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Oldcastle Primary School

Inspire Motivate Educate

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School Logo

Welcome To

Oldcastle Primary School

Inspire Motivate Educate

Well-Being Dog

Well-Being Dog at Oldcastle

You may be aware that there is a growing movement to introduce the concept of “Well-Being Dogs” into schools.  Well-Being dogs are being used as a source of comfort and relaxation for children and adults who may need “someone to talk to,” or just someone who will accept them and offer comfort or a calming influence in their lives. There is much evidence that children who struggle with relationships or with managing their own emotions gain a great deal from spending time with a pet. Children can benefit educationally and emotionally, increase their understanding of responsibility and develop empathy and nurturing skills through contact with a dog. 

 

We know that this pandemic has had a significant impact on many of our pupils emotionally and socially. Therefore, we are delighted to have a school Well-Being Dog. 

 

Staff carried out research to find an appropriate breed of puppy with the right temperament and is suitable for interaction with children.  

 

On February 9th, we collected a golden retriever puppy who will be trained to be a well-being dog. 

 

As a school, we have discussed the practicalities, both for the animal’s sake and for the sake of the children and adults in the school, including everything from risk assessments and insurance to dealing with training, doggy toileting and children’s allergies. Also, we will be working with an accredited and experienced dog trainer Emily Freeman from Clever Canines. Emily is a fully qualified member of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers and is one of Bridgend’s top 3 dog trainers. 

 

Our aim is that all children across the school who wish to have contact with the dog will have an opportunity to have quality time with him.  From the start, we would like the children and the whole school community to be given the opportunity to be involved. 

 

To reassure you, our dog will not be around the school off the lead while he is training and will be trained to a high level. We are very mindful that introducing a dog into the school setting should not be a distraction to the children’s learning but to enhance our school ethos and the experiences we offer. Attached you will find answers to several questions you may have, and our risk assessment can be found on the school website. If you have any questions or queries regarding the introduction of a school dog into our environment, please do not hesitate to contact the school. 

 

And here is Barney!

Photos of Barney

Well-Being Dog Risk Assessment

Questions and Answers

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