School community – having a dog in school builds a sense of family environment and togetherness.
We are delighted to welcome Ruby, a Rhodesian Ridgeback, to our Belgrave family. We are registered with the Paws & Read programme (Therapy Dogs Nationwide - TDN), which is designed to give pupils opportunities to increase their confidence of, and enjoyment in reading.
The aim of Paws and Read is to improve communication and literacy skills of children as well as the many benefits of generally having a dog in school, including:
- Cognitive development – building a companionship with a dog helps children stimulate memory, problem-solving and game-playing skills
- Social skills – dogs provide a mutual topic for conversation with others and encourage responsibility, well being and focussed interaction with others
- Emotional skills – dogs improve self-esteem, acceptance from others and are known for improving moods. Dogs can also help children develop compassion and respect and can reduce children’s anxiety
- Physical development – interaction with dogs is known to reduce blood pressure, provide tactile stimulation and give motivation to children to move and walk
- Reading – Therapy dogs are known to help children with their reading and literacy skills through their calming presence and ability to listen to children read without being judgmental or critical
Ruby, a Therapy Dogs Nationwide registered dog, will visit each week with her owner Mrs Guthrie. Children will have the opportunity to read with Ruby in a whole class situation as well as reading to Ruby individually or as part of a small group under the close supervision of the TDN volunteer and a member of the school staff. These dogs are specially temperament assessed dogs who normally visit in hospitals, hospices, care homes etc. The dogs will remain on lead and under full control of the TDN volunteer at all times.
Paws & Read gives children an opportunity to practice and enjoy reading to an audience who will enjoy the experience as much as your child does. This will be a special time for your child as they read their chosen book to the Therapy Dogs Nationwide dog or read to the dog in the whole class, as well as having a chance to get to know the dog as the weeks progress.
We have undertaken a thorough risk assessment which includes the hygiene practices that will be in place. The risk assessment is on the website should you require more information.