Benji the School Dog

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Benji will be a regular attender at Woodhill Primary School. Benji is a labradoodle dog. Labradoodles are a breed of dog that are known for their mild temperament and hypo-allergenic coats. Currently Benji is attending a regular puppy school where he will be specially trained over the coming months.

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 hopsitals as the emotional health benefits they bring are just so vast.

We have chosen a labradoodle as the most appropriate breed of dog for the school. The breed has been carefully selected because of its ideal temperament and because it is used widely in the field of therapy and support (e.g. hearing dogs). Labradoodles are also used successfully in other schools as they are by nature gentle and friendly creatures.

We will publish pictures of our school dog via our Twitter feeds so that everyone can enjoy his development and our weekly newsletter will provide regular updates. Follow Benji at @benjiwoodhill 

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