Poetry- ‘Tich Miller’ by Wendy Cope.

This is a great poem! Pupils always love this poem as it is relevant to their lives. It is a poem about a young girl named Tich  Miller who gets builled. Tich does not fit in as she has some form of disability.

I have not written a lesson plan in this post as my power point is pretty self explanatory. It has notes and activities.

Click here for my power point:  tich_miller_power_point (4)

Some assessment activities included are:

Write a conversation between Tich and Tubby. This conversation could take place in the changing rooms after games.

In groups – Use speech bubbles -choose lines from the poem which reflect the different voices.
The phrase or line which reflects the dominant voice should be written in the biggest speech bubble, and the other voices in the others depending on their significance.

Look up 5 words in a dictionary.

Prepare an interview with the speaker of the poem, ten years later. Ask her to discuss her school life and what she is doing now.

Write a newspaper article about the death of Tich Miller.

Questions about the poem/fll in the blanks.

Tich Miller

 Tich Miller wore glasses

with elastoplast-pink frames

and had one foot three sizes larger than the other.

When they picked teams for outdoor games

she and I were always the last two

left standing by the wire-mesh fence.

We avoided one another’s eyes,

stooping, perhaps, to re-tie a shoelace,

or affecting interest in the flight

of some fortunate bird, and pretended

not to hear the urgent conference:

‘Have Tubby!’  ‘No, no, have Tich!’

Usually they chose me, the lesser dud,

and she lolloped, unselected,

to the back of the other team.

At eleven we went to different schools.

In time I learned to get my own back,

sneering at hockey-players who couldn’t spell.

Tich died when she was twelve.

by Wendy Cope

My analysis of the poem

This poem deals with the cruelty of schoolchildren and the way in which young people can feel isolated from their peers. The opening lines of the poem introduce Tich immediately to us.  The use of her name, as opposed to simply calling her ‘A girl in my class’ makes us feel connected with the subject of the poem and brings a note of reality to the topic.  We know the girl’s name, and this brings her to life for us, in a way.  She is not just a statistic or an anonymous sufferer of bullying or isolation: she is a real girl.  Tich is described as wearing glasses in a sickly colour of pink: the colour of elastoplast.  There is nothing attractive about this image and we may well wonder at this stage about the poet’s intentions.  Is she setting out to mock Tich?  She is not, although Tich’s peers in the poem do.  Tich’s unfortunate appearance is conveyed again in the third line when we learn that one of her feet was three sizes larger than the other.  There is something almost humorous about this image, but not quite.  The poet’s language is simple and we are faced with a young girl who is almost clownish, but whose situation arouses our sympathy rather than our laughter.  The simplicity of the language throughout the poem conveys the simplicity of the language and thought process of young children, while also forcing us to face the issues being dealt with.  It is very thought provoking. There is no flowery language, no euphemisms to hide the harsh reality.

In the second stanza, the poet relates herself to Tich.  When it came time to choose team members for games, the poet and Tich were always left until last.  The mention of the ‘wire-mesh fence’ makes us think of prison, or a cage.  The pair are trapped in their bodies and trapped in their shared plight.  They cannot escape the embarrassment which befalls them week in, week out.  The use of the word ‘always’ suggests that this humiliation was a very common occurrence. Perhaps it happened weekly in P.E class. Although Tich and the poet were united in their distress, they were not closer because of it. They avoided making eye-contact with one another and pretended to tie a shoelace which did not need to be re-tied rather than talk to one another.  Perhaps they wanted to avoid facing the fact that they were both rejected by their classmates, or perhaps they did not want to be seen to be connected in any way/have any similarities.  The poet says that another avoidance tactic was to pretend to be interested in the flight of a bird overhead.  The bird is described as ‘fortunate’.  It can fly away; it can escape any tormentors.  The girls cannot.  Also, the bird is graceful and elegant, unlike Tich and the poet who are both awkward.  By looking at the bird, they can also fool themselves and others into believing that they can’t hear the ‘urgent conference’ of the other girls deciding which of the pair is the lesser of two evils.  Neither is wanted, but one must be chosen.  We learn for the first time that the poet was a fat child: the others call her ‘Tubby’.  Nobody seems to want either and they argue amongst themselves, within earshot of the rejected girls.

The poet tells us that ‘usually’ she was chosen: not because she was wanted, but because she was not quite as bad as Tich.   The word ‘usually’ again reinforces the idea that this humiliation was very common during the girls’ early school days.   Tich, being the last one left, had no choice but to ‘lollop’ to the back of the other team, even though they had not selected her.  She had to join their team simply because no-one chose her. The onomatopoeic word ‘lolloped’ suggests Tich’s graceless way of moving.  Again, it might be humorous in another context, but it is not here.  We can visualise her slow progress to the back of the group all too clearly and imagine the tortuous slowness of her gait and her awkward run.

For the poet, things changed.  She moved on to a different secondary school and she learned to use her academic ability to get her own revenge on the sporty types who had sneered/builled at her in earlier days.  It is interesting to note that the poet found a different way to bully, but did not learn that mockery is cruel and should be avoided.  Like so many people who are picked on, she found her own way to do that to others.

