Zippy and Apple Friends
Mental Health is a growing issue for young children and schools. With over half of life-long illness starting before the age of 14, early intervention and mental health promotion is vital for young children in schools today.
Zippy’s Friends (Key Stage 1) and Apple’s Friends (Key Stage 2) is a mental health promotion program that has been successful around the world. It is preventative approach with a strong evidence base. Zippy’s Friends and Apple’s Friends help all children develop emotional resilience and a wide range of coping strategies. Children learn through stories, role play, drawing and discussion activities. They practise and develop effective coping and social skills through stories, role-play, drawing and discussion, activities and games. Each class has a weekly time tabled session to complete, which fits in with our curriculum.
It is an evidence-based programme that work with the whole class to promote mental health as well as supporting PSHE. School-based programmes like this are proven to help children to develop coping and social skills, improve the class climate and reduce bullying.
We are delivering a Zippy’s Friends within Year 1 and Year 2. This programme is recommended by the National Educational Psychological Service (NEPS). The programme teaches coping and social skills and has been run successfully with over a million children around the world.
The programme is built around a set of six stories. Zippy is a stick insect and his friends are a group of young children,and the stories show them confronting issues that are familiar to young children-friendship, communication, feeling, lonely, bullying, dealing with change and loss, and making a new start. Each story is illustrated by brightly coloured pictures.
Research shows that the positive benefits of the programme for children are:
Increase in positive coping strategies
Improved social skills
Improved class climate
Reduction in bullying
Improved academic performance
There are 6 modules which are delivered over 24 sessions.
There might be some Home Activities where your child will bring home a sheet with an activity for you to do together and these activities will help reinforce the learning from the classroom and help your child use the skills they have learned.
The modules covered will include
Goal:To improve children’s abilities to recognise difficult feelings and to identify coping strategies to deal with those feelings
Session 1:Feeling sad-feeling happy
Session 2:Feeling angry or annoyed
Session 3:Feeling jealous
Session 4:Feeling nervous
Goal:To improve children’s abilities to communicate their feelings
Session 1:Improving communication
Session 3:Who can help us?
Session 4:Saying what you want to say
Module 3:Making and breaking relationships
Goal:To improve children’s abilities to make friends and to cope
with rejection and loneliness
Session 1:How to keep a friend
Session 2:Dealing with loneliness and rejection
Session 3:How to resolve conflicts with friends
Session 4:How to make friends
For more information on the programme you can visit www.partnershipforchildren.org.uk