Simple tale is the latest tool to combat bullying amongst the very young

Shaun the Shy Shark

A simple tale that revolves around a shark who overcomes his fears is now being used in schools, and at home, right across the UK as a new way of tackling the ever difficult subject of bullying. Bullying has to age limits, and can start when children are very young, so anything that can be done to stop it happening in the first place must be seen as a positive move.

According to a recent government report, 46% of children and young people said that they had been bullied while at school as some point of their lives. The worrying part is that 18% of kids who were worried about bullying said that they would not discuss it with their parents.

Professional storyteller and award winning children’s author Neil Griffiths has created Shaun the Shy Shark Storysack to teach young children to overcome their fears.  Storysacks are award-winning products that help to bring stories to life and encourage role-play. The sacks include soft toys of the main characters, scenery and props relating to items in the story.

As an ex headteacher, Neil really understands how bullying can affect young children. Neil said: “NSPCC research has shown that primary aged children tend to reject bullies rather than the victims, but as children get older this changes. Bullying is serious. Long-term effects can lead to loneliness, poor academic achievement, poor social skills and other serious problems.

“What we need to do is change the behaviour of bullies and we can do this by understanding why bullies do what they do, and show bullies the consequences of their behaviour.  And we can help children to think about what they’re doing and to understand that their behaviour is absolutely unacceptable.”

By using storytelling, young children will be able relate Shaun’s fears and emotions of the other sea creatures that he meets in the murky depths of the seabed, to situations they may face in the classroom or playground. This approach encourages children to share any problems they may have with their teachers or parents.

Aimed primarily at nurseries and primary schools, Storysacks also come with instructions for parents and grandparents to use; they offer hours of literacy based activities and are ideal for use in the classroom and in the home.

Each Shaun the Shy Shark Storysack contains a cloth sack, fiction storybook, non-fiction book, scenery, eight plush toy sea creatures, a fishing game and audio guides. Available at www.storysack.com

 

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