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By Pie Corbettpoet, author and freelance educational consultant

Use an assembly to promote a bully-free school ethos

Clare Bevan’s poem ‘The Bully’ makes a powerful introduction to a subject that all schools should discuss with its children. Tackling bullying has to be part of an on-going, daily ethos of positive relationships and deepening understanding of how others feel and how to support each other. Dealing with bullying in isolation may prove difficult – it needs to be part of a whole-school commitment to developing children’s social and emotional skills.

You will need:

‘The Bully’ by Clare Bevan from The Works 6 – Every kind of poem you will ever need for assembly chosen by Pie Corbett (Macmillan, PB £6.99) online version available from www.scholastic.co.uk/juniored; uplifting music, such as ‘You raise me up’ – there is a good version sung by Josh Groban on his CD Awake (Warner); song/ hymn such as ‘We shall overcome’ – there is a nice version sung by Bruce Springsteen on his CD We Shall Overcome -The Seeger Sessions (SonyBMG) to sing along to; special words/prayer such as ‘Together’ (see right).

Read aloud

Welcome the children to the assembly and then share the poem aloud. Discuss the ending – how does the bully feel? Why might people bully other people? Ask the children for their views on what bullying is. This will give rise to three main areas – physical bullying, verbal bullying and stopping people joining in. Take views on what is wrong with bullying.

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