Acting Up! has been providing anti bullying workshops in schools for over a year, and seeing what the children gain from them; it is clear this is a tool which should be available to everybody as sadly it happens in all walks of life.
Although the approach is usually more hands on when working with children in this field, providing discussions on the topic, in an engaging and dynamic way, using drama skills, can also maintain an audience’s interest. The tone and style would vary in accordance with age group and demographic, and of course the content would also change slightly.
For pre school to key stage one children, the approach is very simple. To understand what bullying means, and how it is okay to have a joke, as long as each party is happy. Gentle discussion about the importance of kindness, and how different behaviours make us, and others feel is key. Utilising stories such as Cinderella and Snow White, as examples for very young children works well because they can relate to this. Other props, such as toy animals for them to cuddle, and show kindness to, or various hats or wigs so they can understand how it feels to be different has proved very popular in the past. It also makes a challenging topic a little more fun for those in early years.
With older children, group discussions about the different types of bullying that can occur, ways to deal with it, and looking at different kinds of intimidation through body language, is most effective. Children can also take some time out to role play different ideas. With young people, various statements which they have the opportunity to "agree" or "disagree" with, can lead to a highly thought provoking discussion.
Acting Up! is also a member of a high profile anti-bullying charity and has worked with some of the young ambassadors for the organisation who are extremely inspiring individuals. People such as these could be key examples for young people in schools.
The importance is including the children, letting them have their say, and finding out where they stand and what changes could be made in their opinion. Facilitating practical anti-bullying activities make the children really think, and it’s something they will remember.
"My two boys regularly attend Acting Up! Before they began, both of them lacked confidence and were reluctant to speak in public but since they have been going to the drama classes their confidence has grown immensely. They will involve themselves in activities they previously wouldn't have dreamed off and I have noticed the positive changes in them in every day life. Above all they had a lot of fun with their friends during the sessions. I am really grateful to Emily for her help. She is amazing at what she does and I am sure many other children will benefit as mine have."
"Acting Up is our son's favourite activity all week, by far. He is super enthusiastic about going, and comes away bubbling! Emily is a very talented teacher who clearly knows her stuff!"– Liz Sydenham, Mum of two - Acting Up Saturday Class (4-7 years)
"Great classes, workshops and speeches for all involved with Emily Hastings talent leading the way. Have seen her perform in many productions and undertake a number of engaging public speeches. Her acting skills and engagement with the public are first class. Enjoy all and make the most of this exciting adventure!"
– David Monk, Marketing Manager
Please enquire for pricing information.