At Meadlands we love animals and for the last few years we have had weekly visits from Sika, who is a therapy dog. Sika is a black Labrador and spends some time at Meadlands in the ‘Bicycle Shed’ with Ms Davies.
During his visiting hours, children can read to Sika and Chaplin, stroke her whilst talking to Ms Davies, or take her outside for a walk around our field. These sessions are so rewarding and have such a positive impact on our pupils.
As well as Sika, Chaplin, Mrs Taunton-Johnson's cross-breed dog, often comes to school to visit. He can be found in the Year 5 class or with Miss Davies. The children like to take Chaplin for walks on the school field and use this time to give Chaplin some exercise but also talk with Miss Davies.
Dogs are increasingly being used in schools with great success. Below are just some of the benefits we continue to see from having Sika and Chaplin at Meadlands.
- a calming effect on pupils
- a development of empathy
- 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
- teaching children to nurture and respect life
- helping with work undertaken with the most vulnerable children
- further promote ‘well being’ for our pupils
This what our children have said about Sika and Chaplin:
- I like visiting Sika every week because after spending time with her, its shows me that dogs are really friendly and enjoyable to play with.
- Spending time with the dogs make me feel really happy and relaxed.
- Stroking Chaplin makes me feel calm, relaxed and happy.
- I really wished we had a school dog and now we have one. When I stroke Chaplin, he is really soft.
- I love Sika. I love stroking Sika. She is so soft and gentle. It makes me feel calm and happy.