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Let’s raise the curtain on bullying

This week marks Anti Bullying Week. Under the theme ‘Change Starts With Us’, this weeklong event takes place in schools across England to raise awareness of the damage bullying can do, particularly to young children.

In order to thrive and achieve their full potential, children and young people need learning environments which are safe, respectful, nurturing, free from fear, abuse and discrimination.

This is backed up by a survey commissioned by The Anti-Bullying Alliance, which reports that more than one in 10 children say they have missed school due to bullying. Martha Evans, director of the Anti-Bullying Alliance, said: “We clearly have a problem. To turn this around, it’s important to bear in mind that everyone has a part to play in reducing and stemming the impact of bullying.”

The theme of bullying is widely addressed through our musical workshop ‘Cirque Du Respect’, which has been created to promote positive relationships and behaviours among children, young people and the adults around them.

Over the course of the workshop, we address the subject of respect and how important it is to treat others as we would like to be treated ourselves. Children are taught to understand the power of acceptance, but more significantly, that there is room in the world for everyone and it's ok to be different.

This is why we deliberately based ‘Cirque Du Respect’ against the vibrant and magical backdrop of the Circus - because traditionally they enlisted a variety of people from different backgrounds with different skills who all come together to capture the attention of the audience. It’s through this fictional landscape we created something that everyone wants to be part of, then show just how destructive disrespect, segregation and hate can be to even the most joyful of environments.

Bullying is intolerable and we all have a role to play. Which is why we believe the musical workshop themes we choose to share with the children we work with are just as important to us, as the processes we use to develop the positive outcomes that benefit them now and in the future.

Arts Insight is a national charity on a mission to build a brighter future for young people through the arts. At our heart is the conviction that if we are to nurture the learning capability of children, an arts-rich education should be central to the whole school experience.

We are always researching new themes and would love to hear your ideas for future workshops.

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