Drama helps confront bullying

A DRAMA workshop headed by an Ipswich actor has helped a school confront the issue of bullying. Freelance actor Michael Clarke joined a group of Year 10 and 11 students, from both Copleston and Parkside Pupil Referral Unit (PRU), as part of a workshop designed to address the problem in a creative way.

A DRAMA workshop headed by an Ipswich actor has helped a school confront the issue of bullying.

Freelance actor Michael Clarke joined a group of Year 10 and 11 students, from both Copleston and Parkside Pupil Referral Unit (PRU), as part of a workshop designed to address the problem in a creative way.

Organised by Connexions Suffolk the workshop at Copleston School included a solo performance by Mr Clarke as a nine-year-old boy, suffering at the hands of bullies.

Mr Clarke, of Nacton Road, said: "Acting allows students to take the journey but not get seasick. We are looking at using drama in order to get young people to adopt characters and give advice to someone being bullied.

"This method allows the students to explore how people would be feeling if there were being bullied and how it affects people around them.

"Acting out scenarios allows people to get inside the mind of the victim and perpetrator."

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Sharon Aalders , a personal advisor with Connexions said: "We work in schools with young people and as it is National Anti-Bullying Week we wanted to do these workshops in a different way.

"Bullying is such an emotive subject we wanted to discuss it in a different way. The workshop has raised a lot of questions about why victims do not tell parents and friends when they are being bullied.

"It is also important to reflect on how such situations are dealt with by adults."

The 12 students acted out characters such as the brother, teacher, friends, parents of the victim at yesterday's workshop at Copleston School.

Student Sarah Jarrett (corr), 16, said the experience had been useful.

She said: "I am acting as the sister of the victim Chris. It has been really interesting to see how people would feel and what it would be like.

"I have never been bullied but I have seen what it can do to people and I think bullying is really sad and unnecessary."

Parkside PRU headteacher Stuart Bailey said: "Parkside works with young people who have not been able to access mainstream education.

"A number have been bullied themselves and been through the process. It is good to get pupils to explore the issue in this workshop. As well as work with students at another school."

n. Do you think these workshops could help? Write to us at Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich IP4 1AN or email eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.

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