Meet Willow – our friendly, happy wellbeing dog
Willow is a much loved and valued member of our school community working and supporting children as part of our wellbeing and inclusion team. When Willow is not at school she lives with Miss Stupples, one of our HLTAs. Willow spends most of her time in our school office or Inclusion Hub alongside Miss Jones (Relationships & Behaviour Lead) or Miss White (Wellbeing Coach).
Willow is always ready to support children who may need some time with her to support their emotional, social and mental wellbeing. She loves nothing more than spending time visiting children around the school too!
- Improved behaviour and concentration, reduced stress and improved self-esteem;
- Encouraging expression, participation and confidence for all children;
- Fostering a sense of responsibility;
- Motivating pupils to think and to learn;
- Developing an enthusiasm for and enjoyment of animals;
- Encouraging respect and thereby improving pupils’ relationships with each other, parents and teachers;
- Teaching children to nurture and respect life;
- Helping work undertaken with the most vulnerable children;
- Helping children build confidence in reading;
- Improving attendance;
- Helping overcome a fear of dogs;
- Developing the understanding of unconditional love;
- Supporting with the development of cooperative play;
- Supporting children to develop empathy;
- Further promote our Wellbeing agenda for pupils.
- Rigorous research has been carried out to ensure that we have selected the most suitable breed of dog for our school, pupils and staff;
- Prior to selecting Willow as a member of our team, senior members of staff visited the home of the breeder to ensure that her temperament, and that of her parents, was suitable for interaction with children;
- A full risk assessment and policy has been written and can be found within the policies section on the website;
- When Willow begins working with individual children, consent will be sought for each child to have contact;
- All contact will be carefully planned and children will not be left unsupervised with the dog;
- When not working, Willow will be based with Mrs Edgar (Community Liaison Officer) in the school office or in the Inclusion Hub with Miss Jones (Relationships & Behaviour Lead) and Miss White (Wellbeing Coach).
- Willow is a Cockapoo and the breed has low allergy and low shedding qualities;
- All areas of the school are vacuumed and surfaces are wiped down daily;
- Movement around the school will be controlled;
- Willow will be regularly groomed;
- Any child working with Willow will wash their hands after petting her.