Anti bullying programs for high schools

Student Bullying Guide for Schools

Introduction

What is the number one social issue for students across Australia? According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics CensusAtSchool survey reducing bullying in schools. Longitudinal studies have consistently found strong links between school bullying and mental health problems with victims at risk of developing depression, anxiety and suicidal ideation. Similarly, perpetrators of bullying are also at risk of developing depression, anti-social personality and substance use disorders.

Given the prevalence of bullying in Australian schools, it is important to equip schools with student emotional wellbeing resources and emotional wellbeing activities, so students have the strategies to combat bullying, or cease bullying if they are a perpetrator.

Below you'll find information about a range of student bullying topics’ including the importance of student bullying programs in schools, empowering students shrough a strengths-based approach to bullying education, theatre as a bullying resource for schools and the key benefits of using theatre. 

Plus, much more!

Read along or use the navigation to jump ahead.

Topic 1: The Importance of Student Bullying Programs in Schools

Topic 2: Empowering Students Through a Strengths-Based Approach to Bullying Education

Topic 3: Theatre as a Bullying Resource for Schools

Topic 4: The Key Benefits of Using Theatre

Topic 5: What Teachers Have to Say About using Drama to Help with Bullying Education

Please also feel free to reach out to our team with any questions you may have, free call 1800 676 224 or to email click here

 

 

Topic 1: The Importance of Student Bullying Programs in Schools

A recent survey of 1,221 Australian primary school children aged 8-9 years old found that one in  three were experiencing bullying at least once per week. A study by ReachOut Australia  also revealed that 23% of 14 to 25 year-olds had experienced bullying in the last 12 months. Bullying is when people use words or actions to repeatedly, and intentionally harm another person and is often conducted by someone who has more power or influence than the victim. The bullying cycle perpetually disempowers the victim, who feels increasingly helpless.

 Bullying Programs for Schools 1

There are a range of reasons why students might bully their peers, including social, emotional, cognitive and biological factors. They might bully to gain respect and social status, or because they are afraid of being victimised themselves. Or perhaps they have not developed appropriate self-regulation or friendship skills.

It is important that we work to understand the individuals who bully and help them to change their behaviour, rather than labelling them as 'bullies' or 'victims'. And while punitive approaches might reduce bullying in the short-term, they can stigmatise the person and fail to provide students with practical skills or the intrinsic motivation to change. 

Australian schools are looking to more positive, strengths-based approaches to help them prevent and manage bullying. We have seen increasing interest in anti bullying programs that promote a supportive school climate, where respectful behaviour is reinforced by the whole school community and students are taught how to regulate their emotions and behaviour, speak out against bullying, and support those who are vulnerable.

Student bullying programs in schools can be highly effective in:

  • Helping reduce bullying and poor behaviour, whilst improving the health and wellbeing of students
  • Supporting children who have experienced bullying and helping students become more socially aware and empathetic
  • Unlocking the thoughts and feelings students may be experiencing around friendship and bullying
  • Providing clear solutions and skills that students can try in their own lives
  • Validating students’ feelings and the realisation that they are not alone
  • Demonstrating perseverance and resilience, giving hope to students
  • Helping children that are bullying to see their negative behaviour and realise the damage they are doing to their victim or victims
  • Providing essential skills on how to intervene safely to support victims

 

Topic 2: Empowering Students Through a Strengths-Based Approach to Bullying Education

Bullying Programs for Schools 2

The positive education movement

Humans are hard-wired to pay attention to the negative. This ‘negativity bias’ is an ancient survival tool that helps us remain vigilant and respond to threats in our environment. Parents, caregivers and teachers will know this bias all too well, often finding themselves homing in on children’s shortcomings and pointing out the behaviours they need to change. This is a normal human response – we do it because we want children to stay safe and do well in the world!But in the process, we can forget to acknowledge their strengths. Strengths have been defined as “pre-existing qualities that arise naturally, feel authentic and are intrinsically motivating to use”. Strengths may be personal attributes such as creativity, curiosity, honesty or courage. Strengths may also include an individual’s practical or technical abilities, such as athletic, musical, artistic or verbal skills.

Bullying Programs for Schools 3

A strengths-based approach is not about ignoring difficulties or dismissing uncomfortable emotions. Instead it is about supporting students to build resilience and flourish in the face of adversity. To practice gratitude for the things they have, rather than focusing on what they don't. This approach acknowledges that we all have strengths and weaknesses - nobody is perfect - and that we can grow by working to our strengths, building up our skills and learning from our mistakes.

