Due to the impact of Covid-19, Northamptonshire Educational Psychology Service will not be offering any in-person local ‘Zippy’s Friends’, ‘Apple’s Friends’ or ‘Passport’ training this year. If you would like to access this training online, then please visit the Partnership for Children website, as they will be offering dates in November and December.
Zippy's Friends, Apples Friends and Passport are evidence-based international programmes for teaching primary school children social and coping skills. Developed by 'Partnership for Children', they are engaging mental health promotion programmes which are suitable for children of all abilities.
Zippy’s Friends teaches children aged 5 to 7 years old (years 1 or 2) how to cope with everyday difficulties, to identify and talk about their feelings and to explore ways of dealing with them through using role-play, drawing and discussion activities and games, and stories featuring characters of a similar age: Tig, Leela, Sandy, Jill and Tommy – as well as Zippy, a stick-insect.
The programme covers themes: feelings, communication, friendship, solving problems, changes, and moving forward. It also encourages children to help other people with their problems. The programme is based on extensive research and has been evaluated in many countries. It has also been endorsed by the World Health Organisation and national governments.
Apple’s Friends builds on what has been taught in Zippy’s Friends and is suitable for children aged 7 to 9 years (years 3 or 4).
The programme covers themes similar to those in Zippy’s Friends. The activities in Apple’s Friends give children the chance to practise and develop effective coping and social skills. Once again, there are role-play, drawing and discussion activities and games, and stories featuring the same characters; but this time with Apple the hamster. However, in Apple’s Friends sessions, children have to contribute more of their own ideas – particularly when it comes to the stories. These are unfinished, and the class decides how each story ends.
Passport is for 9 to 11 year olds (years 5 or 6).The programme is based on the same theory as Zippy’s Friends and Apple’s Friends – the Concept of Coping – but looks quite different. It consists of 17 sessions and covers the following themes: emotions, relationships, difficult situations, change and loss and fairness, justice and what is right.
Engaging comic strip stories follow the adventures of Olya and Milo as they discover a secret world of fantastical creatures in the company of their friend, Elly the dragon. Children develop their own positive strategies to deal with problems through engaging activities: reading the comic strips, discussion, role-play and games. They use the colourful game board to find as many solutions as possible. There are also Home Activities to reinforce learning at home with the family.
More information can be found at Partnership for Children website.