KiVa Kindness – Let’s do it together! He waka eke noa!
Te Rā School is a KiVa school! KiVa is a research-based antibullying programme developed by a Finnish university and rolled out internationally. It incorporates experiences from existing intervention programmes used around the world. KiVa is short for Finnish ‘Kiusaamista Vastaan’ which means ‘against bullying’. At our school we refer to it as “KiVa Kindness”.
Bullying is one-sided, unfair and disrespectful behaviour. It is aimed at intentionally hurting or harming someone – often with no reason. Bullying is always wrong. It is disrespectful treatment, and nobody deserves it.
Our Kiva programme has two components. The first component aims to create a culture that prevents bullying behaviours to take root in the first place – through creating a culture of kindness, and through helping the children understand the role they can play in identifying and stopping bullying behaviours if they occur.
This is delivered for all of our ākonga from Class 1 through to Class 7. In each of these classes the KiVa programme is incorporated in an age-appropriate way and grounded in the kaupapa of our special character. In the younger classes, the KiVa/Kindness model is supported and integrated throughout each day. For our older classes, class teachers plan and teach KiVa lessons. The children learn to identify how we can together make our kura a place of belonging, where everybody feels safe and enjoys being a member of our community.
The second component of the KiVa approach is the response when bullying behaviours are suspected or have been identified. Our KiVa team is comprised of a group of our teachers who are trained to respond to incidents of bullying within the KiVa framework. Students who are responsible for bullying are supported to change the behaviours that are causing harm to others. We have found this approach to be highly effective.
A shared understanding of what is bullying helps children and adults alike to clearly identify this behaviour, which is a first step to addressing it. The KiVa definition for bullying is that it is behaviour that is:
- REPEATED (over a period of time)
- causing DISTRESS or HARM
- in a way that is DELIBERATE and TARGETED at the SAME individual or group of individuals.
Where bullying is suspected or identified, class teacher make a referral to the KiVa team leader, who will use the process outlined in the KiVa programme to determine how the students involved can best be supported.
If you are or you become concerned about bullying behaviour involving your child the first step is to organise a meeting with their class teacher.
KiVa team leader