What is ‘KiVa’?
KiVa is the Finnish word for ‘nice’, and in reference to the KiVa programme it stands for ‘against bullying’ or ‘anti-bullying’. Originating in Finland, the KiVa programme is evidence-based and has been shown to reduce bullying and to increase well-being at school! In Finland almost all elementary schools are implementing the KiVa programme. KiVa is not a passing “project”, but a permanent whole school way of action to prevent and stop bullying. It’s goals are to:
Prevent new bullying incidents from occurring
Minimise the negative effects caused by bullying
How does ‘KiVa’ work?
‘KiVa’ has two main aspects:
A preventative classroom learning programme
Clear processes for tackling incidences of bullying
Students undertake ‘KiVa’ lessons that form part of our HEALTH curriculum. During KiVa lessons the students will learn about ways to prevent, reduce and minimise bullying behaviours. KiVa is visible in many ways in the daily life at school. The lessons (1 per month) include discussions, group work, short films about bullying, and role play. Many lessons concentrate on the role a group can have in maintaining or stopping bullying; the students think about and practise different ways to resist bullying. The lessons are supplemented by the KiVa anti-bullying computer game.
It is important that all the students understand that they can make a difference – “Let’s stop bullying together!” This is the big idea behind the KiVa programme.
Tackling Incidences of Bullying
The KiVa team and the class teacher tackle the bullying cases together by addressing the children involved in the bullying, as well as helping and supporting the victimised pupil. The critical factor in the KiVa programme is the awareness, and development of, empathy for others. We have a KiVa team of three teachers who have undergone specific training. Together with the class teacher they tackle incidences of bullying.
Why is ‘KiVa’ important?
Bullying is an abuse of power and strength. On average, 10% of school-aged children are targeted by systematic bullying. New Zealand has higher than usual reported incidents of bullying.