Bullying Programs for Schools 4 

Using strengths to help, not harm

One way to foster a more positive school climate is to work with the strengths of those who are engaging in bullying behaviour.In general, people are more likely to change their behaviour and put strategies in place when they are intrinsically motivated to do so, and if they’re more likely to achieve goals that are consistent with their strengths and values. Regardless of whether they are the target, perpetrator or bystander of bullying, students will feel more motivated to change when their strengths and potential are recognised.This can start with collaborative conversations with teachers, parents, school counsellors and wellbeing staff. Encourage students to identify their strengths: What makes them unique? What qualities do others appreciate in them? What strengths do they draw on to solve problems? Some students, for example, may use their sense of humour to put other people down and gain a sense of belonging. It is therefore helpful to name these strengths and help students channel them into more positive pursuits.

Working with strengths to build resilience

It can be helpful for students to understand that the attributes that make them vulnerable to bullying can also be their greatest assets. For example, children who are sensitive can also be the most empathic and thoughtful. Sensitivity can be used to their advantage in social environments and is a highly valued quality in a friend or peer support leader.Educators and parents can help students identify their strengths and explore how these strengths can be used to build resilience. The conversation might start by identifying the strengths of someone they admire, like their favourite superhero, book character or sportsperson.They can then be encouraged to identify strengths they recognise in themselves. Resources such as Strengths Cards are helpful for facilitating these discussions. Students may also ask parents, teachers and friends what they see as being their biggest strengths - they might be surprised by what others see in them!

Bullying Programs for Schools 6 

Ask students to reflect on a difficult situation they have faced, and the strengths they used to overcome it. Ask how they could use their strengths in the future, and which strengths they would like to work on.They might use their strengths to create "shields" to protect themselves from bullying, or flashcards to remind them of their capabilities. Simple exercises like these can help vulnerable students identify their own unique ‘superpowers’, and use them to build confidence, identity and resilience. 

Drawing on strengths to be a positive bystander

When students witness bullying, they may feel powerless and believe they lack the strength and courage to act.A strengths-based approach can help students identify pathways to be a positive bystander. For example, many students won't feel confident enough to call out bullying in the moment but may feel comfortable supporting the victim of bullying after the event and assisting them to tell an adult. Others may have well developed communication and assertiveness skills and can use these skills to call out bullying when they see it.An appreciation of community strengths can also promote a culture of diversity and inclusion in your school. By celebrating the strengths of the community, whether that is cultural diversity, creativity, participation in charitable activities, sporting achievements or resilience in the face of adversity, schools can foster a greater sense of belonging and pride and build more positive relationships.A strengths-based approach can send a clear message to students: that everyone is valued, everyone belongs, and everyone can play a part in building a respectful school environment.

The importance of empathy

Research suggests that empathy is the key ingredient in forming positive relationships. Empathy helps us connect with others and understand their thoughts and feelings. This helps us know how to respond and engage with others.Our brains are wired to be empathetic. Even primates like rats have empathetic neural pathways.From infancy, we begin to develop affective empathy, which are the feelings we get in response to another person's emotional state.Underpinning the positive education framework is the practice of identifying and developing character strengths. Students are encouraged to identify their strengths, appreciate the strengths of others, and understand how strengths, including empathy, can be cultivated over time and used to obtain positive outcomes in their lives. 

Topic 3: Theatre as a Bullying Resource for Schools

So how can theatre help students dealwith the far-reaching and negative effects of bullying and violence?

The power of story telling

Storytelling, drama, humour, role playing, and music have been used since the beginning of time to educate and engage. The use of theatre in education can help unite children in a shared experience and is a great springboard for opening-up discussion and assisting with social change; be it bullying, dealing with peer pressure or the consequences of risky behaviour including binge drinking and violence. Research and evaluation has revealedthat the "overwhelming majority of students demonstrate enjoyment and enthusiasm through watching educational theatre, are receptive and listen attentively, and can correctly identify the educational messages being portrayed". In this way, theatre gives strong and emotional lessons to kids, whilst entertaining them. Everybody wins.

St Patricks’ Boys College Michael Ilott, Director of Pastoral Care said that theatre offers an “alternative voice for students related to issues surrounding their wellbeing and development. Having to listen is one thing but having to engage in dialogue is where the student’s assumptions are really challenged. The young ages of the actors create an immediate credibility and they are on the boy’s level. It certainly opens their eyes to an important issue for young men.” 

