We would like to introduce you to Flo, the Dog Mentor. She has a very important job to do by supporting all members of our community; our pupils, our parents and our staff.
She has been formally assessed to ascertain his suitability for the school setting and passed with flying colours.
We have undertaken a significant amount of research and are aware of many benefits to having a school dog:
- A calming effect on pupils, particularly those with behavioural or learning difficulties;
- Improved behaviour and concentration, reduce stress and improved self-esteem;
- Encouraging expression and participation in more withdrawn children;
- Fostering a sense of responsibility;
- Increasing enthusiasm for and enjoyment of animals which will motivate the children to think and learn;
- Encouraging respect and thereby improving pupils’ relationship with each other, parents and teachers;
- Teaching children to nurture and respect life;
- Helping work undertaken with the most vulnerable children and educational improvements with low achievers;
- Helping children build confidence in reading;
- Helping children who suffer bereavement or who are upset in any way and in need of calm, comfort and space before being able to tell an adult what has upset them.
Flo is also available to work with children (and adults) who have had bad experiences with dogs or other animals. With parental permission, over a period of time children who react fearfully to dogs will be supported in approaching, handling and gaining confidence in managing their fear.
While Flo’s main place of residence will be the Primary Office, which is secure and separate from the classrooms, children interact with Flo under strict supervision at certain times of the day/week. Flo will not be given access to other visitors without supervision and mutual consent.
We operate an “opt out” system whereby should you wish your child to not to engage with Flo the Dog Mentor, we would like you to complete and return the relevant form available by contacting the Primary Office. If you give consent for your child to interact with Flo then you do not need to do anything.