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Apple’s Friends is a social emotional learning programme for 7 – 9 year olds which meets all elements of the Mental Wellbeing requirements of the statutory guidance for Relationships and Health Education for primary schools.

Apple's Friends for 7-9 year olds

Apple’s Friends is based on the coping theory and has been evaluated and found to improve children’s coping skills, social skills, emotional literacy, improve the class climate and reduce bullying. Read about the evidence behind Apple’s Friends and the impact the programme has had on children and teachers.

Apple’s Friends is based around a series of stories and the programme has 24 sessions of 45 minutes. Children develop their own positive strategies to deal with problems through engaging activities: listening to stories, discussion, games, role-play and drawing. The Additional Activities Booklet can be used as a follow-on programme to run Apple’s Friends for a second year or to reinforce and consolidate the learning of the programme. There are also Home Activities to reinforce learning at home with parents and carers.

The six modules cover:

  • Feelings
  • Communication
  • Friendship
  • Conflict
  • Change and Loss
  • Moving forward

Children develop their own positive strategies to deal with problems through engaging activities: listening to stories, discussion, games, role-play and drawing.

The programme reinforces skills learnt in Zippy’s Friends for 5-7 year olds but children do not need to have taken part in Zippy’s Friends to complete Apple’s Friends; it is an independent programme.

Apple’s Friends was revised and updated in 2022 based on teacher feedback to include new activities enabling schools to run the programme over two years. There are also updated story illustrations created by illustrator Lisa Williams to give the programme a fresh, new modern look.

Staff who would like to deliver the Apple’s Friends programme need to complete an online training session and purchase a subscription to the Apple’s Friends resources on the Skills for Life online teaching platform.

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Read the FAQ's

‘Children learned to speak up about their problems; found new ways to solve problems’.

Teacher, Lithuania

Online training

Interactive training includes:

  • Philosophy and theory behind each programme
  • Programme concepts and implications for children’s wellbeing
  • Structure and content of each programme and the materials used to deliver it
  • How to use the programmes as part of a whole school approach to mental wellbeing

International Partners

The Skills for Life programmes run in a wide variety of countries and cultures across the globe. Our partner organisations range widely in size and character, from government departments and large NGOs to small voluntary agencies and academic institutions.

See whether your country is one of our Licensed Partners.

FREE Wellbeing Activities

These FREE wellbeing activities for schools, children and families are based on the Skills for Life programmes. The activities are designed to help children process feelings, communicate effectively, cope with their anxieties and difficulties and deal with change and loss. Activities can be downloaded and adapted for younger or older children and children with SEND.

Learning Outcomes

The learning outcomes for the six modules in Apple's Friends:

Session 1 - Introductions and Agreement

To introduce children to Apple’s Friends and prepare to enthuse them.

Session 2 - Our feelings

To help children identify and talk about their own and others’ feelings, and to identify the appropriate coping techniques for difficult feelings

Session 3 - How to feel better

To practice generating and choosing solutions which can help children to cope with difficult feelings and situations, for themselves and others.

Session 4 - Complete the story: ‘Waking up’

To help children identify other people’s feelings and to generate solutions to help them.

Session 1 - Listening skills

To help children to practise how to be good listeners

Session 2 - Saying what you want to say

To strengthen children’s abilities to say what they want to say, using five simple rules.

Session 3 - Speaking in difficult situations

To give children practice in saying what they want to say in difficult situations, using the five rules

Session 4 - Complete the story: ‘Weekend plans’

To give children the opportunity to practise the skills of empathy, developing strategies for coping with difficulties, and good communication.

Session 1 - What makes a good friend?

For children to consider the qualities that are important in a friend, and understand what they want from a friendship.

Session 2 - Coping with loneliness and rejection

To improve children’s skills for coping with loneliness and rejection.

Session 3 - Problems between friends

To help children cope with problems with their friends.

Session 4 - Complete the story: ‘New neighbours’

To give children the opportunity to practise the skills of empathy and making friends.

Session 1 - Who can help me?

To help children to think about who can help them in different situations.

Session 2 - Steps to a helpful solution

To help children practise how to calm down and find ways to a helpful solution.

Session 3 - Contract against bullying/Our wishes for our class

To agree rules about bullying, and to produce a class agreement or contract.

Session 4 - Complete the story: ‘Big kids’ football’

To practise the skills of empathy, developing coping strategies, and offering and seeking help in difficult situations.

Session 1 - Change is part of life

To help children understand that changes are part of life and that we can adapt successfully to new circumstances.

Session 2 - Different types of change

To help children practise how to help themselves feel better in situations that cannot be changed.

Session 3 - Coping with loss

To help children cope with loss and to see that there are ways to make themselves – and others – feel better.

Session 4 - Complete the story: ‘Tommy’s holiday’

To help children generate coping strategies for difficult situations such as family break-up.

Session 1 - Dealing with disappointment

To help children to learn to cope with disappointment.

Session 2 - Ways to cope with worries

To give children the opportunity to express their worries and practise helping themselves and others to cope with anxiety.

Session 3 - Complete the story: ‘End of the holidays’

To give children the opportunity to practise the skills they have developed.

Session 4 - Celebrating together

To help the children reflect on what they have learned over the year and celebrate what they have learned.

Frequently asked questions

Subscription costs are dependant on the size of the school or setting. Please see the costs for your setting here.

Yes! Read more about running the programmes in your English speaking international school.