Friday, 4 November 2011

Reflections of a new TIE performer

The following post contributed by a first-time performer/facilitator:

This week I went on tour with the Anti-Bullying Roadshow for the very first time. The team drove from the South-West up to the Midlands for the first leg of this compelling 6-week UK tour. The Sunday we left I was really scared, out of my wits, to put it mildly. The long drive didn’t help to put my nerves at ease. I slept restlessly and the next morning my team-leader half-jokingly told me to get used to the lack of sleep - all part of the job of national touring.

Our first show was at a secondary school, we worked with the whole of year 8 (hundreds of them). It’d be fair to say that it wasn’t an ‘easing into it’ performance. The group were loud and the teachers seemed to hold little authority with the students. During the performance I thanked my lucky stars I was stage-managing this particular show and not acting in it. All the same the students were engaged and had lots of fun in the show.

After the performance had finished it was my job to introduce the workshop. Out of nowhere, pseudo-confidence kicked in, and I even managed to get a few laughs. The young people were more engaged in the workshop than I had imagined.

That night my sleep was as restless as the night before, touring and working with unknown groups can be quite scary - this continued throughout the whole week. Tuesday came, and this meant so did the time for my first performance ever: two puppet shows and three workshops for a primary school. Fifteen minutes before we were due to start, I decided to double check the sound queues. They wouldn’t work! The laptop had been updated the night before and had messed up the files. I panicked but luckily found the back up CD. The puppet shows went well, the children loved it, and were engaged. The tricky part came when attempting to do drama sketches with reception aged children, they were shy at first, but they soon got into the swing of it. My team leader then repaired the laptop ready for the next sessions.

On Wednesday we worked in a very welcoming primary school. The friendliest to date. With a successfully engaging puppet show in the morning with the infants and an extended workshop with the juniors in the afternoon. Our smoothest session of the week. My confidence is growing.

Our week climaxed on Thursday where we worked in a children’s home working with two teenage girls. Although this was the smallest group that we worked with, it was the group that tested us the most. We were due to start at half past nine, but the first hour was taken up with the girls arguing, swearing and shouting at each other and trying to indirectly (I think) demostrate who was in charge (them lol!). But after that, they calmed down, and took part in the workshop, with one of the girls constantly laughing and having fun throughout. She was so interested and engaged that she started on her competition entry as soon as the session had finished (see our last blog post about the free Actionwork competition for anti-bullying week.

So those are the adventures of the first week. Stay tuned to find out what happens in the second week of the tour.

Sunday, 30 October 2011


Anti-bullying week is around the corner, and to celebrate this year's theme 'stop and think words can hurt', Actionwork are holding a brand new free exclusive competition to get young people involved. We want you to create a piece of artwork under this year's theme for your chance to win loads of cool prizes. You could make: a film, song, poem, story, collage, painting, drawing, animation. The possibilities are endless. The closing date for this competition is the 9th of December.

Check out this link for the entry form and more info:

Thursday, 20 October 2011

7 reasons to book Actionwork

Actionwork is a theatre, film, education and anti-bullying company. You can book our anti-bullying roadshow or other creative programmes by checking out our website

1) Actionwork listens to you and creates programmes of work tailored to your needs.

2) Actionwork does not preach or condescend to students and young people they work with but tells it as it is.

3) Actionwork is at the cutting edge of creative action in education.

4) Actionwork provides free resources, follow-up guidance and free e-mail support to clients.

5) Actionwork has fun with you, plays games, delivers interactive creative activities and always with a smile.

6) Actionwork works with all people from all parts of the world.

7) Actionwork works in the real world and the virtual world.

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

2012's School Inspection Framework

The 2012's Ofsted inspection framework states inspectors should assess: "pupils’ behaviour towards, and respect for, other young people and adults, including freedom from bullying and harassment that may include cyber-bullying and prejudice-based bullying related to special educational need, sexual orientation, sex, race, religion and belief, gender reassignment or disability."

check out for more information

Friday, 14 October 2011

This year the theme for anti bullying week is 'Stop and think, words can hurt'. Here are today's 5 suggestions from Actionwork to get you started:

1.Tell them- A lot of the time people don't realise what they've said is hurtful, they might think it was a joke or a game. If you explain to them that you didn't like what they said or how they said it, chances are they'll be able to see it from your point of view and maybe they'll stop.

2.Tell somebody else- If you don't feel comfortable confronting the bully or bullies about what they're saying to you, then try telling somebody else that you trust. This could be a friend - even a friend out of school, a peer mentor, a teacher, a parent, a sibling. And if you don't want to talk to anyone face to face, there are helplines you can call :

Samaritans: 08457 90 90 90
Childline: 0800 1111

3. Stand strong
- Body language plays a big part in how other people see you. If you hold yourself with confidence: head up without crossing your arms or legs, people are much less likely to bully you. You don't look like an easy target. The bully wants to pick on someone who doesn't look like they'll stand up for themselves or get help.

4. Don't retaliate- Especially if you're being cyber bullied; online, over text. Don't send messages back. Chances are if you don't send messages back they'll get bored and stop because they can't see your reaction so they're getting nothing out of it. If you start sending messages back, they'll know they've gotten to you and they won't stop. They'll also have your messages, which because you were upset or angry could be used as ammunition against you if they show them to a teacher or parent.

5. Keep the evidence- As hurtful and horrible as the things they might be saying to you are, if you can keep a record of them, do. The messages can be used as evidence and if they're really serious the police can use them too. If they're not messages, but websites and facebook pages, use the 'print screen' button on a computer to take a picture of the website and save it with the correct date on it.

useful links:

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Anti-bullying Roadshow

Our current anti-bullying touring programmes deal with all aspects of bullying including cyberbullying, violence, name-calling, friendships, confidence building, respect, strategies and much more. The anti-bullying roadshow consists of a positive creative programme including a show and creative workshops that not only help raise awareness of bullying, what it means and its effects on people, but p...rovides effective strategies and chances for participants to explore and challange bullying in a positive, creative, fun and educational way.

During these tours, we visit venues for a day (minimum). With the roadshow you get a show and a workshop in the morning (2-hours) for one group and a show and workshop in the afternoon for another group. With the creative workshop tour you get 4 x 1-hour workshops in a day for 4 different groups. In addition, with both programmes, we leave you with some anti-bullying resources to help you follow-up the work after we leave. We also offer a free anti-bullying consultation service to all venues that book (via e-mail).

In addition we can provide anti-bullying INSET training for teachers.