Kiwi Can approach enhances school culture

Values programme reduces playground fights

LIBBY WILSON
Last updated 13:31 29/07/2014
Kiwi Can
CHRIS HILLOCK/Fairfax NZ

VALUES PROGRAMME: Kiwi Can is well established at Crawshaw School. Pictured are students Savarna Proffitt and Moses McGoon, both 10, and principal Jill Littlewood.

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Integrity is a big word for a primary school pupil, but it's one Waikato youngsters are examining in a values programme.

And a principal with Kiwi Can at her school believes the programme is partly behind positive comments from relief teachers and the near absence of playground fights.

Kiwi Can teaches kids about life skills and values; in the Waikato it reaches 1500 children a week, at ten schools from Huntly to Tokoroa.

But the Foundation for Youth Development (FYD) wants that number to go up.

At Nawton's Crawshaw School the programme has been running for several years, and 10-year-old Moses McGoon enjoys the words they learn each term.

"Last term we were focusing on integrity, which meant doing the right thing. And then we played games that showed integrity."

Kiwi Can leaders did a skit to show the value in action, Savarna Proffitt, also 10, said.

"It's the wrong way first and then come and ask us, ‘How could we fix it?' . . . And they make it better by using our suggestions."

Crawshaw School principal Jill Littlewood described Kiwi Can as "quite hands-on" and "quite noisy. . . so that it keeps the kids totally engaged".

Change was hard to measure, but there were signs.

"Sadly, decile one schools often have a reputation that they'd be hard to come into.

"But we have relievers coming in here saying ‘Oh, the kids are just so lovely . . . It's just so nice to come here.' I guess that tells you it's working," Littlewood said.

"Fights in the playground, for instance, you could number them on one hand.

"We just really don't have them."

Detentions have now been changed to "reflection time" and there's only been a handful of pupils to receive it this year.

Kiwi Can sees its programme as helping to reduce bullying and, while that is not its primary focus, Littlewood said the values would have an effect.

"If you think about it, if you are respectful and you're resilient and you follow all the values that we're trying to push, you won't be a bully."

The Foundation for Youth Development (FYD) this month launched a campaign to get Kiwi Can into more schools by encouraging New Zealanders to donate $20 a month.

To donate or find out more, visit fyd.org.nz/bullying

libby.wilson@fairfaxmedia.co.nz

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