KiVa is a research-based anti-bullying program that has been developed in the University of Turku, Finland. In Finland, KiVa is very effective at reducing incidents of bullying and this sought-after program is implemented in 90% of Finnish schools. 14 schools across Wales are starting to use the program this year.
Pupils in Year 3, 4, 5 and 6 at Glyncoed will receive fortnightly lessons about respect and empathy. The lessons aim to build capacity in all children to behave in constructive ways, to take responsibility for not encouraging bullying, and to support the victims.
Mrs McCrann and Miss Lane are the ‘lead KiVa teachers’ at Glyncoed and they will be attending courses and co-ordinating the lessons, activities and assemblies.
The KiVa anti-bullying program’s goal is to reduce school bullying and victimization. The central aims of the program are to:
The curriculum consists of 10 lessons that are delivered over 20 hours by classroom teachers. The pupils engage in discussions, group work, and role-playing exercises. They also watch short films about bullying. Each lesson is constructed around a central theme, and one rule is associated with that theme; after the lesson is delivered, the class adopts that rule as a class rule. At the end of the year, all the rules are combined into a contract, which all students then sign.
For primary school children, an anti-bullying computer game has been developed that pupils can play during and between the KiVa lessons.
The program actively engages the school and parents. For break time, special ‘high-vis’ vests are given to the staff to enhance their visibility and remind pupils that the school takes bullying seriously. Materials are also posted around the school that promote anti-bullying messages.
In addition to prevention messages, teams are in place to deal with identified bullying cases.