Koby our school dog will be coming into school after the May bank holiday. Koby is now five months old and belongs to Mr Evans. Koby will be in school on the same days as Mr Evans – Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Mr Evans will slowly integrate Koby into school life.
- Dogs teach children responsibility. Having to remember to feed, provide water and show support for a dog can give children a sense of importance and satisfaction that they can’t get from school or other chores. The relationship that develops can be life-changing for a child and a great support system as they themselves continue to grow and develop.
- Dogs teach children patience. Dogs do not always do as they are told first time!
- Dogs teach children compassion. Just like humans, dogs feel emotion and pain. They are prone to injuries and the infirmities of age during their relatively short lives.
- Dogs teach children about socialisation. Like most of us, dogs are social animals who enjoy and need attention and affection. By learning how to interact with a dog, children can learn how to better socialise with other children. If they can learn the social cues of a dog, then interacting with humans who can talk will be a walk in the park (pun intended).
- Dogs are fun. Last, but certainly not least, dogs are a lot of fun. They greet you with a wagging tail every day and can cheer you up even on your worst day.
- Please see recent article link : https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-47655600
Many people have studied dogs in attempts to decipher their behaviour, and the theories abound. However, you just have to witness the interactions between dogs and children to realise the potential for greatness. Dogs can sense when children with epilepsy are about to have a seizure, they can sense when a diabetic child’s sugar is low, and they can help children with severe physical disabilities find happiness in life. With the proper training and supervision, a dog can enrich a child’s life. After all, dogs are basically four-legged children who never grow up!
As Koby gets older he will undertake training to work with children who have special needs, 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.
Koby will also be available to work with children 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 the dog’s main place of residence will be in our “Pine Cabin, which is secure and separate from the classrooms, children will be able to interact with the dog under strict supervision at certain times of the week as long as parental permission has been given. The dog will not be given access to other visitors without supervision or consent. Please understand that we will do everything we can to reassure children who are fearful and that under no circumstances will they be forced to meet with the dog. Please see the dog risk assessment which can be found on our school website.
Whilst moving around the school, Koby will be kept on a short lead and will always be with an adult. Koby is a cockapoo and has an ideal temperament as they are, by nature gentle and friendly.
The breed of dog has been chosen for its hypoallergenic properties; however children will not need to touch the dog which will relieve the possibility of allergic reactions however small. We already manage a number of allergies at school and this will be no different for children and adults that are allergic to dogs. Individual needs will always be met and we are happy to work with parents to out additional control measures in place for individual allergies.
We hope the children and staff will gain a great deal of enjoyment from having a school dog and that he becomes an established part of life at Wheatfields very quickly.