Winnie - the therapy dog
‘Pet therapy’ is widely accepted as benefitting children’s well-being and communication skills. Studies have shown that the presence of companion animals can improve the well-being of students and lower the rate of anxiety simply by making the environment happier, more enjoyable and less forbidding. 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 so vast. St Saviour’s & St Olave’s School has made the decision to introduce a dog to the school from 10th May 2021. The puppy, named ‘Winnie’ will belong to Ms Pagliero, MFL Teacher, and she will be the main point of contact for any dog questions. The puppy will grow up in the school environment becoming fully accustomed to the routines of the day and supportive of students within the school.
Winnie our therapy dog continues to grow and get more confident around the school. She can walk up stairs now by herself and enthusiastically lollops into school every day.
Amongst her first official duties was meeting the Year 13 students on the last day of school and woofing hello to most of Year 11 before they left for the summer.
Since then Winnie has been very busy. She helped fly the rainbow flag for LGBT week, posed for photos as part of 8 Yellow’s postcard project in activities week, and she has started to spend some time with individual students.
Her first big outing was Sports Day when she spent most of the day staying cool and enjoying walks with small groups of students accompanied by a teacher.