​​Active bystander lesson plans

Most bullying situations involve 'bystanders'—other people who watch or are nearby at the time the bullying takes place.

The role of bystanders in bullying is complex. Each situation and each student is different. Students need to know their school supports active bystanders and respects student's judgment about their own safety and the appropriateness of taking actions in a bullying situation.

The Active bystander lessons explore the impact and importance of active bystanders for individual students and the whole school community.

Lesson plans are available for early primary, upper primary, lower secondary and senior secondary. Teachers can adapt content for students' needs.

Each 50 minute lesson plan features an opening activity to introduce the slogan, 'Take a Stand Together', followed by a drama-based exploration of the role and experience of being a bystander, and concludes with a student reflection on the importance of taking a stand together. Specific lesson resources are provided below, but teachers may also want to use resources from the National Day of Action Class activities.

Activity overview

The ​Active bystander Overview (PDF, 212KB), (DOC, 389K​B) provides the theoretical and pedagogical framework for the lesson plans, as well as important information about using the lesson. It also provides an overview of all lessons across the year levels.

Unit framework

The Optional Unit Frameworks for all year levels (PDF, 314KB), (DOC, 21MB) is for teachers who would like to extend and embed the Stand Together lesson within their curriculum.

Early primary lesson plan

This lesson is suitable for students in Year 3, but can be adapted for younger students.

Lesson plan (PDF, 239KB), Word version (DOC, 199KB)

Definitions (PDF, 116KB), Word version (DOC, 237KB)

Blank Profile (PDF, 71KB), Word version (DOC, 235KB)

Active Bystanders Profile (PDF, 252KB), Word version (DOC, 1MB)

Upper primary

This lesson is suitable for students in Years 4–6.

Lesson Plan (PDF, 223KB), Word version (DOC, 5.2MB)

Definitions (PDF, 112KB), Word version (DOC, 237KB)

Script and role cards (PDF, 108KB), Word version (DOC, 64KB)

Active Bystanders Profile (PDF, 511KB), Word version (DOC, 2MB)

Lower secondary

This lesson is suitable for students in Years 7–9.

Lesson Plan (PDF, 216KB), Word version (DOC, 5.2MB)

Definitions (PDF, 117KB), Word version (DOC, 241KB)

Script and role cards (PDF, 211KB), Word version (DOC, 243KB)

Active Bystanders Profile (PDF, 524KB), Word version (DOC, 2MB)

Senior secondary

This lesson is suitable for students in Years 10–12.​

Lesson Plan (PDF, 229KB), Word version (DOC, 5.2M​B)

Definitions Option 1 (PDF, 117KB), Word version (DOC, 241KB)

Definitions Option 2 (PDF, 117KB), Word version (DOC, 242KB)

Active Bystanders Profile (PDF, 524KB), Word version (DOC, 2MB)

  • Active Bystanders
  • ​"The focus on bystanders provided the basis for a powerful message.."
    (Schools feedback)
  • ​"Our school used the resources to develop lessons which revitalised and reinforced our school code of conduct."
    (Schools feedback)
  • Active Bystanders

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