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 2018 we worked with the charity ‘Dogs Helping Kids’, to find an appropriate puppy breed with the right temperament, is hypoallergenic and doesn’t shed to support children who have allergies. Our Headteacher, Mrs Emily Howley, brought the chosen puppy, Murphy, home on Wednesday 30th May 2018.
Murphy is a Labrador, who in time will be trained to be a Therapy dog. He will be trained to an exceptionally high level across a two-year training program alongside the charity, whilst also living with Mrs Howley at her home.
Our pupils will have the opportunity to attend assemblies and receive training about how to care and behave safely around dogs, from the dog trainer and the charity ‘Dogs Helping Kids’.
We have discussed the practicalities of having a school dog with other Headtechers who also have a school dog., including everything from risk assessments and insurance to dealing with training, doggy toileting and children’s allergies.
We're also very fortunate to be working with an accredited and experienced dog trainer, alongside the charity ‘Dogs Helping Kids’ who already have a number of dogs successfully working and training in schools.
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.
You can find more information about this on their website here:
Please see below for our School Dog Policy and our School Dog risk assessment. Both of which are updated annually.
The link to Murphy's trainers website is http://www.barkingmaddts.com Please visit this website for more information on the kind of training they undertake.
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.
main-Murphy cooling off
main-Murphy's arrival 2