Our school dog is being specifically trained to support children in school who have specific needs and will become our Therapy Dog. There are many benefits to
having a school dog and this fits in with our school improvement priorities and Christian Ethos. These benefits include:
- Having a calming effect on pupils, particularly those with behavioural or learning difficulties;
- Improving behaviour and concentration, reduced stress and improved self-esteem;
- Encouraging expression and participation where children may be withdrawn;
- Fostering a sense of responsibility;
- Increasing enthusiasm for and enjoyment of animals which will motivate the children to think and learn;
- Encouraging respect and thereby improving pupils’ relationship with each other, parents and teachers;
- Teaching the skills of nurture and respect for all life;
- Helping the learning of our most vulnerable children and educational improvements with low achievers;
- Helping children build confidence in reading;
- Helping children who suffer bereavement or who are upset in any way and in need of calm, comfort and space
- before being able to tell an adult what has upset them.
Our new puppy Luna is a Labradoodle.
Labradoodles are a breed of dog that are known for their mild temperament and hypoallergenic coats, which are ideal for allergy sufferers. The puppy lives with Mr and Mrs Goodhew and has been carefully chosen from a responsible breeder who has previously reared “Pets as Therapy” dogs.
The dog will be gradually trained and introduced to the children slowly. Over the year all children will have the opportunity to interact with the Luna as she begins to visit the classrooms and moves around the school. Whilst moving around the school, and during her training, she will be kept on a short lead and will always be with an adult. Please understand that we will do everything we can to reassure children who are fearful and that under no circumstances will they be forced to meet with the dog if they do not wish to do so.
We will publish pictures regularly on the school website to show the dog as it grows up. We understand that it is not possible for all families to have a pet and therefore we hope that this is an opportunity for children to have a “share” and gain positively from a relationship and contact on a regular basis.