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How we teach Northbridge Primary students appropriate and important coping strategies

Becky Watson-Penhall
Becky Watson-Penhall (4 posts) Primary PE Teacher and PSPE Leader View Profile

We all have good days and bad days at Northbridge International School Cambodia. Good moments and bad moments throughout your day. Over time, we adults have developed appropriate strategies to help us get over this disappointment and deal with the loss. You might choose to listen to music, go for a walk, do yoga, eat chocolate or a variety of other strategies. 

Young children are often not yet proficient at finding appropriate ways to deal with bad times. It is our role, as parents and teachers, to explicitly teach children to cope with disappointment/loss/conflict and adapt to new situations ...but how do we teach these appropriate coping strategies to children? 

Northbridge International School Cambodia - Students

Zippy’s Friends and Apple’s Friends 

In September, Primary school teachers at NISC were fortunate to receive training from Dr Angie Wigford, who came to our school to introduce the Zippy’s Friends and Apple’s Friends programmes. 

These research-based programmes equip children with the skills and vocabulary to help them cope in a variety of situations. You can find more information here: www.partnershipforchildren.org.uk

Throughout this academic year, the children will be listening to stories and engaging in different activities to help them find solutions to their own problems and cope well with different aspects of their life. 

These are the themes that children will be learning about:

  • Feelings - naming and labelling their feelings.

  • Communication - communicating with others; verbally and non-verbally.

  • Friendship - how to build and maintain relationships with each other.

  • Conflict - what to do when a disagreement arises. 

  • Change and loss - coping mechanisms for before, during and after change. 

  • Moving forward.

Northbridge International School Cambodia - Students

Golden Rules

Zippy’s Friends and Apple’s Friends programme teaches the children to find their own, appropriate solutions to their problems, enabling them to be independent. 

When deciding on a suitable solution to a problem, it must follow these Golden Rules:

  1. It makes me feel better.

  2. It doesn’t hurt me or anyone else. 

At Home

Consistency and continuity between home and school is very important. As parents, your child will often want to talk to you about different issues that arise in their lives.

Here are some top tips:

  • Be available for your child every day. Find some time to sit with them - this could be during a mealtime, bathtime or during your car journey home. 

  • Be present. Give your child your undivided attention for that period of time. 

  • Listen without judgement. Allow your child to open up to you without trying to solve all of their problems for them. 

  • Foster a healthy lifestyle. Good diet, good sleep and regular exercise all help children to cope better and find different situations more manageable. 

  • Support your child to make the next steps for themselves. This could be talking to their friends/teacher.

Children will be bringing home some tasks to facilitate conversations at home. Please find time to sit with your child and support them with this. Be open and honest with your child. 

Next Steps

The children have already begun learning all about Zippy and Apple, which has already been very popular. 

We will be sharing more about our Zippy’s Friends and Apple’s Friends programmes with parents at the Parent Coffee Morning on Friday, 6th December. If you have any questions before then, please contact your child’s class teacher. 

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