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West Kingsdown Church of England Primary School

West Kingsdown Church of England Primary School

Our School Dog

There has been a growing movement in many schools to reintroduce the concept of school pets as a way of teaching all children responsibility and providing a source of pleasure and learning.

Therapy dogs are being used as a source of comfort and relaxation for children and adults who may need “someone to talk to” or just someone who will accept them and offer comfort or a calming influence in their lives. There is much evidence that children who struggle with relationships or with managing their own emotions gain a great deal from spending time with a pet.

In 2021 we worked with The Dog Mentor, to find an appropriate puppy breed with the right temperament, is hypoallergenic and doesn’t shed to support children who have allergies. Our SENCO, Mrs Stoneham, brought home Eve over the summer holidays.

Eve is a Golden Retriever, who in time will be trained to be a Therapy dog. She will be trained to an exceptionally high level across a two-year training program alongside the charity, whilst also living with Mrs Stoneham at her home. 

Our pupils will have the opportunity to attend assemblies and receive training about how to care and behave safely around dogs.

We have discussed the practicalities of having a school dog with other Headteachers who also have a school dog., including everything from risk assessments and insurance to dealing with training, doggy toileting and children’s allergies.

We are very mindful, that introducing a dog into the school setting should not be a distraction to the children’s learning and for this to enhance our school ethos and the experiences we offer our children.

If you have any questions or queries regarding the introduction of a school dog into our environment, please do not hesitate to contact the school office for an appointment with a member of the Senior Leadership Team.