At this point in the poem, there is a complete stop and a break before the last line, which stands alone.  This adds dramatic effect and makes us really concentrate on what is about to be said.  What follows is a simple one line 6 word statement.  ‘Tich died when she was twelve.’  There is no comment on simple sentence. There is no judgement either but we are saddened by the fact that although the poet found her own way to cope, sadly Tich never did.  Her very short life ended without her ever managing to be respected or liked by the other girls. She never made any friends.  Just as Tich could not avoid her fate, we cannot avoid the tragedy of this sad ending.  There is no attempt to soften the blow or to explain what happened.  The last line is very important. The fact that the last line stands alone symbolises Tich’s standing alone, unwanted and unselected to the end of her brief, lonely life.


  1. School
  2. Youth
  3. Bullying
  4. The misery of being left out and alienated at school.
  5. The cruelty of schoolchildren.
  6. Embarrassment/Humiliated –The girls are embarrassed they are picked last.

Repetition: Repetition is used to good effect in the poem too: the use of the word ”always” suggests that this ritual humiliation was a common occurrence. The poet uses Repetition in the poem. “No, no, have Tich!” The poet uses repetition in the poem to show the reader that Tich was bullied harshly in school. It is used to emphasis this point as alliteration is doing in the above paragraph. This is effective because it creates a sad atmosphere in the poem.

Onomatopoeia:  Tich, being the last one left, had no choice but to ”lollop” to the back of the other team, even though they had not selected her.   The onomatopoeic word ”lolloped” suggests Tich’s graceless way of moving.  Again, it might be humorous in another context, but it is not here.  We can visualise her slow progress to the back of the group all too clearly. It does not require a lot of imagination to picture the expressions on the other girls’ faces as they watched her awkward run.

Tone: The opening lines introduce Tich immediately.  The tone of the poem is conversational and matter-of fact The use of Tich’s name, as opposed to simply calling her ”A girl in my class” makes us feel connected with the subject of the poem and brings a note of reality to the topic.  We know the girl’s name, and this brings her to life for us, in a way.  She is not just a statistic or an anonymous sufferer of bullying or isolation: she is a real girl.

Another tone of the poem is sadness, which is illustrated in the two last stanzas. The tone is sadness because the girl telling the story eventually went on to bully others, getting revenge on those who had bullied her while Tich died when she was twelve. She could have died from different causes but it somewhat implies that she had committed suicide. “At eleven we went to different schools. In time I learned to get my own back, sneering at hockey-players who couldn’t spell.” “Tich died when she was twelve.” The fact the poet wrote the poem shows that she cared about Tich. They are united in their distress but they are not close.

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Kylie Jenner – #IAmMore anti-bullying campaign

The Kardashians/Jenners. Love them or hate them they are major influencers of teenagers today. In fact, both Kendal and Kylie Jenner were both included in Times list of 30 Most Influential Teens of 2015. You might not like Kylie Jenner but she is using her social media platform to highlight anti-bullying. As a celebrity, Kylie faces bullying everyday as people comment about her life or her looks or her relationship. Kylie is keen to use her very public persona in an effort to shed light in a topic that is very important for her and plenty of other young people around the world.

In June of this year the Kylie admitted in a Snapchat video that she has experienced bullying of her own. She told her fans, ‘I thought of the idea because, almost my whole life, since I was 9, since I have been in the spotlight, that comes with so much bullying and attacking,” she reflected. ‘Everything I do, there’s a huge light on it. I’m okay with that because it is what it is, it comes with the lifestyle. But it has still affected me a lot. But I wanted to take a different approach and pretty much let other people that I found who have been through bullying and overcome it, to use my platform and just kind of bring awareness to it’.

‘A few months ago, I decided that bullying is my thing, and I am passionate about it, and I want to help other young boys and girls going through the same thing. I felt I could be a leader. I am a teenager going through the same things as they are, so we can go through it together. ‘

The legacy Jenner wants to leave behind is simple. ‘That I have helped people and that it was not just about me,’ she replied of her hopes of having a lasting impact. ‘That I was an inspiration for young girls. And it was not just getting your lips done and having good hair, but being a good person and inspiring other people to not bully other people and do good things and be nice to everybody.’

On September 1st 2015 she set up an anti-bullying campaign called ‘I am More Than’ on her instagram and Twitter.

Kylie has 41 million followers on Instagram. Nearly all of these followers are young girls/teenagers. 

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She also recently wore blue lipstick in support of Anti-Bullying Day. She posted a photo on her instagram and urged her followers to ‘spread love’.

