Wellington school turns to movies to combat bullying

A Wellington classroom has been transformed into a film studio - instead of doing maths and English, students are writing scripts and acting.

It's part of a programme called Unmake A Bully from the United States, which aims to help young people put a stop to bullying.

Nine and 10-year-olds at Crofton Downs Primary School are using their own experiences to create two-minute anti-bullying videos.

Nine-year-old assistant director Zoe Ferguson told Newshub her class' video was about a boy being bullied by his friends because he wanted to play a different game.

"Charlie the actor thinks he needs to play with all the other people because someone forced him to," she said.

It's a simple story, but has some important advice.

"He doesn't need to be forced by someone. He can do what he wants because it's his decision," Zoe said.

Flynn Gartrell, aged 9, said: "We've also been learning about why bullies bully and sometimes they bully because they've been bullied themselves".

A report released this year shows New Zealand has the second-highest rate of bullying in the OECD.

Founder of Unmake A Bully, Mike Feurstein, says so far 6000 students in other countries have taken part in the programme. This is the first time he's brought the series to New Zealand.

He says the main feedback he's received is that students want to be heard, and teachers and parents need to ensure bullying isn't ignored.

After the short videos are edited they're put up on Youtube for other students to watch. The final cut of the Crofton Downs Primary School video will be released next week.

Unmake a Bully organisers say they're keen to work with other New Zealand schools.