This assembly tackles the effects of verbal bullying.
by John Marley
Suitable for Key Stage 3
To show how a child's confidence can be destroyed by cruel remarks and how it can be restored by kindness.
Preparation and materials
You will need to choose a strong character to play the victim; he or she must be prepared to wail loudly on stage.
You should write or print the individual letters C O N F I D E N C E on a sheet of A4 card each (making 10 cards altogether), laminated, if possible.
Write the word CONFIDENCE on a large piece of paper (A1 or flip-chart size is ideal).
- You will need time to rehearse.
Pupil 1 comes on to the empty stage, carrying the large piece of paper with the word 'confidence' written on it. The pupil is smiling and waving to friends. The pupil shows the confidence banner proudly to the audience.
Pupil 1: 'Hello, my name is _______ and this is my confidence.'
Pupil 2 comes onto the stage
Pupil 2: 'Who did your hair? The council?'
Pupil 2 tears off a strip off the confidence banner, screws it up and throws it away. Pupil 1 looks shocked.
Pupil 3 comes onto the stage
Pupil 3: 'Sorry, you can't come to my party; my mum said I could only invite 20 people.'
Pupil 3 tears another strip off the confidence banner, screws it up and throws it away. Pupil 1 kneels down.
Pupil 4 comes onto the stage
Pupil 4: 'I can’t walk home with you tonight, I promised _______ I'd go with him/her.'
Pupil 4 tears another strip off the confidence banner, screws it up and throws it away. Pupil 1 sits down.
Pupil 5 comes on to the stage
Pupil 5: 'Look at the state of your clothes; doesn't your mum have an iron?'
Pupil 5 takes the remainder of the banner, screws it up and throws it away. Pupil 1 curls up and starts to cry.
Pupil 1 cries louder and louder until a real wail is produced. Allow this to continue to create an effect of desolation.
A pupil carrying letter D comes on to the stage
Letter D: 'What's the matter? Come on, things can't be that bad!'
Letter D stands behind the crying Pupil 1.
Letter E comes on to the stage
Letter E: 'Hi, will you walk home with me tonight?'
Letter E stands next to Letter D. Pupil 1 stops crying.
Letters I and C1 come on to the stage
Letters I and C1: 'We're having a sleepover/night out, can you come?'
Letters I and C1 line up with E and D. Pupil 1 sits up and looks around.
Letters F, N and O come on to the stage
Letters F, N and O: 'Can you help us with our maths homework? Come on, you’re good at maths.'
Letters F, N and O line up behind the pupil. Pupil 1 stands up.
Letters C2, N and E come on to the stage
Letters C2, N and E: 'We’re glad you're our friend.'
Pupil 1 is now happy again, shaking hands with and hugging the letters.
The letters line up in their entry order:
D E I C F N O C N E
Pupil 1 asks the audience: ‘Can you help me make sense of this? Can you help me rearrange the letters to spell a word?’
Pupils come up one at a time, they are only allowed to move one letter at each visit.
Each time Pupil 1 asks: 'Is that right?' The audience should answer 'No', until the letters have all been moved into the correct order.
Once the letters are rearranged to spell out confidence, Pupil 1 concludes:
'Thank you for your help, I couldn't have done it without you. I'm so glad to have my confidence back. Remember, when you talk to your friends, make sure you are giving them confidence. With confidence, you can do anything.'
Time for reflection
You might like to ask several of your volunteers to conclude by reading different parts of this poem.
Confidence will see you through
By Stuart Kerner
Some people might think me quite dense,
I’m afraid some things make me quite tense.
My subject, though, makes perfect sense.
I’m telling you ’bout CONFIDENCE.
When your friends have all but gone,
when you feel everything’s wrong.
When you think you’re all undone,
CONFIDENCE should be your song.
There’s always someone worse off than you,
the grass is not that green on cue,
you may often think life’s a pile of poo!
But CONFIDENCE will see you through.
Sometimes we feel hard done by.
Sometimes our friends leave us and treat us badly.
Sometimes the world seems too much to bear.
Give us confidence to cope with all our troubles and
above all give us confidence in you.
'Cross over the road' (Come and Praise, 70).