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The ‘I Am More’ campaign portrays all varieties of people who have been a victim of bullying. In her ‘#IAmMoreThan’ Kylie announced she plans to share six stories over six days of ‘people who have become heroes in their own way by taking #bullying and turning it into something positive. She is actually still sharing stories and it is now the end of October as the campaign was a massive success. She now shares a story every Tuesday! With thousands of posts on Instagram using the hashtag already, it looks like the #IAmMoreThan movement isn’t going away for a while and I am really happy about that. I think it is an excellent campaign! Kylie meets up with and interviews each person and then she shares it on her instagram as part of her campaign. She is sharing stories of selected victims of bullying who are now able to speak out and help others n their situation. As she wrote in a caption of a photo introducing the campaign, ‘I’ve gotten to talk and bond with all of these people whose stories you will see on my page. I think you will all fall in love with them just like I did. I want to encourage you, my fans, to share something positive about yourselves. I’ll be reading as much as I can so that some of you can be apart of this as well! Let’s do this.’

It would be really worthwhile to show your students’ this campaign either as part of non-exam Religious Education, SPHE, or as part of Anti-bullying/Friendship week or Health week.

It is a really positive campaign that portrays how lucky everyone is to have something unique about them. By telling the stories of women who have been bullied and fought back, Kylie is inspiring others who have been bullied to refuse to let it ruin their lives.Sadly, bullies are everywhere and bullying on social media is even easier and more cowardly to do than in person. Cyber-bullying is a massive problem in schools all over the world.That’s why it’s wonderful that Kylie is using social media to give support each week to an individual who refuses to bow down to bullying.

One of the stories she shared with everyone was about plus size model Erica Schenk. Erica responded via Instagram and re-shared the photo, taken by photographer Enrique Vega. She thanked Kylie in the caption. ‘Thanks Kylie for the shout out and for supporting so many women that struggle with body image.’  Erica recently featured on the front of Woman’s Running. In a ground breaking attempt to break fitness stereotypes, the magazine chose plus-size model Erica Schenk to be on the cover in the upcoming August issue. Diverging away the commonly used skinny and muscular models, Editor-In-Chief Jessica Sebor wants to stress ‘runners come in all shapes and sizes.’ Erica is really inspiring for teenagers today. Tell your pupils to be proud of their body!


Kylie shared the story of a college student called Renee DuShane who was born with a genetic disorder which affects how the bones in her face fuse together. She is a twenty one year old college student who was born with Pfieffer syndrome. Renee recently got a tattoo of her life motto which is ‘stay strong, always love’.


Kylie also introduced her followers to Em Ford who runs My Pale Skin Blog on instagram.  Em Ford is English and she is a former model who suffers with acne. I am a big fan of Em as she is inspirational for teenagers and also adults today. Her posts of her make-up fre selfies resulted in over 100,000 crazy negative comments on her pictures. She made an incredibly powerful video highlighting the negative comments she received on her social media after her make-up free selfies. The comments were horrendous! The video racked up 8 million views in the first week and it has now been viewed nearly 17 million times. She is just trying to be brave and honest and convey to other acne sufferers ‘that it’s okay not to be perfect’. Acne is the pain of so many young people’s life.  Em fought her bullies back by making and posting a dramatic and moving video showing her naked face, then covering it with make-up and finally removing it again while bullies ridiculed her with harsh comments on-screen. Em’s very inspiring message is that ‘beauty is all about how you feel INSIDE. The moment you let other people’s poison enter your mind is the moment you start to fall. Calling us ugly because of a skin condition does not make you any more beautiful. I could fix my skin and you’ll find something else to hate me for and that says more about you than I care to think about.’

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Another excellent case study to use with students is the life story of Lizzie Velasquez.

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Lizzie Velasquez discusses appearing on Kylie Jenner’s instagram as part of the #IAmMore campaign. It starts at 3:10 minutes in the video clip.

Lizzie who is 26 was born with an extremely rare congenital condition in which she has zero body fat and she has never weighed more than 64 lbs. She is unable to gain weight, has to eat many small meals and snacks to survive, is blind in one eye and has a weak immune system. The condition is so rare, only two other people in the world have it. She was first bullied at school for looking different and then online as a teenager. When Velasquez was 17, she came across a YouTube video labelling her “the world’s ugliest woman” that had been watched over four million times. One of the comments said: ‘Do the world a favour and put a gun to your head.’ Others called her a ‘monster’, told her parents to ‘kill it with fire’ and said they should have aborted her. But instead of causing Velasquez to hide away from public life, the video inspired her to start an anti-bullying campaign that led to the 2013 TED talk bringing her to international attention. Footage of her inspiring speech now has almost 7.2 million views on YouTube and its success inspired the creation of the documentary. ‘I know what it is to be bullied and what is to be bullied online, and I want to be the protector of those who think it won’t get better,” said Velasquez. ‘Instead of just taking shelter of my tears, I chose to be happy and realise this syndrome is not a problem but a blessing that allows me to improve myself and inspire other people.’ She set up a Kickstarter campaign entitled ‘The Lizzie Project’ to raise $180,000 towards a documentary on her life. The campaign has now raised $215,000 from 3,564 backers and ‘A Brave Heart’ is ready to hit the screen. ‘Lizzie has such an inner strength and sense of humour that anyone can relate to her,” said Sara Bordo, a first-time director working with Velasquez on the film project. “We all have difficulties in life, but nothing compared to what she has been through. Her positive attitude elevates the spirit of any person in the world.’

Velasquez has also written three self-help books and is currently lobbying for America’s first federal anti-bullying bill.

