Jeff, The Reading and Therapy Dog
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Meet Jeff, The Reading and Therapy Dog
Jeff is a regular attender at Meadowside Primary School as a Reading and Therapy Dog. Jeff is a Cavapoo dog. Cavapoos are a breed of dog that are known for their mild temperament and hypo-allergenic coats.
Jeff is Mrs Garnham's dog and lives at home with her.
As a leadership team we have undertaken a significant amount of research and are aware of many benefits to having a school dog including:
- a calming effect on pupils
- improved behaviour and concentration, reduced stress and improved self-esteem
- encouraging expression, participation and confidence for all children
- fostering a sense of responsibility
- motivating pupils to think and to learn, as most children have a high level of natural interest in, enthusiasm for and enjoyment of animals
- encouraging respect and thereby improving pupils’ relationships with each other, parents and teachers
- teaching children to nurture and respect life
- helping work undertaken with the most vulnerable children, and educational the improvements with low achievers
- helping children build confidence in reading
- improving attendance.
Dogs are increasingly being used in schools with great success and some of you may have seen in the media that they are now being used in some hospitals as the emotional health benefits they bring are just so vast.
Jeff comes into school on certain days of the week and helps pupils in many ways. He will encourage and motivate pupils who find reading tricky by letting them read to him. On top of this, he will help pupils who might be upset or worried about something and he will be seen with children who have earned ‘Jeff time’ as a reward for their good work or behaviour.
We will publish pictures of our school dog via our Twitter feeds so that everyone can enjoy his development and Meadowside Matters will provide regular ‘pupdates’. Follow Jeff at @Jeffmeadowside
Jeff has the full approval of the Governing Body, a full risk assessment Dogs in school Policy have been completed and ratified by the Governing Body.
Pupil Emotional Health & Mental Wellbeing
At Meadowside Primary, we are committed to promoting positive emotional health and mental wellbeing in all that we do. Through our open culture we aim to support all our pupils, the staff and families; we allow pupils’ voices to be heard and through the use of effective policies and procedures we ensure a safe and supportive environment for all affected – both directly and indirectly – by mental health issues. There is a new policy for Emotional Health and Mental Wellbeing on this website – see the link below.
We have recently carried out a whole school audit which includes a staff and pupil survey and during the Spring and Summer terms we are developing a wide range of strategies to support everyone at Meadowside. These will include workshops for parents/carers so look out for these. When faced with your son’s/daughter’s anxiety or low self esteem it can be a challenge for parents to know what to do to help them. For example when we did the survey in December, pupils in years 3 and 4 scored quite low on their self esteem. Follow this link to see some advice to parents about how you can help. Remember, we are not all experts but we can learn and listen. www.buildsoundminds.org.uk
The topic of mental health has been talked about a lot in the press and we are delighted that Ofsted recognise the importance of how students are supported in this area. Student mental health is on the new framework for inspection for September 2020 and we aim to be ahead of the game! There is a huge amount of information, guidance and support on the internet which can be a bit overwhelming. Here are a few websites that we recommend:
NSPCC Coronavirus (COVID-19) Advice and Support for Carers and Parents
Bereavement Support for children and adults
In light of occcasional sad news here are some booklets which may help children and adults cope.