Leanne Walding, Student Support Officer at Lithgow High School, agrees that theatre is a great educational tool to encourage change: “Theatre speaks much louder than the written word."  As Duval High School’s Welfare Co-ordinator, Jennifer Squires explains, the key element that sets theatre apart is its power to reach students on an emotional level: “Theatre often evokes an emotional response from the audience, and this helps students to then express these feelings to their peers and teachers. It puts into words what they are feeling. Domestic violence is often seen as a taboo subject but encouraging kids to talk about it will help them to know what is right and when things are not.” 

Theatre caters to a wide range of different learning styles

Children learn in different ways and educational theatre can have a profound effect on some children when they see a familiar scenario being played out with clear solutions and skills that they can practice in their own lives. Students come to the realisation that they are not alone, and their feelings are validated through the characters on stage. They see the characters demonstrate perseverance and resilience and that gives hope to any child who may be struggling with similar issues. This is incredibly important when trying to tackle bullying, cyber bullying and violence, not only for the victims but, also, for the bullies themselves. For children that are bullying, they can see and feel how their negative behaviour is affecting their victim and learn alternative behavioural patterns which can help them change these anti-social, destructive and unacceptable behaviours. In addition, educational theatre programs about bullying help students understand how they can intervene safely to support others who are being bullied and not be a bystander or an enabler. 

How theatre helps students learn

The International Association of Theatre for Children and Young People explored how theatre can contribute to the lives of young people and found that theatre can:

  • Provide a greater understanding of the human condition
  • Give children the tools to defend or challenge reality, learning to think through their emotions – feeling first and then thinking
  • Present strong issues and situations on stage through abstraction and emotion as well as through content
  • Enable a shared experience and connection with ideas
  • Point to injustice or inequity and deal with emotion and feeling
  • Offer intangible, lasting benefits to audiences

In this way, theatre in schools can have a significant role in helping students as they face many of life’s challenges.

Bullying Programs for Schools 7 

Bullying Programs for Schools 8

Bullying Programs for Schools 9  

How theatre helps teach empathy

Empathy and emotional intelligence are learnt through everyday interaction. It can also be nurtured through reading books to children, music, and, watching live theatre performances. When watching theatre, we watch characters interact, and experience certain emotions.A character worried about starting a new school causes us to worry about him starting school. A character feels rejected by a friend. This causes us to feel what it is like to be rejected by a friend. We are connecting with the character, while at the same time experiencing what he or she is feeling and thinking, as if we were feeling or thinking it ourselves.

Bullying Programs for Schools 10 

Bill English from the San Francisco Playhouse, says that, "Theatre is like a gym for empathy. It's where we go to build up the muscles of compassion, to practice listening and understanding and engaging with people that are not just like ourselves. We practice sitting down, paying attention and learning from other people's actions. We practice caring."Just as athletes train to improve performance, young people can strengthen empathetic muscles by watching theatre, and practice caring about the characters and their stories. 

A safe space to learn positive behaviours

Theatre is an opportunity for children to explore and mirror difficult and challenging emotions. A person can safely watch an actor bully another actor and can learn how both parties experience and respond to this situation. They can learn about the consequences.By developing a connection with the actors, the audience can experience this virtual reality in a safe space. They know the situation isn't real, but this does not undermine the strength of the audience's empathetic response. 

Learning through imitation

Humans learn social interaction and positive communication strategies through imitating others. Infants learn by imitating their parents and siblings. School children learn through imitating friends.Theatre embodies social language and human interaction and provides a rich source of behavioural and language examples, which can be mimicked. Learning happens through osmosis; by watching positive communication skills in action, we embody them for later use.  

Topic 4: The Key Benefits of Using Theatre

Helps empower students

Schools and teachers are becoming increasingly entrusted to help equip students with the social and emotional skills required to make positive contributions to society. Theatre can help with student wellbeing by providing students with real-life and highly relevant experiences such as cyber-bullying, violent behaviour, exam stress, relationships, exclusion, risk taking, drug use and binge drinking. When it comes to such behaviours, students have choices; and empowering students to make the right choices is critical. Because it has greater personal value and helps students develop self-regulation and self-discipline. 

