Thirteen King’s Ely Prep (KEP) pupils… Two members of staff… One mission… To get more young people to speak up about bullying!

‘Theatre in Education’ is a fantastic project, launched by Miss Emily Chadwick, Head of Drama at KEP, and Mrs Olivia Petherick, KEP’s Head of PSHE (Personal, Social, Health and Economic Education).

Their mission was to use drama/theatre to help raise awareness about bullying and the importance of speaking up about it. Thanks to a stellar, thirteen-strong cast of our Years 7 and 8 pupils, who had just eight weeks to learn Miss Chadwick’s and Mrs Petherick’s adaptation of the Kristen Doherty play, entitled ‘BULLY!’, their operation was accomplished – and not just here at King’s either!

Last week, the cast performed ‘BULLY!’ to all KEP pupils in Years 5-8, members of staff, and their families in the Morbey Hall. They also took the production to four local schools – The Weatheralls Primary School in Soham, The Shade Primary School in Soham, Robert Arkenstall Primary School in Haddenham, and Stretham Community Primary School.

In total, the team performed to more than 700 people in five days!

A spokesperson for Stretham Community Primary School said: “We would like to thank you for organising and sharing such a fabulous learning opportunity with us. We would also like to extend our thanks to your marvellous performers. Our children were so impressed by the performances of your Years 7 and 8 pupils, as well as their commitment to the project. We are incredibly grateful to have shared in this experience.”

Miss Chadwick said: “This Theatre in Education project is a joint venture between PSHE and Drama to get young people talking about bullying. Pupils watched several different scenarios, and after each one they had a discussion about what happened before then voting whether they would be an ‘Ally’ or a ‘Bystander’ in that situation. Their decisions changed the course of the play, with them getting to see the impact of their decision, followed by what may have happened if they had chosen a different route.

“All of the performances were so powerful and we were so impressed with how the audiences engaged in such a meaningful way with the discussions around the difficult issue of bullying. We would like to say a huge thank you to the Theatre in Education students who worked SO hard over the last eight weeks to make this happen!”

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