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Dog Therapy In School

We are excited to introduce you to a new member of The Academy of Woodlands. Dottie belongs to Mrs Page. She is a 1 year old Dalmatian.

She has undertaken her dog mentoring training. She passed her Bronze and Silver Levels last year and has recently received her Gold Award. This decision has been made following extensive research, discussion with other schools that have a School Dog and approval of the Governing Body. A full risk assessment has been completed which will be available on our website.

Some concerns you might have:

My child is allergic to dogs

It is understandable that some of you may be concerned about possible allergic reactions to a school dog. However, Dottie will be subjected to the most thorough cleanliness and grooming regime. She will also only be allowed in situations with pupils who voluntarily wish to work with her. Your permission will of course be sought in advance of Dottie having access to, and working with, your child in school.

Will Dottie be properly cared for?

Dottie will be extremely well looked after. She lives with Mrs Page and her two other dogs; she will come to school most days but will stay safely in her bed in the wellbeing room.

My child fears dogs

Some children may have had upsetting experiences and thus have a fear of dogs (or another animal). Dottie will only be in contact with children whose parents have given their permission. However, Dottie’s training will help her to be calm and gentle around children; she has a very loving and gentle nature. Experience and research have shown that, with proper guidance and handling, children can learn to overcome their fear of animals and grow in respect and appreciation for them.

The Power of the Dog Mentor Programme:

  • Anxiety Reduction
  • Attachment and Relationship Building
  • Communication and Social Anxieties
  • Desensitisation
  • Problem Solving
  • Social Interactions and Relationships
  • Stress Coping Strategies
  • Attention and Behavioural Difficulties

The Dog Mentor programme has proven to have a positive impact on children in all areas of self-esteem, behaviour, peer relationships, and better engagement skills. These improvements have resulted in better academic achievements.

While working with Dottie, children will learn about communication and body language, take part in ice-breaker games, discuss feelings, teach tricks and give treats to Dottie. They will also complete a pupil workbook.

The content of the workbook focuses on how we can use the human-animal bond to learn good communication with others and help to create a positive change.

The workbook contains information and activities such as:

  • Weekly Journal
  • About ME
  • My Family
  • Body Language
  • Feelings and Emotions
  • Worksheets and activities
  • Tricks and treats for training

Dottie will be in school on Friday 10th December undergoing a training session with Mrs Page and our Dog Mentor Trainer, so your child may see her around school then.

If you are NOT happy for your child to be involved with Dottie, please can you email the school office by Wednesday 8th December.