The Graeme Dingle Foundation believes there are important positives that can be taken to mitigate bullying and help Kiwi kids succeed.
A report released by the Education Review Office shows New Zealand has a relatively high rate of bullying in schools and highlights a need for consistency and coherence in how schools’ approach bullying prevention.
With 25 years of experience in working with children and young people, the Graeme Dingle Foundation supports the need for consistency and coherence and believes in supporting the whole school.
“Improving the way in which students interact with each other to create happier schools and building resilience in kids is a big step in the right direction,” says Graeme Dingle Foundation’s Research and Evaluation Manager Julie Moore.
“We have had incredibly positive success with our Kiwi Can programme in the bullying space. We contribute to reducing bullying by creating caring schools and building resilient children with the life skills needed to deal with conflict and the negative behaviour of others,” she says.
Kiwi Can is a life skills and values programme delivered to the whole school by trained Kiwi Can leaders. It works in the anti-bullying space and currently assists 22,994 children throughout New Zealand.
“With Kiwi Can schools, we focus on building quality, positive student relationships, teaching the children how to play well together and care for each other, and to have respect for themselves and others.
“The evidence here also shows that quality relationships contribute to happiness in school and it is important school is a place that children and young people want to come to, and that they associate school with positive feelings like fun and enjoyment.” Says Julie.
She says the foundation’s findings show children and young people need to be given opportunities to practice life skills and observe positive role models in the school environment, so they develop confidence, self-control and resilience, as well as conflict resolution skills
“Our mission is to help make New Zealand the best place in the world for children, young people and their families. In order to achieve this, we must equip children with the skills they need to get along.”