Reinforces the school’s anti-bullying policy

For many school’s theatre programs are a pivotal activity to support their anti-bullying policy. Why? Because the programs are designed to encourage students to connect with one another, with the aim of helping students create a sense of belonging, which is crucial for overcoming student bullying. The stories delivered using theatre are not just about technical issues such as legal ramifications or how students can protect themselves online, but also about the emotional issues and the importance of fostering positive relationships. By helping students to embrace skills such as nurturing, empathy, concern for others, compassion and friendship, students are empowered to provide genuine support for each other.  

Opens communication

The relationship between actors and students is beyond that of simply a ‘presenter’ and a ‘pupil’. Physically and emotionally, there's little separation between them and there is a huge amount of interaction, at a subconscious and conscious level. Theatre is enjoyable; and by bringing such a positive emotion to the experience, real learning and behavioural changes can occur. Students switch from analytical style-thinking to creative problem solving. 

Addresses issues without judgement

Using actors playing school students, the audience is given the opportunity to become more aware of their own behaviour through the characters on stage, whilst not singling out individual students. With different scenarios being played out, students get to experience how things can go wrong and how to get help for themselves or for a friend who might be struggling. Ordinary stories told in an extraordinary way.  

Theatre is a fun and effective way of engaging with students

Unlike reading a textbook definition about difficult and challenging experiences and expecting young people to have the correct response, theatre is an engaging and fun way for young people to practice positive relationship skills.Kate Rufener, Grand Theatre youth coordinator, says, "kids who empathise with the characters they play, or watch, will learn and grow from these imagined struggles. And, unlike all other art forms, there is a unique and vital touch point between live performers and live audience. No television show or movie requires audiences participate in the experience the way that live theatre does."There is a certain magic that only live theatre can create which reaches out and grabs onto all young people; regardless of age, gender, background and religion. Plus, theatre is a great FUN way to learn too!

Bullying Programs for Primary School Students:

The Protectors

The Protectors

The Protectors is an emotional wellbeing resource that has been researched and developed in association with teachers and students. It offers concrete solutions children can practice to protect themselves from hurtful comments and negative behaviours they may encounter in the playground.Clear instructions on cyber safety are delivered in a fun, memorable way. Children will be able to empathise and appreciate the devastating consequences of cyber bullying. 'The Protectors' unlocks the secrets of body language and gives 'Protector Tools' to curb aggressive behaviour.

Key Themes:

  • Assertiveness
  • Bullying
  • Bystanders
  • Compassion
  • Conflict resolution
  • Cyber bullying
  • Cyber safety
  • Digital citizenship
  • Empathy
  • Exclusion
  • Social skills
  • Positive behaviours
  • Positive relationships
  • Problem solving
  • Resilience
  • Respect
  • Rumours
  • Self esteem
  • Stress management
  • Teasing

The Human Race

The Human Race

The Human Race is an anti bullying and resilience program for primary schools that reinforces positive relationships, and provides resources to help reduce the incidence of bullying at school and online. It encourages tolerance, kindness, respect and empathy.Dunc has been bullied. No one wants to be his partner in the race. Dunc’s loyalty, honesty and tenacity are his greatest strengths but, if he is to win the physical, artistic and mental challenges in the Human Race, he will have to overcome his low self-esteem.Deedee has lied about her age and alienated people by posting mean photos and comments on social media. She is horrified when she has to enter the race with Dunc, the most "embarrassing kid in the whole school". Dunc and Deedee need to be respectful and compassionate, play by the rules and do their best to reach their potential as citizens of the world. Can they use their skills in conflict resolution and problem solving to complete the challenges?
 
Key Themes:
  • Assertiveness
  • Bullying
  • Bystanders
  • Compassion
  • Conflict resolution
  • Cooperation
  • Cyber bullying
  • Cyber safety
  • Decision making
  • Digital citizenship
  • Diversity
  • Empathy
  • Inclusion
  • Kindness
  • Peer pressure
  • Problem solving
  • Relationships
  • Resilience
  • Respect
  • Restorative practices
  • Social skills
  • Values
 
Sticks & Stones K/P-6
 
Sticks and Stones
 
When things go wrong in Toby’s life, or he feels frightened or threatened, he gets all churned up inside. His body tells him to fight, his dad and other kids tell him to fight, even TV shows, Youtube and video games tell him to fight. He’s always in trouble, and is unhappy at home and at school.   He learns to stop, breathe, put his hands in his pockets, walk away, count to ten and talk about his feelings. He learns how to stay safe at school and online. When Toby decides to break the habit and take responsibility for his own actions he begins to develop positive relationships. He stands tall, becomes assertive and co-operates with other kids to create a circus routine, with acrobatics, unicycling and juggling.  
 
