fly into space as well as menWhatever Next?

Pirates for All

It’s the last term before the summer holidays so we’re exploring the seaside.

Pirates were the chosen starting point.

The resources available are unfortunately very male dominated. Thankfully my colleague came across a story that had female pirates in it. She used this as the hook.

We used Wordwall to create a lotto game.

After searching for ‘pirates’ online, I found that the images centred around men and boys. I then refined the search with the words ‘girl pirates.’ This provided me with various images that made the game  inclusive to both girls and boys.

My colleague had another pirate book to hand with both boy and girl pirates in them.

Instead of the small world toys from the shops with just pirate men we used non-specific play people.

My colleague found Jake and the Neverland Pirates. Once again, a lovely example of a story inclusive of both boy and girl pirates.

The two-week theme helped develop strong characters amongst both boys and girls.

Mapping the route



Prior to Christmas we tell the children the story of the nativity. Helping the children understand why Christians celebrate the holiday.

Heavily pregnant Mary carried on a donkey over a long distance, then on arrival giving birth in a stable.

Joseph demonstrates care and support for both mother and child throughout.

The special relationships in the story are good for the children to retell as it helps them see Mary as a strong female figure who cared for her newborn baby and Joseph a male role model who protects mother and child at a difficult time for the family.

We also have the angels that many schools portray as female, yet we know that Angel Gabriel was a boy.

Also, there is an assumption that shepherds were just boys. This is an opportunity to have male angels and female shepherds.

Will the boys feel comfortable as angels and girls as shepherds?



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