Chafford School’s ‘Circus of Life’ play for National Anti-Bullying Week is roaring success for Rainham

“We’re better without bullying.” That was the message of National Anti-Bullying Week this year – and it was one that Rainham schoolchildren hoped to get across as they performed an original play.

Twenty-five pupils at the Chafford School, Lambs Lane South, juggled lessons and lines as they spent four days learning and rehearsing “Circus of Life” by Rainham playwright Sue Ospreay.

And their three performances on Friday, November 23 were hailed as a roaring success.

“I’m absolutely over the moon with the outcome,” said home school support worker Jane Knight. “The students in the play were so committed and their efforts were astounding – we were really chuffed.”

National Anti-Bullying Week runs annually, with a different message each year, and sees events and workshops across the country.

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“The school wanted to put something on for the whole school to be a part of,” explained Jane. “Every department did something for anti-bullying – so all 994 pupils were touched with the message of the week.”

The play, which had only previously been performed at a 2007 festival, is about the life of a girl who must overcome bullying at school.

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“Life is a circus and all the acts in the circus are roles we take on in life,” said Jane. “So the girl’s mum is a juggler, juggling lots of different things, the girl is a tightrope walker, and the bullies are animals that have to be tamed.”

The final performance saw the Mayor and Deputy Mayor of Havering in the audience, as well as Dagenham and Rainham MP Jon Cruddas and local councillors.

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