Eight primary schools in Meath and Kildare are participating in an evidence-based anti-bullying programme as part of a wider initiative that gives children equal access to a brighter future through education.
At an event on Monday 20th November 2023, in Scoil Mhuire Junior in Newbridge, the KiVa Anti-Bullying Programme was launched as part of a wider initiative led by Archways. There was a sense of celebration with the real stars of the day being the children who took part.
Monday 20th November was World Children’s Day so it was very apt that the event took place to mark the day.
The initiative is being coordinated and delivered by Archways with funding support from basis.point. Archways has collaborated with basis.point since 2014 across a number areas throughout Ireland. This latest stage of that collaboration sees the work focus on Kildare and Meath.
Archways were also delighted this year to receive funding through the Community Foundation of Ireland’s Toy Show Appeal.
The KiVa Anti-Bullying Programme is an evidence-based initiative developed at the University of Turku in Finland. It is innovative and substantial and implemented in twelve countries across Europe, South America, and New Zealand. The goals of the KiVa Anti-Bullying Programme are to prevent bullying, to effectively tackle bullying cases, and to minimise the negative effects of bullying.
The eight schools participating in the programme are:
Scoil Mhuire Junior, Newbridge, Co Kildare
St. Patrick’s Church of Ireland NS, Newbridge, Co Kildare
St. Oliver Plunkett NS, Killina, Co Kildare
St. Conleth’s NS, Derrinturn, Co Kildare
St. Anne’s Loreto Primary School, Navan, Co Meath
Kilmainhamwood NS, Co Meath
Duleek BNS, Co Meath
Duleek GNS, Co Meath
Speaking at the event were representatives from the funders, the participating schools, the University of Turku in Finland and Archways. The highlight of the event though was the colourful and joyous input from children in the participating schools.
Edel O’Malley, CEO of basis.point said: ‘We are delighted to partner with Archways to launch the new KiVa Anti-Bullying Programme. We believe that investing in programmes that develop skills to maintain good mental health is key to helping young people navigate their educational journey. The digital era brings new challenges for young people and teaching them soft skills such as empathy and respect will better equip them to flourish.’
Denise Charlton, Chief Executive, Community Foundation of Ireland congratulated all involved: ‘Ending bullying must involve educators, parents and most importantly children themselves. Archways are showing vison by expanding the KiVa programme to eight new schools in Meath and Kildare. The suite of support resources and materials offer accessible information and awareness raising which has an ability to transform the approach taken to remove bullying for good from the classroom, playground and sports. The work which is being undertaken would not have been possible without the generosity of viewers to the RTÉ Toy Show Appeal. Now that generosity is being turned into action.’
Hugh Doogan, CEO with Archways said: ‘We are grateful to our funder’s basis.point and the Community Foundation of Ireland’s Toy Show Appeal. Without their support we could not offer these programmes free of charge to the schools. We have worked with basis.point for almost ten years and in that time, we have supported over 20,000 children. The latest initiative in Kildare and Meath includes programmes we have delivered with their support across the county such as the Incredible Years Parent Programme, the Incredible Years Teacher Classroom Management Programme and a series of webinars to support parents support their children with anxiety and social and emotional wellbeing. It also includes a new programme to help schools implement a structured evidence-based programme to address bullying. The KiVa Anti-Bullying Programme builds on the good work schools already do in this area. We are delighted to welcome colleagues today from Finland to see the great work being done in schools in Kildare and Meath.’