A GUID Cause, The Women's Suffrage Movement in Scotland - Their struggles for change withing society

'A guid cause' ... The women's suffrage movement in Scotland


This area contains information on how the project is structured, learning and teaching approaches, sources and assessment. It also contains an analysis of Curriculum for Excellence outcomes, capacities, skills and aspects covered by the project.

Learning and teaching approaches

This project will work best if the History, English and Drama departments work collaboratively with one class. Pupils have to work in teams, and need to discuss and agree the roles of researcher, scriptwriter, director, presenter / interviewer, actors (if required) and camera / production crew. There will probably be enough pupils in the class to have two documentary teams. Help pupils to organise themselves.

Before you begin the project, it's probably a good idea to let the teams watch a good quality documentary, so they can understand the general approach, tone and style of this genre. The British Film Institute has some short documentaries that are free to download.

There's a useful website called Film Street (aimed at pupils) that gives useful information about how to make films and documentaries.

The Scottish Screen Archive, which is part of the National Library of Scotland, has examples of documentaries that were made in the early 20th century. These might be helpful for giving pupils a feel for the period and for researching costumes and props.

You can also introduce pupils to the idea of producing a storyboard, so they can use this technique when making their documentary. AccessArt is a website that helps pupils to understand the purpose of a storyboard, and how to tackle making one.

We realise that you'll need to work within the timetabling constraints of your own school, but the different aspects of the project will need to be covered by the History, English and Drama departments as follows:

  • The research phase comes first. The researchers will work with the History Department on investigating the National Library of Scotland sources to provide content for  the script. Feel free to provide other primary and secondary sources that  you already use.
  • The English Department will then work with the scriptwriters to turn this content into a script with the appropriate tone, style and approach for the documentary.
  • Finally, the Drama Department will help pupils to bring the script to life and to realise the overall vision / direction of the documentary. Staff can also help pupils to source costumes / props and to manage the technical aspects of recording.


All three projects on this website are structured in the same way. They comprise three main areas - an Introduction page, a pupil area and a teacher area.

The pupil area for project 2 is structured as follows:

  • Your Brief
  • What is a documentary?
  • How to plan your documentary
  • How to structure your documentary
  • Your sources
  • Recap


You and your pupils can access all the sources for the project on the home page of the website. They are clearly organised and labelled so that they're easy to use.

The sources required for the activities are as follows:

Section 1: Why did women want the vote? (1-4)

Section 2: What methods did the suffragettes and suffragists use? (5-17)

Section 3: Arguments for and against the suffrage movement (18-27)

Section 4: Reactions from the authorities, press and public (28-37)

Section 5: The effect of the First World War (38-47)

Section 6: The impact of the right to vote (48-49)

The sources have been chosen to support this project, but they're not exhaustive. Feel free to suggest other books, films, websites and archive material that you think would be useful.


The following experiences, outcomes, capacities, skills and aspects of Curriculum for Excellence (at third and fourth levels) have been covered by this project.

Approaches, Resources and Assessments

Please download the pdf for this document.