Dramatic Expressions - Teaching personal, social and emotional skills through drama

Friendship Terrace by Black Sheep

Posted on | April 4, 2012 | 3 Comments

‘Ah, good old SULP‘ I remarked as a member of our Speech and Language Team leafed through resources in preparation for her lesson with Key Stage 1 children the following day.

Wendy Rinaldi’s Social Use of Language Programme seems to have been with us for ever, providing a vital resource for children having difficulty with friendship and communication skills.

My colleague and I started discussing similar resources for children just that little bit older. ‘Of course, there’s also Friendship Terrace,’ she told me, an enthusiastic gleam in her eye.

Termtime over,  I have the opportunity to share you with you, dear readers, my thoughts around Black Sheep Press and Friendship Terrace in particular.

Firstly, we cannot escape the Elephant in the Room – the price difference between Wendy’s products and those of Black Sheep. Suffice it to say that, as I glanced over Wendy’s price list, a sip of tea which was going down very nicely up to that point suddenly appeared to change direction resulting in a major coughing fit.

Has anyone got money like that to spend at the moment?

To be fair we are not comparing like with like.  Friendship Terrace gears its materials towards character traits rather than particular conversational skills. The author, Sue Nicholls, has a background in being a Youth Worker and Childminder. Plenty of experience of conflict resolution there then!  The emphasis is on ‘Friendship Blockers’ and ‘Friendship Builders’. There are stories, printables and instructions for use.

Friendship Terrace spans a different age range to SULP (which is split up into Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 materials) and I wonder how that would work.  Key Stage 2 SULP materials seem to show illustrations of very tall youngsters engaged in rather teenage pursuits. In contrast Friendship Terrace, with an alleged age range for 4-12,  has illustrations not unlike The Mister Men in style. Fine for the younger children…. 

I find myself standing up for Key Stage 2 children again.  What exactly are their needs at this point? It’s a daft question in some ways, I know. Where are the specific resources?

But well done Black Sheep Press. I like your stuff and will be coming back!


3 Responses to “Friendship Terrace by Black Sheep”

  1. Alan Henson
    April 4th, 2012 @ 3:17 pm

    Thanks for the unsolicited blog, lovely surprise, to come across it via twitter.

    There is quite a bit of material on conversation skills in our ‘Pragmatics’ section, http://bit.ly/BSPprag

    Some of the Talking About titles are aimed at an older age group.

    I’ll let Sue Nicholls have your comments she will be thrilled.

  2. dr wendy rinaldi
    February 13th, 2016 @ 3:13 pm

    There are lots of fun resources available now on the social side – and that’s great. I’d like to comment on my work Social Use of Language Programme mentioned in this review and the prices! SULP has been around for a very long time, it’s true, (as have I unfortunately!!) – the advantage of this is that it has undergone a lot of independent research and there is a wealth of evidence showing effectiveness with many children. But I have kept it up to date and the programme has expanded – it includes discs, animations and puppets to add to the books that are now in colour. It is a substantial scheme actually covering many more skills than mentioned in this review, not just to do with friendship and social communication but also self esteem, emotional well-being and social behaviour. My prices do actually compare favourably with other publishers such as Black Sheep Press even though other products on offer are not backed by the same level of research as many of mine. It’s simply that my schemes cover many skills and concepts and are much bigger (so I guess the lovely elephant is a good description in a way though progress is usually faster!) Friendship Terrace for example has 161 pages but each version of SULP (there are versions for pre school, infants, juniors and secondary school students) contains around 10 chunky books, most of which have more than 200 pages with pictures in colour and on disc too. I have written much smaller books in my Books For Families and mainstream playgroup ranges, for example,’Let’s be Friends’, and these are cheaper than Friendship Terrace, but I continue to supply SULP as a scheme because to break it up into smaller components could reduce effectiveness as the links across skills and themes are important. I hope this helps readers of the review – and visitors to my website – understand my pricing. Just one other thing to add – because SULP offers a framework of activities it is possible to incorporate other resources like Friendship Terrace into the scheme and this should add to their effectiveness as well; I find that one activity is never enough – it’s how you combine them that makes all the difference!

  3. Angie
    February 16th, 2016 @ 2:55 pm

    We are delighted to welcome this comment by Wendy Rinaldi. Thank you for taking the time, Wendy. Your materials continue to be used in schools up and down the country. Only last week I heard a Reception teacher say that she was to include a child on my caseload in a SULP programme. I’m sure it will be helpful.

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