Programme contentZippy's Friends is a programme for schools. It usually runs for 24 weeks, with one 45-minute session each week.
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.
Module 1: Feelings
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
Module 2: Communication
Goal: To improve children’s abilities to communicate their feelings
Session 1: Improving communication
Session 2: Listening
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
Module 4: Conflict resolution
Goal: To improve children’s abilities to resolve conflicts
Session 1: How to recognise good solutions
Session 2: Bullying
Session 3: Solving problems
Session 4: Helping others to resolve conflicts
Module 5: Dealing with change and loss
Goal: To improve children’s abilities to cope with change and loss
Session 1: Change and loss are part of life
Session 2: Coping with death
Session 3: Visit to a graveyard
Session 4: Learning from change and loss
Module 6: We cope
Goal: To improve children’s abilities to use a variety of coping strategies
Session 1: Different ways to cope
Session 2: How to help others
Session 3: Adapting to new situations
Session 4: Celebrating together
Each session begins with the teacher reading part of the story, and then the children take part in activities such as drawing, discussing and playing games. The aim of these activities is to help the children to explore and understand their feelings and behaviour.
For young children, repetition is an important part of learning. Each session begins with a review of what the children learned the previous week, and key messages are reinforced throughout the programme. At the end of each session, each child fills in a single feedback sheet to reflect their feelings about that session.