Outside the Circle describes the story of Raz, who is made to feel alienated from his friends when they begin to call him names and tease him because he is different from them. He wants to be allowed to join in, but is deliberately excluded. Increasingly isolated and lonely, he begins to feel ashamed of his identity, and of his family. He tries a variety of strategies to make things better for himself, before approaching an appropriate, trusted adult for support. The story gives children an empathetic understanding of how it feels to be called names, teased, isolated, or bullied because of cultural difference.
Each performance consists of a telling to ideally two but up to three classes followed by a discussion of the story, drawing out key themes. The performance will last between 45 minutes and one hour, and will take place in the school hall. Post performance discussion will be tailored to the interests and abilities of the group. The story and the people in it will be discussed, as well as how the story made the children feel, and how the events in the story relate to their experiences. The performance is supported by teacher’s notes with background information on the story and detailed suggestions for follow up activities.
Outside the Circle was developed for Surrey Education Authority in 2001, and was adapted for extensive tours with help from Hampshire, West Sussex and Bedfordshire Education Services.