Key Themes:
  • Aggression
  • Anger management
  • Assertiveness
  • Bullying
  • Conflict resolution
  • Cooperation
  • Cyber safety
  • Empathy
  • Friendship
  • Impulse control
  • Positive behaviours
  • Positive relationships
  • Resilience
  • Respect
  • Safety
  • Self esteem
  • Social skills
  • Stop Think Do
 
Saving Lil and Archie
 
Saving Lil and Archie
 
There is pandemonium on Planet Arkon when two robots, Lil and Zig, are zapped to earth and into the lives of two 12 year olds, Bella and Archie. Bella is being bullied and Archie has no friends.Through their encounters with these unexpected guests, Bella learns to be assertive and to 'report' and 'log off', or walk away, when her connections become negative and nasty. Archie begins to understand his emotions and the emotions of others.Archie realises that lack of sleep and hours of screen time make him angry and unable to make positive connections with real people. In order to restore the balance, Archie learns that he must control his impulses and engage in more positive behaviours so that Lil and Zig can return to Arkon.
 
Key Themes:
  • Aggression
  • Anti-social behaviour
  • Assertiveness
  • Bullying
  • Conflict resolution
  • Cooperation
  • Cyber bullying
  • Cyber safety
  • Digital citizenship
  • Empathy
  • Excessive screen time
  • Impulse control
  • Positive online connections
  • Positive relationships
  • Resilience
  • Respect
  • Responsible use of technology
  • Safety
  • Self esteem
  • Sleep
  • Social skills
  • Stop Think Do
 
The H-Team
 
The H Team
 
This exciting adventure story inspires students to take responsibility for their own behaviour and wellbeing.Cal and Mindi are accidentally transported from the safety of the 'H-Zone' and left without their positive mindsets. Peer pressure and social media make Mindi anxious and competitive. Cal becomes isolated and is obsessed with junk food and aggressive video games. Struggling with low self-esteem, they succumb to bullying and excessive screen time.They must learn to critically evaluate the media, stand up to bullying and make good decisions. The H-Team fosters teamwork, impulse control, and resilience, to create healthy and harmonious school communities. An interactive song reinforces the poistive message.
 
Key Themes:
  • Advertising
  • Assertiveness
  • Bullying
  • Bystanders
  • Concentration
  • Consumerism
  • Cyber bullying
  • Cyber safety
  • Decision making
  • Excessive screen time
  • Healthy lifestyles
  • Media pressure
  • Motivation
  • Peer pressure
  • Positive behaviours
  • Resilience
  • Self esteem
  • Teasing
  • Values
  • Wellbeing 
 
The Magic Words
 
Cyber Safety Ultimate Guide 38
 
Zanna and Rolf learn that bullying, telling lies online, and posting hurtful comments and photos on social media can have damaging consequences. Rolf discovers that the secret to happiness is giving and receiving respect, being proud of your actions and achievements, and co-operating to reach a goal. Powerful insights indeed!Senior students will learn the impact of peer pressure, plagiarism, fraud and telling lies. We also address tact and other positive life skills that will protect them in the future.
 
Key Themes:
  • Bullying
  • Cooperation
  • Cyber bullying
  • Cyber safety
  • Digital citizenship
  • Empathy
  • Ethics
  • Happiness
  • Honesty
  • Manners
  • Relationships
  • Resilience
  • Respect
  • Self esteem
  • Self respect
  • Social skills
  • Values

Being Brave
 
BeingBraveSlider
 
Being Brave gives children strategies to deal with their emotions through good communication, persistence and positive self-talk - making them more resilient. This inspiring show uses song, dance and drama to give children strategies to bounce back after dealing with bullying, loss and change.
Researched and developed in consultation with teachers and school counsellors, this emotional wellbeing resource is carefully crafted to ensure children can relate to the scenarios.
 
Key Themes:
  • Emotional wellbeing
  • Bullying
  • Resilience
  • Positive relationships
  • Empathy
  • Respect
  • Positive self-talk
  • Healthy relationships
  • Loss
  • Sharing stories
  • Persistence
  • Showing feelings
  • Communication
  • Accepting change
  • Student wellbeing
 
Buddies
Buddies 2
 
Lucy is impulsive and breaks the rules to try to fit in. Charlie is being bullied but he's afraid to stand up for himself and show his true feelings. As players in an exciting virtual reality video game, Charlie and Lucy must co-operate to navigate the cyber chamber, overcome the forces of Aggrator, earn the eight ‘Friendship Discs’ and restore the ‘Ancient Ring of Friendship’. Together they realise that a true friend is someone who is kind, tells the truth, listens, makes you feel safe and allows you to be yourself.
 