Fortunately, her condition is not terminal and despite her challenges, she attended Texas State University and she has written two books for teens including the story of her journey titled Be Beautiful, Be You. Nevertheless, she has been mocked and called ‘the world’s ugliest woman’ by nasty cyber-bullies. However, Lizzie has refused to be deterred by small-minded detractors, and has taken that negative energy and has turned it around by travelling around the world doing motivational speeches.  Lizzie gave her followers this great advice: ‘I try to convey that all you need to have is a brave heart to accomplish whatever you want to achieve. Let the negative build you up instead of knocking you down.’  She released her own film this year about her struggle. The film is called ‘A Brave Heart’. 

Her instagram name is LITTLELIZZIEV and her Twitter username is littlelizziev

Lizzie’s own personal website is http://imwithlizzie.com/

Here are some video clips about Lizzie Velasque.

Lizzie Velasque at Ted Talks.

She must eat every 15 minutes. Listen to her inspiring story.

Lizzie Velasquez Shares Inspiring Story & Anti-Bullying Advice.

Woman called ‘World’s Ugliest Woman’ becomes inspiration to all.

A Brave Heart: The Lizzie Velasquez Story Official Trailer (2015).

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Rap is poetry.

Poetry is a type of literature, or artistic writing, that attempts to stir a reader’s imagination or emotions.

Poetry appears in many forms and styles.  This makes it difficult to define exactly.

One thing that makes poems different from other types of writing is their structure. The words of a poem are arranged in lines and groups of lines, called stanzas.

When a rap artist writes a song,  the sentence he writes are called ‘bars’ in the music industry.

Famous rappers are Jay Z, Kanye West, Drake, Nikki Minaj, Big Sean, Iggy Azalea, Eminem and Macklemore.

rap is poetry

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At the start of this lesson, you should brainstorm rap using a spiderweb diagram on the whiteboard or else by using a brainstorm handout. 


What do you think of when you hear the word rap? Do you ever think of… poetry? The two really are not that different. As a poet you need to be able to incorporate rhythm and flow into your pieces to make it sound appealing. Rap does the same thing. Poets often try to give their poetry visual elements by using figurative language (for example metaphors). The challenge with rap is making the piece appeal to the ear while conveying your message quickly, and keeping rhythm. Get started writing your very own rap, and who knows — you may be the next Eminem or Drake or Nicki Minaj!

  1. Brainstorm. Choose your topic and let your imagination run wild. To get started, many artists freestyle for a bit and write down every thought, idea, and emotion that comes to mind. Use this as your inspiration.
  2. Create a hook. The basic layout for a rap is intro, verse, chorus, verse, chorus, verse, bridge, chorus, outro. Many rappers start writing the hook (chorus) first. The hook captures the theme of the rap, and conveys its message to the audience. Rappers and lyricists in general start with this because the chorus is what people remember and take from a rap. It sets the rhythm and flow, and inspires what is said throughout the rap.
  3. Write lyrics. Use the brainstorming you did along with your chorus as a guide for what you are writing about and to build onto your ideas. Keep in mind that you have to maintain a rhythm since rap is music as well as poetry, and both follow a beat. Some lyricists listen to a beat as they write to help keep their rhythm.
  4. Be personal. Don’t lie in your raps about who you are, but to get your point across, you might want to use use hyperbole (exaggerating to the extreme). Typically, lines rhyme in a rap, but the words don’t have to match exactly–it all depends on how you say them . Always keep your message and audience in mind.
  5. Organize. Once you have an idea of what you want to say, organize your ideas. Break them up into verses while you keep in mind the layout for most basic raps:
  6. Memorize. Being able to recite your words from memory allows you to keep the flow and rhythm of it. So practice, practice, practice! Read and reread your piece until you’re sick of it. Play around with the tempo to see what sounds better with your style. Don’t be discouraged if you trip up on your words.
  7. Rap and share. With the rhythm down and the words engraved into your memory, you’re ready to rap. Record yourself rapping in front of a crowd or even alone in your room and share it on the site along with the lyrics! Let your voice be heard, and get going on your next masterpiece.     

Here are some video clips about how rap is poetry. 

Jay Z- Rap is poetry.


An English teacher who rap battles with students.

Rap Poetry Class At Charter Oak Cultural Center.

Rapper Kendrick Lamar Visits Mr. Mooney’s Class.

Teacher’s Inspiring Classroom Rap Goes Viral.

A talk by Ted Talks- Hip-Hop & Shakespeare? Akala at TEDxAldeburgh.

Poems about rap. You can read the best rap poems. Browse through all rap poems.


What part will you play in standing up to bullying?

This is a video clip from Britain’s got Talent (2014). Two young boys called Bars and Melody perform a rap about bullying. One of the young boys wrote the rap using his personal experience. All the judges were every impressed and they even won Simon Cowell’s golden buzzer.  Bars & Melody combine cuteness and originality, charming the judges and the audience with their skills. The pupils love this video clip as it is a topic they can relate too and also the boys are around the same age as your students. 

If you are using this video clip, at the start of the lesson you should define the term bullying.

