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Cool to be kind

To promote kindness and discourage acts of bullying.

by Helen Redfern

Suitable for Key Stage 2


To promote kindness and discourage acts of bullying.

Preparation and materials

  • Children could mime the story of Billy.


  1. Introduction

    Sometimes we think it’s funny to make nasty comments.
    Sometimes we think it’s cool to be unkind.
    It’s so easy to call someone names.
    It feels so good to say something mean.
    It even feels so powerful to make someone cry.
    I guess that’s how Billy felt in our story.
  2. Billy the Bully

    Billy was a bully. A big, mean bully.

    He was tall for his age and he always stood with his arms folded in front of him just so.

    He always had a nasty look on his face.

    Nobody dared to sit in Billy’s place on the carpet.

    Nobody dared to tell the teacher when Billy pushed in, in the dinner queue.

    Nobody dared to tell the play leader when Billy called them names and made them want to cry.

    Billy was always surrounded by a group of children who wanted to be like him. But sometimes, when Billy saw other children playing and laughing with their friends in the playground, he wished that he was like them.

    The only time he played with his friends was when they were playing a trick on someone else.

    The only time he laughed with his friends was when they were laughing at someone else.

    One day, when Billy sauntered into the classroom, someone was sitting on his chair. A new girl. A small, vulnerable girl who didn’t know Billy and didn’t know what he was like.

    Billy walked over and pulled his chair out. The girl fell with a bump to the floor.

    ‘You’re very small, just like a little doll,’ mocked Billy. ‘You look like a doll too with those silly bunches in your hair. But you don’t see many dollies with glasses. Maybe I should take them off you and get rid of them. What do you think?’

    The girl looked up at him with tears in her eyes, clutching her glasses tightly, but said nothing.

    By playtime, Billy had found out the girl’s name.

    ‘India, India, what kind of name is that?’ He laughed. ‘That’s a country, not a name. That’s like being called Greece or Turkey or China.’ He barged past her, knocking her to the ground.

    India looked at the mud on her new skirt and the hole in her new tights with tears in her eyes, but said nothing.

    At lunchtime, Billy pushed in front of India in the dinner queue. ‘Oi, China, all on your own, are you?’ taunted Billy. ‘You don’t know anyone here, do you? You don’t have any friends at this school. And I’m going to make sure it stays that way.’

    India picked up her tray with tears in her eyes, but said nothing.

    After school, Billy’s mum took him to the shop to get something nice for tea. Billy stopped to look at the comics by the door. When he looked up and tried to find his mum, she’d disappeared. He ran out of the shop, wondering if she had gone outside.

    Billy immediately found himself surrounded by a group of lads from the big school up the road.

    'You’re Billy, right? I’ve heard all about you,’ shouted one of the boys. ‘My little sister says you’re a horrible mean bully.’

    The group started pushing Billy around, shoving him from one side of the circle to the other.

    ‘You don’t look so big and scary and mean now, do you, Billy?’ said another.

    Billy began to get frightened. He didn’t know what to do.

    Then one boy pushed an ice cream into the back of his coat and smeared it all the way down his back.

    Tears filled Billy’s eyes.

    ‘Stop that! Stop it right now! Stop picking on him this instant!’

    Billy heard the voice but didn’t recognize it. It wasn’t his mum. It wasn’t one of his teachers.

    The group parted and Billy couldn’t believe his eyes. It was India, the girl he’d been teasing in school all day!

    The boys were walking away, laughing to themselves. ‘Can you believe it, a girl sticking up for him? What is this world coming to?’

    Billy and India stood facing each other in silence.

    Billy was the first to speak. ‘What did you do that for?’ he asked shakily. ‘I’ve been horrible to you all day.’

    ‘Because I know what it feels like to be picked on,’ replied India quietly. ‘I know what it feels like to be called names. I know what it feels like to be pushed around. I couldn’t let that happen to you.’ And with that, she walked away.

    From that day on, Billy changed. He tried to be kind. He tried to be a good friend. Seeing India in class every day reminded him of the reason why.

    No one except India knew why.

    And she would never tell.

Time for reflection

Unfortunately, Billy is not the only bully.

Let’s take a moment to think quietly about what we’ve learned today.

Have you ever called someone names

. . . made up a story to get someone else into trouble

. . . taken something out of someone else’s tray

. . . spoilt someone else’s work on purpose

. . . threatened to hurt someone if they didn’t do what you wanted?

All these examples are acts of bullying.


Do you ever hit, pinch, bite, push or shove

. . . turn your friends against another friend

. . . spread lies about someone to make them look bad

. . . say unkind things on Club Penguin or Facebook?


All these examples are acts of bullying.

Let us make our classroom a place where it is cool to be kind.
Let us make our playground a place where it is cool to be kind.
Let us make our whole school a place where it is cool to be kind.


‘Kum ba yah’ (Come and Praise, 68)

Publication date: January 2012   (Vol.14 No.1)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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