KiVa – Bullying Education

Bullying prevention programme

What is KiVa?

KiVa is an evidence-based bullying prevention programme that has been developed by the University of Turku, Finland. Ellesmere College – Te Kāreti o Waihora was the first co-educational secondary school in New Zealand to implement the KiVa programme. The effectiveness of KiVa has been proven through randomized control trials, together with a range of different studies. KiVa is being used around the world in over 18 different countries.

KiVa has been developed by experts who have been studying the phenomenon of bullying and its mechanisms for decades. The team is led by PhD, Professor Christina Salmivalli and PhD, Special Researcher Elisa Poskiparta, both from the University of Turku, Finland.

No other bullying prevention programme has been studied as rigorously as KiVa, before and after its extensive implementation in Finland. The programme has been shown to reduce both self and peer reported bullying and victimization, significantly.

The Finnish data showed that after the first year of implementation, the programme reduced all forms of bullying significantly. 98% of the bullied students felt that their situation improved after the intervention. In addition, positive effects on school liking, academic motivation and achievement have been reported. KiVa also reduces anxiety and depression and has a positive impact on students’ perception of their classroom culture.

Numerous studies show that KiVa is effective in other countries as well. The Netherlands, Estonia, Italy, Wales and New Zealand are among the regions where research has been conducted and adds to the positive findings about the KiVa programme.

The essential elements of KiVa – Prevention, Intervention, and Monitoring

Prevention – to keep bullying from happening

The preventive actions focus on all students learning how to prevent bullying. Student lessons and online games are  examples of these kind of actions and form the foundation of KiVa.

Intervention – Tools to tackle bullying

The interventions in KiVa are targeted specifically at students who have been involved in bullying. The goal is to provide schools and students with solution-focused tools used to put an end to bullying.

Annual monitoring

KiVa offers tools to monitor the situation in the schools through an annual online survey for students. This feedback provides schools with information on how to improve their bullying prevention work.

Bulllying is repetitive, targeted, power imbalance behaviour

It is harmful behaviour/degrading treatment which is:

- Deliberate

- Repeated

- Targeted at a relatively defenseless or less powerful person

Bullying is NOT:

- A Conflict

- An Argument

- A Fight

What to do if you think your child is being bullied at school

KiVa is visible at Ellesmere College – Te Kāreti o Waihora in a number of ways. Junior students in Years 7 & 9 take part in regular KiVa lessons with their Hapori teacher. These lessons include the importance of respect in human relationships and about understanding what bullying behaviour is, along with developing proactive strategies.


If you suspect your child is being bullied or they are demonstrating bully-like behaviour, work through the flowchart below to see what you should do.

You can find all of the email addresses for staff at the bottom of the “Our People” page on our website.

Online Bullying Notification Form