Define bullying

At the start of this lesson, you should define the term bullying to the students.

Spunout defines bullying as the on-going abuse of another person through physical or mental torture. To make matters worse this torture is often conducted in the presence of others. The humiliation felt by the victim is hard to understand if you have never been bullied. If it happens over a long period of time it can have devastating effects on a young person’s mental health.

Explain bullying to the students. 

You should then explain bullying to the students. Either give the students facts about bullying using a handout or power point or else split the students into groups and get the groups to look up facts about bullying. This group work activity would improve the students digital literacy and enhance their communication skills as they have to work together to complete the task. I recently wrote a blog post about bullying.

Classroom activity- Group work- Write your own rap about bullying. 

Tell the students that they are now going to write their own rap song about poetry.

Split the students into groups.

Give each group coloured paper and a pen.

Tell the students that they have 8 minutes to complete this task.

Use a countdown timer to time the students. This motivates the students and also lets them know how much time they have left. You can use this one here – http://www.online-stopwatch.com/countdown-timer/

Each group will then perform their group’s rap in-front of the class.

We will have a class discussion about each group’s work.

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During National Anti-Bullying Week 2014 the Diana Award’s Anti-Bullying Ambassadors programme brought together over 800 young people and staff from across the north and south of England to celebrate National Anti-Bullying Week with Bars and Melody. The events were held at the Blackpool Winter Gardens & the Emirates Stadium. Bars and Melody lead a music workshop for their Anti-Bullying Ambassadors by teaching them how express themselves through music.

Ireland Showcase 2015 – Bars and Melody’s Speech.


What is bullying? What to do about bullying?


Bullying is a huge problem in schools all over the world. It is something that happens everyday. It is not just not an issue that should be dealt with on Anti-bullying week but all year through. As teachers we must be educated about bullying. How else can we help if we don’t understand?  You can use the content in this blog post to simply educate yourself, to use in your Religion, SPHE class or for anti-bullying/friendship/health week in your school. 

What is Bullying?

First of all, we need to define bullying.

Spunout defines bullying as the on-going abuse of another person through physical or mental torture. To make matters worse this torture is often conducted in the presence of others. The humiliation felt by the victim is hard to understand if you have never been bullied. If it happens over a long period of time it can have devastating effects on a young person’s mental health. In Ireland 1 in 4 people suffer from mental health issues.

“Bullying is defined as unwanted negative behaviour, verbal, psychological or physical conducted by an individual or group against another person (or persons) and which is repeated over time.” Department of Education & Skills ‘Anti-Bullying Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary Schools’ (Dublin: 2013)

“Bullying is a behavioural problem which affects the lives of thousands of school children and their families. The humiliation, fear, frustration and social isolation and loss of self esteem which children experience when bullied results in absenteeism from school, poor or deteriorating schoolwork, personality change, illness, depression and unfortunately sometimes suicide. Bullying knows no boundaries of age, sex or socio-economic background. It can take many forms; it can be short term or continue over long periods, even years.”

Anti-Bullying Centre, ‘Bullying at School; Key Facts” (Dublin: 2001)

“Cruel, abusive behaviour which is persistent and pervasive and causes suffering to individuals which is severe and sustained”

K. Rigby, ‘Bullying in Schools and What to do About It’ (London: Kingsley, 1997)

“Isolated incidents of aggressive behaviour, while they indicate a problem that needs to be sorted out, do not constitute bullying. However, where there is an imbalance and abuse of power and the behaviour is systematic and ongoing, it is bullying”

Sticks and Stones Handbook, (Dublin: 1995)

“Bullying can cause physical, mental, psychological, emotional and mental harm to a person or group. It is premeditated, pervasive, persistent, and cruel treatment which is meant to hurt or harm, and is enjoyed by the bullying perpetrator.”
David Fitzgerald, ‘Bullying in our Schools; Understanding and Tackling the Problem’ (Dublin: 1999)