Key Themes:
  • Cyber safety
  • Cyber bullying
  • Teasing
  • Positive relationships
  • Friendship
  • Assertiveness
  • Social skills
  • Conflict resolution
  • Anger management
  • Resilience
  • Empathy
  • Exclusion

Bullying Programs for High School Students:

Verbal Combat

Verbal Combat 1
 
A cleverly crafted narrative encourages students to examine their own behaviour and create more harmonious school environments. This show explores the complex dynamics that emerge within friendship groups and the harmful impact of bullying. What will happen when students try to find their place in the social world? Some will get caught up in rumours and bullying, while others try to maintain power and control. When schoolyard issues spill over into the online space, some students are left feeling hurt, embarrassed and confused. It will take courage to stand up against bullying. Who will show empathy and compassion? Who will take responsibility for their actions?
 
Key Themes:
  • Bullying
  • Bystanders
  • Consequences
  • Cyber bullying
  • Cyber safety
  • Digital citizenship
  • Digital reputation
  • Empathy
  • Exclusion
  • Gossip
  • Harassment
  • Insults
  • Isolation
  • Manipulation
  • Positive relationships
  • Resilience
  • Responsible use of technology
  • Rumours
  • Safety
  • Social media
  • Threats
 
Sticks & Stones yrs. 7-10
 
Sticks-and-Stones
 
Two energetic young performers explore the different forms of bullying at school, in the street, at home and online. Toby is falling into destructive patterns of aggressive behaviour. When he meets Joe, he starts to understand how these behaviours have emerged, and develops strategies for conflict resolution, anger management, assertiveness, and breaking the cycle of violence.School yard scenarios are used to encourage students to have empathy and understanding: invading people’s personal space, homophobic and racist remarks, violence and intimidation, in person or online, are all illegal and can have serious consequences.This award-winning show shines a spotlight on negative patterns of behaviour that can develop through inappropriate modelling from peers, family members, the internet, TV and video games. It examines the link between hormones, the fight/flight response, aggression and violence.The hard hitting narrative is punctuated with circus skills to demonstrate co-operation and strategies for improving self-control through breath, focus and channelling energy into positive pursuits.
    
Key Themes:
  • Aggression
  • Anger management
  • Assertiveness
  • Breaking cycle of violence
  • Bullying
  • Compassion
  • Communication skills
  • Conflict resolution
  • Consequences
  • Cooperation
  • Cyber bullying
  • Cyber safety
  • Cyber bullying
  • Cyber safety
  • Domestic violence
  • Empathy
  • Exclusion
  • Homophobia
  • Legal consequences
  • Positive behaviours
  • Problem solving
  • Resilience
  • Respectful relationships
  • Safety
  • Self control
 
The Flipside
 
Cyberia 1
 
When bullying and revenge are used to wield power, Jack and Ella realise they must create an ethical roadmap for the internet. When people post words or images, how will they be received? What will be the consequences? The Flipside will change student's perspectives on what's humorous, toxic, private, humiliating, informative, safe or appropriate. The performance provides strategies for positive, ethical communication online.
 
Key Themes:
  • Communication
  • Cyber bullying
  • Cyber safety
  • Digital citizenship
  • Digital footprint
  • Ethical online behaviour
  • Empathy
  • Impulse control
  • Online gaming
  • Responsible use of technology
  • Social media
 
The Hurting Game
 
The Hurting Game
 
Samantha’s group spread rumours and alienate her. She becomes anxious,obsessed with body image and constantly compares herself with others. Desperate to fit in, Jimmy succumbs to peer pressure and becomes the tough guy harassing and bullying other students with homophobic remarks, deliberately failing maths, binge drinking and playing the fool.They slowly begin to realise that their interactions on social media can affect their mental health and emotional wellbeing, and could have lifelong implications.
 
