Russian schools to take on Zippy’s Friends for Pupils with Special Educational Needs
Since its original development in 2013, Zippy’s Friends for Pupils with Special Educational Needs has been adopted by schools across the UK and by a number of Partnership for Children’s overseas partners. The latest country to offer the programme is the Russian Federation, thanks to a Presidential Grant to our partner organisation, NGO Sodeistvie. Zippy’s Friends for mainstream schools has been running in NW Russia since 2011, and now Russian children with special educational needs will benefit from the programme for the first time. Sodeistvie’s Director, Ilona Kosheleva, is delighted that the grant will enable these children to learn coping and social skills too.‘The SEN programme a great tool to help these children to be included in society, to enjoy their education and to flourish in life. It will also help teachers to know and better understand their students,’ she said.
The programme materials which include Widgit Symbols, have been translated into Russian ready for teachers to begin delivering the programme. Partnership for Children will train the Russian trainers in the next few weeks.
Children with SEN all over the world struggle academically and socially, and they are more likely to be living in poverty and develop mental health problems. They urgently need to improve their ability to cope with day-to-day problems and boost their resilience and social skills. Teachers have noticed significant benefits to their children after doing the programme, even those with severe and complex learning difficulties.
‘Zippy’s Friends for SEN is a very positive and empowering programme which is adaptable to our pupils’ needs. The children enjoy it immensely,’ said one teacher. ‘All of them are calmer and more able to communicate and express themselves,’ said another.
Ilona is looking forward to seeing similar effects in Russian schools. And the Home Activities will ensure that family members can benefit from the programme too. Thanks to the Presidential Grant, Russian children will receive this supportive new programme very soon.