The different types of bullying

  • Verbal Bullying:Teasing, jeering, name calling, slagging, mimicking.
    This can leave students feeling angry, frightened and powerless. If students are unable to share their feelings with someone else, verbal bullying can leave them emotionally bruised and physically exhausted. Their powers of concentration can suffer, adversely affecting their capacity for learning. Verbal attacks can be of highly personal and sexual nature. They can be directed at the child’s family, culture, race or religion. For example: Malicious rumours.
  • Physical Bullying: Something that is physically done to an individual, or their belongings.
    Fighting, hitting, pinching, spitting, tripping, pushing. It’s often written off as ‘horseplay,’ ‘pretend’ or ‘just a game’ when challenged. Both boys and girls indulge in physical bullying, boys sometimes more so because it’s socially acceptable for them to be more physically aggressive, and their games and sports can allow for greater physical contact. There’s a misconception that physical bullying has to hurt, it doesn’t. It can be the “accidental” bumping into someone in the corridor, crowding them at the locker, invading their personal space. It is something that someone physically does to another.
  • Gesture Bullying:Threatening signs, dirty looks.
    There are many different forms of non-verbal threatening gestures that can portray frightening messages, for example gesturing a gun to a head or gesturing slitting a throat, or giving someone a dirty look. It’s very important to recognise the power of gesture bullying, sometimes adults can be dismissive of a child who reports that another child “is looking at me” but it’s a very easy way to maintain a constant level of threat against another child, and it’s so subtle it can be happening right under a teacher’s nose. Look out teachers! If a student comes to you wit this complaint, take it seriously. 
  • Exclusion Bullying:Leaving someone out, ignoring them on purpose. 
    This is mean and hurtful because it isolates the student from his/her peer group and it is very hard for the student to combat as it directly attacks their self-confidence, self esteem and self-image. It is very hard to prevent this. However, one successful way is by getting the students to empathise with each other.
  • Extortion Bullying:Getting someone to do something they don’t want to do. Threatening, Forcing, Blackmailing.
    Younger students for example first years are particularly vulnerable to extortion bullying. Demands for lunch money, possessions or equipment or food may be made alongside threats.
  • Cyber-Bullying:in an ever-more technologically advanced world, a new strain of bullying has emerged amongst students. Cyber-bullying utilises web pages, on-line gaming (on the PS4/XBOX),Snapchat, Facebook and text messaging to abuse, intimidate and attack others. Facebook and Snapchat are the most common ways of cyber-bullying.
  • Prejudiced based Bullying
  • Prejudice, or identity, based bullying targets young people because of who they are or who they are perceived to be. This can be on the grounds of age, disability, gender,  race, membership of the travelling community, religion or sexual orientation. Young people can also be bullied for being perceived to belong to one or more of these groups, or for being associated with a member of one or more of these groups. It includes Racist and Homophobic Bullying.


  • Unexplained bruising, cuts or damaged clothing.
  • Visible signs of stress/anxiety. Many students will often refuse to say what is wrong with them.
  • Unexplained changes in mood or behaviour e.g. becoming withdrawn; clinging; attention-seeking; aggressive behaviour toward brothers, sisters and parents.
  • Out-of-character behaviour in class e.g. disruptive, attention seeking due to a dare or  threat.
  • Deterioration in educational attainments; loss of concentration, interest and enthusiasm in school.
  • Bad attendance due to reluctance to go to school.
  • Lingering behind in school alter classes are over (parents may notice a child’s requests to be accompanied to and from school)
  • Increased requests for pocket money, or stealing money.
  • Loss of or damage to personal possessions or equipment
  • Artwork expressing inner turmoil
  • Insomnia
  • Nightmares
  • Alcohol/drug abuse
  • Attempted suicide

There are lots of myths about bullying, such as

  • “It’s a fact of life…everyone is bullied at some stage.” FALSE
  • “It toughens you up and prepares you for real life.” FALSE
  • “We all have to learn to stand up for ourselves…bullying helps us to do this.” FALSE
  • “There’s nothing you can do about bullying.” FALSE 


The truth about bullying

  • Not everyone is bullied but it’s estimated that around 30% of young people experience bullying at some stage.
  • Rather than toughening you up for life it can make you miserable and and it can kill any self-esteem you had.
  • Bullying can leave you feeling guilty for not standing up for yourself but it persists because it is almost impossible for the victim to stand up to the bully.

Who is likely to be involved?

  • Any pupil, through no fault of their own, may be bullied. Sometimes all it takes is for the student to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Therefore, it is not uncommon to find that there are many student victimised through bullying, who are popular and socially well adjusted.  However, bullies will try to justify their actions by emphasising that the victim is different in some way, i.e. in terms of accent, clothes, physical appearance, size, social class, religion or by having learning difficulties. If there is no real difference pupils who bully may invent a reason for their behaviour.
  • Students who Bully are encouraged by the vulnerable and distressed reactions of their would-be victims. This gives them a “sense of power” and of “being in control” and makes them feel ‘cool’. Shy students are more likely to be targeted.
  • It is now recognised that many of the negative and unsympathetic characteristics that are often ascribed to victims may be the result of long-term bullying rather than a cause of Bullying. There are, of course, some students who unwittingly invite attacks by behaving in ways that cause tension and irritation in their immediate vicinity.  Such students, often referred to as “provocative victims”, may have inadequate social skills or learning difficulties.
  • Sadly however, research shows that no matter what the true origin of the bullying episode is,students who are bullied tend to see the cause of bullying in themselves and feel or imagine that there is something “wrong” with them.


As all bullying is aggression, a distinctive characteristic of students who bully is their aggressive attitude not only towards their peers but also towards adults, i.e. parents and teachers.

While constitutional factors play a part in aggressive behaviour, it is recognised that factors within the house, school and wider society influence the development of aggressive behaviour.


  • Lack of love, care and attention.
  • Too much freedom.
  • Inconsistent discipline. They feel like their parents do not care about them.
  •  Aggressive behaviour.
  • Physical abuse/punishment.


  • Inconsistent discipline/rules
  • Poor staff morale.
  • Inadequate supervision.
  • Curriculum that affords too few feelings of success and achievement. The school needs to have a positive and happy environment.