Key Themes:
  • Alienation
  • Anxiety
  • Binge drinking
  • Body image
  • Bullying
  • Consequences
  • Cyber bullying
  • Cyber footprint
  • Cyber safety
  • Digital citizenship
  • Eating disorders
  • Friendship
  • Harassment
  • Homophobia
  • Peer pressure
  • Positive relationships
  • Resilience
  • Rumours
  • Self esteem
  • Social media
  • Social skills 
 
Cyberia
 
Cyberia 1
 
Ruby loses her moral compass online. Anxious and struggling with impulse control, she is in danger of ruining her digital reputation. She is instantly banished to Cyberia.Tim is in self-imposed exile. A lack of sleep and social interaction leads to mistakes, scams and misunderstandings online. He becomes isolated and addicted to gaming.Tim and Ruby must find their way back to retrieve their dignity, privacy and relationships.In consultation with education and mental health experts, our creative team have woven together true stories of students' online experiences. It poses questions about how technology is affecting our brains, our humanity and our future.
 
Key Themes:
  • Exclusion
  • Excessive gaming
  • Consequences
  • Cyber bullying
  • Cyber safety
  • Depression
  • Digital Citizenship
  • Digital reputation
  • Exclusion
  • Gaming addiction
  • Impulse control
  • Internet security
  • Isolation
  • Mental health
  • Online reputation
  • Positive relationships
  • Resilience
  • Responsible use of technology
  • Rumours
  • Self esteem
  • Sexting
  • Social media
  • Stress

Here is a sample of the positive responses received from teachers about how Brainstorm Productions theatre programs assist students with bullying:

“Fantastic performance! Engaging! Great message that was easy for students to follow and understand. Actors were excellent. Great after show discussion in the classroom. Teachers' resource pack was excellent, all of it has been very useful. Students loved it - best show ever!” - Kahibah Public School

“Engaged students with difficult themes of resilience, divorce, loss, bullying, rejection and letting go of things you love. 10/10.” - Good News Lutheran School

“Captivating! Children were engaged, amused and had appropriate emotional reactions to these convincing characters. Great answers in Q&A. Could relate to ‘real' issues and scenarios. Having ‘outside’ people, (two talented young men) assists in reinforcing the message. Song is a fun, powerful tool to remind children to resolve problems peacefully. 10/10.” - West Mackay State School

“Made a distinct change to the children the following day in the yard. Changed their perspective on dealing with anger. Loved the juggling! Actors are great role models! 10/10.” - Riverdale Primary School

“Wonderful show! Great skills to overcome cyberbullying, teasing and exclusion. Promoted resilience, kindness, respect and eSafety. 10/10.” - Gladstone Views Primary School

“Honestly this was the best performance I have seen. Professional, polished and engaging. These are the issues I must deal with every day as a parent and a teacher. Scary how this generation is addicted to screens! 10/10.” - Moggill State School

“Mind blowing! Students 100% engaged - they said it was awesome!! Great way to address impacts of bullying, aggression and anger on and offline. Relevant and age appropriate. Raised awareness of domestic violence and sexual harassment, and the difference between appropriate and inappropriate behaviour. Young male actors were outstanding role models! 10/10.” - Griffith High School

“Captivating! Girls were empowered and boys thoughtful! 10/10.” - Telopea Park K-10 School

“Highly recommended! Congratulations Brainstorm Productions, this is an extremely valuable student wellbeing resource, nothing else like this. Supports our school anti-bullying and cyber bullying programs. 10/10.” - Calrossy Anglican College

“Captivating! Fantastic, relevant content! A reminder that social media can be dangerous and hurtful. Amazing actors! 10/10.” - Bulli High School

“Students were mesmerised. Script was right onto the issues of bullying, manipulation, control, power, loneliness and isolation. Confronting, relevant! 10/10.” - Newcomb Secondary College

“Highly recommended! Engaging, informative, covered issues of cyber bullying, misuse of social networks to harass and manipulate. Great conclusion to our bullying unit. 10/10.” - East Doncaster Secondary College

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Crisis Helplines

Support is available for anyone who may be distressed: Lifeline 13 11 14Kids Helpline 1800 55 1800Suicide Call Back Service 1300 659 467. If you or someone you know requires immediate assistance, please call Emergency Services (000) or Lifeline (13 11 14). Other supports can be found at www.ruok.org.au/findhelp.

Disclaimer: This article is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice. Under no circumstances will Brainstorm Productions or its employees be liable for any loss or damage caused by your reliance on information obtained from this site. It is your responsibility to evaluate any content provided and seek professional advice as appropriate. Never disregard professional advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this site.

 

 

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