Our School Dog
Hello, my name is Bella and I am the newest member of staff at St. Bede’s Catholic primary school where I work as the school dog.
My role as school dog is challenging and varied but I feel that I am more than up to the task! Numerous research studies have shown the benefits of dogs in schools. Therapy dogs have been working in schools across the UK for the past 5 years. Evidence indicates that areas of potential benefit’s include:
- Cognitive development- companionship with a dog stimulates memory, problem- solving, game- playing and can improve reading skills
- Emotional development- a school dog improves self- esteem, acceptance from others and lifts mood, often provoking laughter and fun. Dogs can also teach compassion and respect for other living things as well as relieving anxiety.
- Physical development- interaction with a pet reduces blood pressure, provides tactile stimulation, gives motivation to move, walk and stimulate the senses.
- Environmental benefits- a dog in school contributes towards the creation of home-style environment, with all the above benefits continuing long after the school day is over.
- Social benefits- a dog provides a positive mutual topic for discussion, encourages responsibility, well-being, developing social skills and focused integration with others
However, what will my role as a school dog at St. Bede’s entail? (HA! Tail! You get it!)
During school hours, I will have a challenging and ever changing job. I will be spending lots of time with Mrs Tobin and Miss Barker with a variety of interventions including: listening ear (and as everybody knows, dogs can hear a lot better than humans); LEGO therapy and drawing therapy. I will also be joining classes when they take part in outdoor woodland adventures. After a while, I will work as a reading dog where I will listen to children read me stories and answering questions. Sometimes, I may join a class for a lesson or two if it will enrich the experience in some way.
At the moment, I am getting used to the school environment. I am learning: how to greet people and where I can play. I am spending a lot of time in the Mrs Tobin’s office (my mum) whilst I am introduced to school life slowly.
I am a cockapoo, a cross between a cocker-spaniel and a poodle. This means that I do not shed fur, making it highly unlikely that anyone will be allergic to me.
I plan to keep my section of the website up-to- date with photographs documenting my time in school.
If you have, any further questions regarding my role within school please request to see me in person or contact the school office via email.