What to do if you’re being bullied

When you’re dealing with bullying it can feel like there’s nothing you can do about it.  You can convince yourself that trying to stop it might make things worse.

If it’s happening in school, telling a teacher maybe the last thing you want to do. Will your parents freak out and make a big fuss about it?

Everyone has the right to live, work, study and play in an environment free from bullying, harassment, discrimination and violence.

No one deserves or asks to be bullied and you certainly shouldn’t go through it on your own. Don’t forget that. There are things you can do about it.

Asking someone for advice

Telling someone else is really important. If you feel threatened or you think you might be in danger. Don’t keep it to yourself.

You’re not giving in and there’s nothing weak about reporting it or asking for advice. Anyone would need help with bullying.

If you’re dealing with bullying – be it verbal, physical, online or on your phone – it can really help by telling someone and asking for advice.

This can take a bit of courage, but you’ll be amazed by how much better you feel just by getting it off your chest.

Asking for support is actually a pretty brave move. Not sure what to say or how it could help? 0831266bb2aa10f3b7a491a1070b0a0f

Who to ask

There are loads of people who might be able to help. Talk to your friends, or to older brothers or sisters if you have them. They might’ve been through this stuff and will understand.

If it’s happening in school, think of a teacher you trust. Teachers and counsellors are specially trained in these situations. It’s their job to help.

Also, it’s good for the school to know it’s happening. There might be other people going through it and they need to figure out how to prevent it.

So think about it as helping other people.

Talking to family

It’s understandable you might be worried your parent or guardian will completely explode if you say anything and run down to the school screaming their head off.

We can’t say it won’t happen, but remember they want to help, and they actually might.

They’re also probably more clued in than you imagine, so explain to them if you don’t want them to do that and they might well get it.

They could have suggestions you had never even thought of. Even if you don’t want them to do anything, it lightens the load, and that in itself is pretty good.

If it’s getting you down

If dealing with bullying is getting you down and affecting your day-to-day life, there are loads of people who can help, listen and support you.

Tips for getting help

  • If you’re worried about speaking to someone, take a friend with you. If you don’t feel like you can talk about it out-loud or face-to-face, write it down or put it in an email.
  • Talk to whoever you tell about what they’re planning to do. They might have a responsibility to act if they’re a teacher or counsellor and they’re worried about your safety, so make sure you check with them. They should run all of this by you first. Be clear about what you want and don’t want to happen.
  • If you don’t feel as if you’re being taken seriously, or if no action is taken, it doesn’t mean what’s happening is OK. You were right to bring it up. Tell someone else and keep at it until something changes.

Dealing with bullying can be really tough. It affects your self esteem and your confidence, and it can end up affecting your work and your relationships too.

It’s really important to do something about it. If you feel you need a hand dealing with the impact of it, speak to someone like a therapist/counsellor to help you work on these feelings.

Working it out yourself

Always ask for help when you are being bullied but you can also decide to help yourself also.

Here’s some ideas that might help with this:

  • Be confident and assertive

People who hassle other people usually set their sights on someone who seems nervous or unsure of themselves because they think they won’t stand up to them.

The old “turn the other cheek” doesn’t really work. Walking away and trying to ignore can still be the reaction that the person bullying wants to happen.

Being confident about who you are can actually be your best defence. Stand firm and look them in the eye.

Let it be known that you don’t think is OK. Even if you don’t feel it, as the not-so-old saying goes, “fake it ’til you make it”.

Suggestions for using your confidence to deal with bullying:

  • Tell them to give it a rest/leave you alone. Don’t be aggressive, just be calm and sure of yourself.
  • Be assertive and confident. Look them in the eye and keep your body language firm.
  • Be nice – killing them with kindness can throw them right off track.

Selena Gomez recently released a new single called ‘Kill em with kindness’. She wrote this song as a response to her bullies. She was badly bullied during the summer for her weight.

  • Use humour – it can throw them off.
  • Use positive self talk tell yourself you’re a better person than all that. Don stoop to their level. You are a better person than they are.
  • Have a mantra – a saying or a statement that you repeat to them, like “whatever” or “well, if that’s what you think”. This can make you feel confident enough to just block them out (could be a line from a song or a film, whatever works).

    Remember it does not matter what they think about you, it what you think about yourself, that matters!

    Also remember there are people who accept you for you who are. They are the ones that matter.

Use visualisation

This might sound daft and it won’t work for everyone, but it can keep you from getting overwhelmed. Picture yourself as being miles taller than whoever’s bullying you, or imagine them in some ridiculous costume. This can help you realise they’re only human, and probably not as tough as they make out.

Stay positive

It can be hard to remember your good points when someone is doing their best to put you down. However, try to think of all the things you’re good at and proud of and stuff that makes you laugh.

You are amazing, never forget that!

Some of the world’s brightest, funniest and most talented people get a hard time when they’re young. Remember this will pass, and loads of people get through it and go on to do amazing stuff with their lives.

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Safety in numbers

You’re safer in a group, so hang out with other people when you can. If you’re by yourself and worried about being hassled or feel threatened, be aware of places nearby where there’ll be other people.

