Being an active bystander

Bystanders play an important role in reducing bullying at school. By learning about the actions they can take if they witness bullying, students will feel more confident about standing up and doing something.

Year Level



5 minutes


  • In class activity
  • Online learning

SEL Competencies

  • Social awareness
  • Relationship skills

Learning Intention

Students learn strategies for standing up to bullying and discriminatory behaviour.

Key Outcomes

By the end of the lesson, students will be able to:

  • identify actions they can take to stand up to bullying or discriminatory behaviour.
Activity 01

Instructions 5 min

1. Explain to students that it can be hard to know what to do if they see behaviour they think could be bullying or discrimination.

2. Ask students to divide their page into three columns:

  • Title the first column ‘Body language’.
  • Title the second column ‘Indirect actions’.
  • Title the third column ‘Communication’.

3. Students then write what they can do for each type of behaviour if they witness bullying or discrimination. For example:

  • Body language (e.g. stand closer)
  • Indirect actions (e.g. befriend the person, call a teacher over)
  • Communication (e.g. saying that it's not okay).

Debrief: Explain to students that there are many things they can do if they witness bullying of any type. Any action is better then doing nothing at all. It doesn’t have to be direct intervention. Instead, they could report the incident or make others aware of it.