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Bullying

by Annabel Humphries

Suitable for Key Stage 2

Aims

For children to understand that if they are aware of bullying, they must tell an adult.

Preparation and materials

  • You will need a narrator and three children to perform the play. Several more can also be involved as part of a ‘gang’.

  • You will also need to set up a table and chairs to one side of the assembly space and four other children to sit on a panel and hold up cards with the following options set out on them:
    – Ignore Cathy’s threats and do nothing.
    – Tell Cathy that you will not do her homework.
    – Tell an adult about it.
    – Do what Cathy says.  

Assembly

  1. Ask the children to suggest types of bullying that may occur. These may include name-calling, physical or emotional hurt, demands for money and so on. These may be noted, but the emphasis must be on these actions being repeatedly carried out.

  2. Invite the three children performing the play to come up and the other children forming the panel to sit at a table to one side, but where they can be seen. If you are having a ‘gang’, invite them up at this point, too.

    The bully

    Scene 1

    Narrator At St Stephen’s Primary School, Oliver Jenkinson was being picked on by Cathy Cokes. She constantly made fun of him. Cathy had a gang and she made her gang laugh at Oliver. Oliver was so worried about this that his schoolwork was beginning to suffer.

    Oliver was a lot smaller than Cathy and he wore glasses. Cathy was big and bold and was not scared of anything.

    Cathy Hi Speccy! You OK?
    Oliver (Nervously.) Erm  . . .  erm  . . . 
    Cathy What’s up? Cat got your tongue?
    Oliver (Pleading.) Leave me alone, Cathy.
    Cathy Listen, Oliver, I’ve not done any homework for the past three weeks, so it’s yourjob to do it, OK?
    Oliver Looking terrified and scanning round the room for help.
    Cathy If you don’t  . . .  then my gang will be on to you. If you tell, then you’re a snitch and your punishment will be worse. Got it?

    At this point, the panel of children, now holding up the cards with the four options, are consulted. The children in the audience can decide and then vote on what they think Oliver should do.

    Scene 2

    Narrator After giving the situation some thought, Oliver has decided to tell someone about Cathy’s threats. He is very worried, but knows that Cathy should not be treating him this way.
    Oliver Miss Hill, can I speak with you for a few minutes please?
    Miss Hill Of course, Oliver. What can I do to help?
    Oliver Is it right that someone can make you do their homework for them?
    Miss Hill Of course not, Oliver. If someone asked you to do that, you really should tell somebody. Do you want to tell me about something, Oliver?
    Oliver (Relieved.) I do, Miss Hill. Cathy has been asking me to do her homework and I know I’ll get into trouble if I don’t do it.Please don’t tell her. I’ll get into terrible trouble if she finds out I told you.
    Miss Hill I’m so glad you did tell me about this. Now I know, I can do something about it and help you. Do you feel better now you’ve told me?
    Oliver I do!

    Ask the children, ‘Did Oliver do the right thing?’ Tell them that the options are ‘yes’ or ‘no’ and then ask them to vote. 

    Scene 3

    Narrator Miss Hill was on playground duty the next day when she saw Cathy approach Oliver. Cathy looked cross.
    Cathy Where’s my homework, Worm? I want it now!
    Narrator Miss Hill saw Cathy raise her fist to Oliver, so she stepped in quickly.
    Miss Hill (Calmly.) Cathy, can I have a quiet word, please?

    As a footnote to this story, tell the children that the teacher talked at length with Cathy and her parents. It was discovered that Cathy actually had difficulty with her schoolwork and was jealous of Oliver, which presented itself as bullying.

  3. Ask the children whom they could tell if they were being bullied. Most of the adults who have regular contact with the school should be mentioned. The emphasis needs to be on the children finding a person they feel comfortable with and someone they can trust.

  4. Remind the children that if they feel anxious about bullying at all, they should tell.

Time for reflection

Ask the children to think about the play that they’ve just seen and some of the feelings that it stirred up within them. 

Prayer
Dear Lord,
Help us to accept each other’s differences. 
Teach us to be tolerant of others and learn to build on friendships. 
Amen.

Song/music

‘Make me a channel of your peace’ (Come and Praise, 147)

Publication date: February 2014   (Vol.16 No.2)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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