Moving on

Sometimes no matter how you or other people try to resolve a bullying situation, there might be no real solution other than to move school or change your job. This can seems like a massive deal, but sometimes making a fresh start is actually the simplest way forward.

This isn’t always a possibility and it’s not the first option. When it’s the right thing to do it can actually be the best decision you ever make. You’re not giving up up, just moving on.

Parents can sometimes be resistant to the idea of moving school, but talk to them about it and explain how you feel. That way you can figure out what your options are.

Some great organisations that deal with bullying are:

Sticks and Stones Anti-bullying Programme™ is Ireland’s leading award winning anti-bullying programme for schools, primary and post-primary. They believe that every child should be able to fulfil his or her potential free from the damage that bullying causes. They offer a Whole School Approach to addressing bullying in Irish schools, primary and secondary.

Here is their website – http://www.sticksandstones.ie/

Their programme elements can be taken individually or preferably together.

Sticks and Stones Anti-bullying Programme™ offers a three strand approach for the whole school community


Look at Reach out to inform yourself about bullying. Click on the inform yourself tab and then click on bullying. http://ie.reachout.com/inform-yourself/bullying-and-personal-safety/what-to-do-if-youre-being-bullied/?gclid=CPrLiNuH48gCFWGr2wod6y4M-g

reach out

ISPCC-Always here for children- The Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (ISPCC) is Ireland’s oldest and most well-known children’s charity.  The ISPCC has a long, proud history of service delivery and advocacy on behalf of children.


Screen-Shot-2014-02-25-at-16.18.52-646x900  Niall Horan from One Direction

ELLIE+FOR+WEB Elle Goulding (singer)

Barnados facts about bullying



Stop the Bully Ireland is an anti-bullying service which empowers people at all ages with the tools to effectively deal with bullying. Bullying in Ireland has become a serious concern . If you are a parent in turmoil about a bullying situation, a teenager who is having difficulty with others or a school who wants a program to educate, empower and really help their students then we can help you. Stop the Bully is the brainchild of one of Ireland’s leading anti-bullying figures Pat Forde. Pat has worked with bullying targets, families and schools all over Ireland empowering them with the skills and knowledge to effectively deal with bullying situations and also improve confidence, assertiveness and self-esteem.Pat Forde is a leading figure in the on-going anti-bullying debate in Ireland and has featured on RTE’s award winning television series Bullyproof and is a regular contributor to media debates on the subject. http://stopthebully.ie/

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Anti-bullying Ireland website



On Tuesday 27th April 2015 AntiBullyingPro invited young people from across Ireland to Facebook’s European Headquarters to celebrate Anti-Bullying work in their schools and communities. This is their stories.

Anti-Bullying Ambassador Marcus Butler visits Newbridge College, Newbridge, County Kildare (April 27th 2015)

Do the people of Dublin think Bullying is a problem?

Dance group Diversity & Anti-Bullying Ambassadors stand up to bullying!

#ListenUpYouBullies Listen Up You Bullies, we’re the Anti-Bullying Team!

Anti-bullying dance

Anti-Bullying Ambassador and Pop Artist Tich’s tune provides the backdrop for this amazing anti-bullying performance by student Anti-Bullying Ambassadors at Springwell Community College.

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taylor swift

Here is a song by One Direction. This song portrays how when you have some people that love you, no-one else can DRAG YOU DOWN!

Here is a song by Katy Perry called ‘Firework’. Fireworks is a very beautiful song that has a very powerful meaning. This song talks about revealing your true self to the world instead of keeping it a secret. It tells us not to be afraid of what we have and who we really are but to be proud of it. SHOW IT OFF! You are worth more than you think. You are an original. You cannot be replaced! Be proud of who you are and ‘own the night like the 4th of July’.  You are your own person and every person is amazing in their own individual way. 

Selena Gomez – ‘Who says’. Be proud of who you are. Do not listen to anyone that says anything negative about you. As Selena sings,  ‘I would’nt want to be anyone else. I am no beauty queen, I am just beautiful me’.

Here is a positive song about loving yourself by Hailee Steinfield. Be proud of who you are and never let anyone change that. 

Another song by Katy Perry called ‘Roar’.

‘ROAR’ celebrates the idea of being against the ropes in life until you make contact and come out the victor! Lyrically, the singer extends a boxing metaphor throughout and borrows from an ’80s rock song.

“I got the eye of the tiger, a fighter, dancing through the fire / ‘Cause I am a champion and you’re gonna hear me ROAR / Louder, louder than a lion / ‘Cause I am a champion and you’re gonna hear me ROAR.”

‘Eye of the Tiger’ is a song by Survivor, which was huge in the ’80s and used in ‘Rocky III.’ It focuses on triumphing over anything and anyone in life that hurts you. The lion is the king/queen of the jungle, and Perry is using that metaphor to the fullest. But it’s so easy to relate to, and that’s why fans have responded so passionately.

Taylor Swift – ‘Shake it off’. This song does not need an introduction. One of the most famous songs of this year. SHAKE OFF any criticism and move on. Do not let it affect you!