Healthy relationship and domestic violence awareness project for primary school pupils in Nottingham

How it started

Nottinghamshire Domestic Violence Forum (NDVF) is a lead organisation in Nottingham and Nottinghamshire which works in partnership to reduce the individual & collective impact & costs of Domestic Abuse & Sexual Violence. NDVF has been working in schools since 2001 and has worked with 1000's of primary and secondary school children delivering healthy relationships and domestic violence workshops. In 2010 NDVF redeveloped the primary school work into a branded, cost effective project that meets PSHE (Personal, Social & Health Education) and SRE (Sex and Relationship Education) called The GREAT Project.

The intervention

The GREAT Project (GoodRelationships areEqualAndTrusting) is a healthy relationship and domestic violence awareness project for pupils in year five and six. The aim of the GREAT Project is to enable young people to have the knowledge, language and confidence to talk about and aspire to healthy relationships. Delivered over four x two hour sessions, The GREAT project focuses upon; Healthy Relationships, Defining Domestic Violence, Reasons and Excuses, and Respecting Each Other. The resources feature The GREAT Gang who take the children on a journey to enhance their understanding.

Staff support

The staff handbook, provided to staff as part of the project, highlights how The GREAT Project meets PSHE and SEAL (Social & Emotional Aspects of Learning) requirements, it also shows the learning outcome and aim of each individual activity delivered. The staff handbook enables teachers, head teachers and PSHE coordinators to feel confident in the content of the project.  Therefore schools are positive about welcoming the GREAT Project, knowing that a specialist topic will be delivered in a safe and sensitive way.

Project impact

The GREAT Project is evaluated by pupils at the end of each project and the responses demonstrate that following The GREAT Project 98.2% know what domestic violence is, 94.2% know where to go for help and support and 93.4% were able to list two clear examples of qualities of a healthy relationship. In total, 571 pupils have already received the project in its present format, with another 160 pupils to receive the project by end of April 2012.In addition, this year Nottinghamshire County Council has commissioned 30 GREAT Projects to be delivered over the next eighteen months. 

Plans for the future

The GREAT Project has been a huge success within Nottingham city, largely thanks to the consistent financial support from Nottingham Crime and Drugs Partnerships (CDP). In developing The GREAT Project, NDVF have been mindful of the funding restrictions placed upon local authorities and the need to ensure The GREAT Project is one that schools would be willing to contribute towards. During the financial year 2011-12 NDVF utilised the CDP funding to offer to deliver The GREAT Project in primary schools at a subsidised cost. During this financial year, 23 schools have been offered the opportunity to purchase The GREAT Project for their school, all projects were booked in quickly and 10 additional projects have been 'sold' for next financial year. The income generated from the primary schools contribution enabled the money from the funders to be distributed wider and more schools offered the project.

NDVF are currently in the development stages of integrating the theme and basic content of The GREAT Project into children's centres.

Key Features

  • All activities and resources have been designed to support children to gain, retain and recall information. The project acknowledges and aims to support the wide range of learning styles children have. 
  • The brand recognition of GREAT also continues into KS3 and KS4 by being incorporated into the work NDVF deliver in secondary schools. This involvement at multiple stages of a young person's education will enable the content of the brand to be instantly recognisable and therefore supporting the message of positive, healthy, happy relationships.
  • In October this year NDVF delivered a conference with the national domestic violence organisation 'Respect'. The GREAT Project received an amazing response from the delegates in attendance and numerous requests were made about how The GREAT Project could be delivered within localities outside of Nottinghamshire. NDVF are investigating a licensing model in order to roll The GREAT Project out on a national level.
  • By focusing on healthy relationships The GREAT Project also educates pupils on healthy choices in terms of sexual relationships. Emphasis is placed on respect being part of a healthy relationship, respecting themselves and respecting each other. This includes encouraging listening to their partner and making decisions together in a relationship with no one person having the right to decide what the other person should and shouldn't do.


The GREAT project was a finalist in 2012 for the Pamela Sheridan Innovation in SRE Award.

For further information contact:

Alison Thomas
Project Manager
Nottinghamshire Domestic Violence Forum