A still of Melva from the Melva Game

An introduction to MELVA

Melva is an award-winning creative, web-based programme, designed to improve children’s knowledge and understanding of mental health, wellbeing and self-management techniques through fun and creative activities.

Aimed at children aged 7-11 (KS2) and available to Schools and Trusts everywhere.

Melva and Barnabus in the live Melva show
The character of Melva performing in the live show with snow falling around her

Education through
storytelling

The programme centres around the character of Melva Mapletree: a nearly-11-year-old girl whose struggles with anxiety, trauma and bereavement (or ‘worrits’ as she calls them) are starting to have a negative impact on her day to day life.

Through creative storytelling, engaging characters, and practical activities, children learn alongside Melva about how to recognise, understand, talk about and manage their mental wellbeing and deal with their ‘worrits’

A still of Melva and Barnabus from the Melva Game

What does your school get access to?

  • 3 different MELVA themed creative interventions

    The full MELVA package consists of three different creative interventions:

    Each intervention centres around a different Melva story, and each story is told in a different way: through a series of animation; a filmed theatre show; and a choose-your-own-adventure style game.

    Each intervention is designed to be delivered over the course of 8 x 1 hour lessons, but you can go at your own pace depending on the needs of the young people you are working with. They come with fully prepared lesson plans and practical wraparound activities for in-depth learning, including: creative activities, mindfulness activities, positive psychology exercises, discussion topics and prompts, and practical self-management techniques to learn individually and in groups.

    Click the links above to find out more about each individual MELVA intervention.

    Exciting news:
    We are currently working on a 4th intervention – the Melva BOOK! This will be aimed predominantly at Year 6 children and will explore themes around transition, growing up, and grief.

  • A bank of wellbeing activities & themed assemblies

    As well as the structured interventions, we also provide examples of other simple activities you can use with your class or wider school anytime you like, such as simple mindfulness and breathing activities. These extra resources are designed to help make good mental wellbeing practices part of your daily school routine.

    New for academic year 24/25 will also be a bank of themed assemblies, to support your whole school approach.

  • The MELVA digital portal & Teacher Area

    Your school will receive a unique login for the full MELVA online portal, where the 3 creative interventions are hosted.

    This portal also includes a Teacher Area which holds all the necessary resources and guides you need to get started and deliver with your class, all in one easy to access place: lesson plans, evaluation guides, user guides and more.

  • A simple evaluation report at the end of the year

    We have built evaluation into the MELVA package, including pre- and post- intervention assessments, and session-by-session feedback.

    This means that, subject to proper and full completion and submission of the evaluation data, we can provide you with a simple report at the end of the year to demonstrate impact, including:

    • Improvements in knowledge, understanding and recall
    • Levels of key wellbeing indicators whilst participating in the MELVA programme*

    *We measure this using the PERMA™ framework – a model developed by Dr Martin Seligman and the studies in Positive Psychology to represent the presence of wellbeing

  • Teacher CPD & support for school staff

    With statutory services in such high demand, it is falling to schools to support children with their mental health, in place of trained mental health practitioners. We know this can come with its own anxieties and challenges, especially when considered alongside the epidemic of stress and burnout that teachers and school staff are already facing.

    With this in mind, we have deliberately factored staff support into the programme. Throughout the year, school staff will be able to access:

    • Introductory sessions to support the implementation of MELVA in your school.
    • Digital and in person Teacher CPD Sessions on wellbeing focused topics, such as Emotional Resilience and Managing Difficult Conversations.
    • Bookable 1:1 surgery slots with the MELVA team.
    • Facilitated conversation with other schools using MELVA to discuss your experiences and common issues arising around mental health and wellbeing in schools.

