My name is Tiki and I am the newest member of staff at St Eanswythe’s CE Primary 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. However, they have been commonplace in schools in the USA and Australia for many years now. Evidence indicates that areas of potential benefits 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, assists with pain management, gives motivation to move, walk and stimulates the senses.
• Environmental benefits – a dog in a school contributes towards the creation of home style environment, with all of the above benefits continuing long after the school day is over.
• Social benefits – a dog provides a positive mutual topic for discussion, encourages responsibility, wellbeing, developing social skills and focused interaction with others.
But what will my role as school dog at St Eanswythe’s CE Primary entail? During school hours I will have a challenging and ever-changing job. I will be spending a lot of time helping Miss Laws in year 6, I will also support a variety of interventions including: listening ear (and as everybody knows, dogs can hear a lot better than humans) and emotional support. After some training, I will work as a reading dog where I will listen to children reading 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 have learnt how to greet people and where and when I can play. I am spending a lot of time in Yr.6 and the Headteacher’s Office whilst I am introduced to school life. I am already a very popular member of the school and enjoy all the attention I get.
I am a goldendoodle, a cross between a golden retriever and a poodle. This means that I do not shed fur, making it highly unlikely that anyone will be allergic to me.
I look forward to meeting you
You can follow my latest activities on my blog.