Our school dogs
Our School Dogs
At Somers Park Primary School, we are introducing two school dogs, to provide emotional and wellbeing support for the pupils.
The benefits on mental health through being around and stroking friendly dogs are well documented and we are fortunate to have two professionally trained dogs, with a perfect nature to be around children and our school, as part of our school team.
Josie, a golden labrador, and Tali, a flat-coated retriever, come into school once or twice a week and are currently being integrated gradually to support both the pupils and the dogs themselves.
- Josie will be primarily based at the Somers Park site
- Tali will primarily be based at the Malvern Vale site.
A full risk assessment has been undertaken to ensure the safety and wellbeing of all involved.
- The value of pet therapy is widely accepted as a powerful aid to stimulation and communication.
- Studies have shown that the presence of companion animals can improve the wellbeing of children and lower anxiety.
- Therapy dogs will aim to make the environment happier, more enjoyable and less forbidding.
The school community has been informed of the introduction of therapy dogs at Somers Park Primary School. Parents have been provided with the opportunity to make the school aware of any anxieties or allergies their child may have.
It is accepted that interacting with animals is not appropriate for all children but that for some it may have positive benefits. Any parent who does not wish their child to interact with the dogs is invited to inform school leaders.
Roles and Responsibilities:
- Mr Hansen is the designated handler for Josie
- Miss Edkins is the second handler for Josie
- Mrs Birch is the designated handler for Tali
- Miss Edkins is the second handler for Tali
Dog Status and Context:
- Prior to being in school with children present, Josie and Tali have been introduced to the school environment so they are conditioned to the site. Both dogs have been professionally trained, are calm and obedient and have been risk assessed..
- Josie and Tali will become well known to the school staff and the children currently at the school.
The risk assessment is reviewed annually and included within this is and evaluation of the impact that the therapy dogs are having on learning outcomes.