Testimonials

Why people love Melva

“The programme is engaging to all, easy to use by the teacher and a lovely take on how PSHE should be shared in schools.”
Teacher
“It was very funny and made me understand more about anxiety”
Young Participant
“Melva has really given my class a good starting point of being able to express their concerns, from the use of vocabulary to comparing it to certain situations Melva has experienced.”
Teacher
“Thank you for providing a brilliant programme and one that the students love each year (and still talk about in Y8 when they are about to leave).”
Teacher
“I learned that you should listen to people and don’t be scared to share your feelings and your Worrits”
Young Participant
“Melva was an ideal character that the children could relate to. The way she learnt to overcome her ‘worrits’ was really inspiring to the children, particularly those that have anxiety”
Teacher
“The performance handled so many sensitive issues in a really clever, funny and engaging way”
Teacher
“I learned how to stay calm in difficult situations”
Young Participant
“Melva is an inspirational story with much humour, a little sadness, and a message we can all relate to”
Parent
“I learned to share your worries and to care for others”
Young Participant
“They loved the play and continue to talk about it still”
Teacher
“The pupils have demonstrated their understanding through talking about their worrits with various staff and we believe this is helping them to overcome their troubles.”
Teachers
“We are loving Melva.The discussions and the awareness we have been having are brilliant.The children love it and the staff feel skilled to deliver the sessions well.”
Teacher
“Children who wouldn’t normally speak about their fears and emotions have had the confidence to overcome this by listening to others. “
Teacher
“The exercises are a lovely tool for using throughout the week as they are well structured, and I do see children using what they have learnt in their day to day lives, which makes a huge difference for some.”
Teacher

Recommended programme of study for Key Stage 2

MELVA is designed to be used year after year, so that the shared language, characters, and stories become part of your whole school approach to wellbeing.

Whilst each MELVA intervention can work as a standalone resource, learning will be richer and more long-lasting through ongoing participation, and young people will become more accomplished at self-management techniques the more they practice them! The 3 MELVA interventions have been designed with different KS2 year groups in mind, however the content is suitable for all and can be adapted for your school’s needs.

Note: In your first year using the MELVA programme, our recommendation is to deliver Melva’s Mountain Adventure with Years 4—6, to ensure all pupils are exposed to the shared language and key characters introduced in this story.

Years 3-4

Explore Scratchicle Town (Animation)

Years 4-5

Melva’s Mountain Adventure (Film)

Years 5-6

The Quest for Barnabas Boggle (Game)

Year 6*

*New intervention coming soon designed specifically for Year 6 (Book)
Children watching the Melva feature film in a classroom

How you can use Melva

The Melva programme is simple to use and designed to offer a flexible delivery model, so you can decide how best to use this readymade resource with your children.

Go at your own pace, revisit activities and discussions, and use the learning from Melva to help inform your whole school approach to wellbeing.

An example MELVA Delivery Timeline

1 x School Year

We recommend delivering the MELVA interventions during the Spring Term.

The reason we recommend this is because it gives school staff the opportunity to get familiar with the content during the Autumn Term, and it ties in with Children’s Mental Health Week in February.

Meet Melva
A child playing the Melva game on a laptop

Autumn Term

This term is the time to start getting familiar with the resources, participate in some ‘getting started’ tutorials, meet other schools who are using MELVA, and take part in your first Teacher CPD session.

Suggested Delivery Window

Spring Term

With Children’s Mental Health Week in February, this is the perfect time to deliver the MELVA programme in your school and take advantage of the support and learning opportunities available, including: Kick off sessions, CPD sessions, drop-in surgeries, and facilitated meet ups.

Reflect & Evaluate
Kiz Crosbie, Artistic Director and CEO, delivering Teacher CPD to staff from Melva licensed schools

Summer Term

Summer Term is your time to reflect, evaluate, and plan for the next year ahead.

We’ll hold a digital showcase, provide you with your end of year reports, facilitate evaluation meet ups with the MELVA community, and start conversations about next year’s renewal plans.

Testimonials

How does Melva support young people?

“It was very funny and made me understand more about anxiety”

Fun & Engaging

“The performance handled so many sensitive issues in a really clever, funny and engaging way”

Child Friendly Language

“The content was appropriate and highly relevant, especially at a time when mental health is becoming a statutory focus in the curriculum”

Practical Strategies

“It was very funny and made me understand more about anxiety”

Fun & Engaging

“The performance handled so many sensitive issues in a really clever, funny and engaging way”

Child Friendly Language

“The content was appropriate and highly relevant, especially at a time when mental health is becoming a statutory focus in the curriculum”

Practical Strategies
Melva with a speech bubble reading: "Neuroscience is clear that learning happens more quickly and more effectively when we're having fun."

A creative approach,
endorsed through
global research

Melva game shown on iPad

The Melva Digital Package

Find out more about the full Melva package and its benefits

MELVA has been developed in ongoing consultation with children, teachers and families since 2017, and is available for you to use in your own setting now.

Melva and Barnabus from the live Melva show

Funded and supported by: