By taking the audience on this emotional journey, it is hoped to increase empathetic understanding of how it feels to be made fun of and teased and called names. Crucially children are encouraged to understand that all name calling is wrong, and that we all are different and have the right to be respected for what we are.
The story should be open to interpretation as a story about 'difference' and 'bullying'. It need not be understood as a story about racism for younger children. However, children, particularly children in predominantly white schools, will encounter racism, and the project is intended to enable you to open consideration of anti-racism within your school.
The project will provide a starting point for work on anti-racism in schools. This video is a recording of a live performance in which Simon illustrates the pain and desperation experienced by a child who is excluded by his peers and suffers racist name-calling and rejection.
Simon's follow-up notes and activities suggest ways in which the video can be incorporated into the citizen curriculum and help schools to tackle this important and difficult aspect of school and community life.
Simon Firth is a writer, actor, and a storyteller. He is also an artistic director of Gripping Yarns storytellings.
As a writer he has written for BBC Schools Radio, and the Queen's Theatre, Hornchurch Touring Company. He has acted on TV and radio, and in musicals and plays on the West End, on tour, and outside London, and on the London Fringe. Simon has developed and performed storytelling projects for Education Authorities and Police Services and other government agencies across England and Wales, on PSHE themes.
His particular interests and areas of expertise are in the use of drama and storytelling as a tool to assist empathetic and experiential, child-centred learning.