Animals in schools provide a rich learning experience for students. We are very fortunate at our school to have officially accredited dog Called Merlin.
There is a growing understanding about the health and psychological benefits of having companion animals in our lives. Children can develop an appreciation for the needs of others by taking on classroom responsibilities of caring for animals. Pets also come with some very powerful mental and physical health benefits. Dogs in particular can reduce stress, anxiety and depression, ease loneliness, encourage exercise and playfulness, and even improve your cardiovascular health. More than any other animal, dogs have evolved to become acutely attuned to humans and our behaviour and emotions.
While dogs are able to understand many of the words we use, they are even better at interpreting our tone of voice, body language, and gestures. Like any good human friend, a loyal dog will look into your eyes to gauge your emotional state and try to understand what you are thinking and feeling (and to work out when the next walk or treat might be coming, of course). Merlin is a much loved members of our school community. He has been attending school since he was young, and has engaged in the School Dog Induction process covering expectations on training, socialisation and risk management. The management of the wellbeing and respectful care of Merlin is of paramount importance to our staff and community. The following images introduces you to Merlin.