Willow - Wellbeing Dog
Meet Willow our wellbeing dog
Willow is our lovely wellbeing dog who is working in our school as part of an on-going provision for wellbeing and mental health. Willow lives with Mrs Stupples and comes in to school every day to be alongside the children. Willow is currently based in the school's front office but visits the children throughout the day and at playtime. Willow is now used to her surroundings and all of us!
What are the benefits of a school dog?
- Improved pupil behaviour and concentration,
- Reduces stress and improved self-esteem,
- A calming effect on pupils,
- Encourages expression, participation and confidence in all children,
- Fostering a sense of responsibility,
- Motivating pupils to think and to learn,
- 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 overcome a fear of dogs,
- Increasing staff morale and wellbeing,
- 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,
- Enthusiasm for and enjoyment of animals,
- Helping children build confidence in reading,
- Improving attendance.
How has the school planned for this?
- 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 purchasing Willow, staff have visited the home of the breeder to ensure that the puppy's temperament, and that of their parents, is suitable for interaction with children,
- A full risk assessment and policy has been written and is available on the website,
- When Willow begins working with the 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 Willow,
- When not working, the dog will be based in the School Office.
What about allergies?
- All areas of the school are vacuumed and surfaces are wiped down daily
- Movement around the school will be controlled
- Any child working with Willow will wash their hands afterwards
- Willow is a labradoodle. This breed is hypoallergenic!