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Shape the Future 2014!

30 Apr 2014

Competition for UK schools

Shape the Future 2014!

The competition entry deadline is now passed. 

Read about the winning entries and watch their films

Give your Year 6 to Year 11 students the chance to have their say on important global issues... 

...enter them into the Shape the Future 2014 competition.

Last year we had over a hundred entries to our first Shape the Future competition, which asked students what their ideal set of development goals for tackling poverty would look like. This year, Shape the Future will be focused on how we can create a safer and more equitable world for girls and women… A unique opportunity for UK pupils to think about how girls everywhere can be given a voice, choice and control over their lives.

And this year’s Shape the Future competition will give students the chance to get involved. We want to know what your students think are the most important opportunities, rights and life chances girls and women need so they can live happy and healthy lives. The competition is open to all UK schools and will ask young people (aged 11-16, from Years 6-11) to outline and present on what they see as priorities that need to be considered by people and governments to improve the lives of girls worldwide.

The themes of this short group project fit into subjects across the curriculum, including Geography, History, English and PSHE. From this webpage, teachers will be able to access a range of resources to guide pupils through the competition.


Download Shape the Future - competition leaflet (PDF - 2 MB)

Download Shape the Future - competition leaflet (Welsh) (PDF - 2 MB) Welsh flag image

Download Shape the Future - resource pack (PDF - 3 MB)

Download Shape the Future - entry form (Word)

Download Shape the Future - terms & conditions (PDF)

Download Shape the Future - resource pack (Welsh) (PDF - 3 MB) Welsh flag image

Download Shape the Future - entry form (Welsh) (Word) Welsh flag image


Why 'Shape the Future' has been created

The Department for International Development (DFID) ran the first Shape the Future Competition in 2013 to support the work being done by the UK government towards the creation of new development goals to replace the existing Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Since their creation in September 2000, the MDGs have encouraged the many countries committed to them to work towards meeting the needs of the world’s poorest people. The target date for the MDGs is 2015, so beyond that, a new set of goals will be needed. The Prime Minister, David Cameron, is Co-Chair of the United Nations High Level Panel that has been tasked with making recommendations on these new development goals. The Shape the Future competition was created to give young people in the UK a voice on how the world can tackle the root causes of poverty and to contribute to and learn about the global debates that are happening at this critical time.

Why your school should enter 'Shape the Future 2014'

Shape the Future 2014 gives students in all UK schools a voice to share their own views on what they think are the most important opportunities, rights and life chances girls and women need so they can live happy and healthy lives. 

The competition will enable students to develop their understanding of the issues involved and to express their vision for the future of the world, at the same time as developing their presentation and analytical skills. The competition invites schools to discuss, formulate and submit their own proposals for transforming the future of millions of girls and women in the form of a presentation. 

Finalists will be invited to present their ideas at a special event this summer and the winners will be selected by an expert panel.

  • Across the world, simply being born a girl means you do not always get the same chances in life as you would as a boy. This varies by country and community.
  • Girls are less likely to go to school, less likely to get a job, less likely to have a bank account and own their own property.
  • Girls and women in some communities have less power to decide whether to marry, to whom and when to have children.

Students will need to think about:

  • the different opportunities, challenges and barriers that girls face across the world and in the UK
  • how they would be affected if they faced similar challenges, like not being able go to school, and not being able to choose when you got married
  • the big changes that have happened in girls’ lives in the last 10, 50 or 100 years
  • where we still need to make progress.

This competition represents a unique opportunity to engage young people in girls' and women’s issues and make their voices heard. So get involved, get a group together and help them give us their best proposals. Give your students a chance to shape the future.

Competition rules:

  • Groups of up to five 11-16 year old students will put together and submit a presentation, eg a PowerPoint, video or audio blog. Deadline: Monday 23 June 2014. A resource pack is available to support teachers in working with their students to explore the issues involved and, where appropriate, to structure an in-school competition to select the best entry to submit. Information will be provided on the ways in which teachers could choose to integrate the competition into the curriculum.

  • Three schools will be selected from all of the entries to present their proposals at YouthforChange. The winning team will be selected at this event.

  • The winning presentations of the three finalist schools will be uploaded to the Global Dimension website, where other schools can view them.

Next steps:

  • Consider which colleagues have the necessary commitment and experience to lead on the competition within your school and pass the details on to them.
  • Download the resource pack in either English or Welsh and the entry form (again in either English or Welsh)
  • Have a look at the wide range of resources already available on this website.

Other 2013 competition content to consider:

More useful 2013 resources

Shape the Future Resource Pack 2013 (Word)

Welsh flag imageWelsh language version: 
Pecyn adnoddau addysgu Llunio’r Dyfodol 2013

Getting Critical - lesson plan 2013 (PDF)

Getting Critical - lesson plan 2013 (Word)

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