Denzil the Dog
We continue our School Dog trial as Denzil becomes a regular at Deer Park...
We are continuing our trial of having a School Dog. After researching a range of studies that indicated that School Dogs can have a very positive effect on a variety of pupils, from helping pupils who are struggling with things in school, reducing anxiety, improving reading confidence (by being read to) and generally being a calming influence, we embarked on our trial after Christmas.
Denzil has listened to a lot of our younger pupils reading and seems to love it! He has been in other lessons, including English and Maths, and has been out on duty with staff at lunchtimes.
Pupils who have worked with Denzil have commented that "Denzil has got me reading out aloud. I would give him 10/10 for being useful and I would like him in our lessons again" (Callum) and "Personally, while reading I find it hard to concentrate and I am easily distracted; however Denzil helps me concentrate and enjoy reading" (Francesca).
Denzil has also been into some of our tutor groups. One of our tutors reflected on the impact that Denzil had with her tutees "Denzil has been a regular visitor to my Year 7 group during tutor time on Friday mornings. The pupils have taken it in turns to sit with him in groups and read to him. They have really benefitted from his calming presence at the end of a tiring week at school, particularly pupils for whom school can sometimes be a challenge."
Denzil has spent time with some pupils who have had difficult life events to process. Again, his calm manner and that unconditional love that he demonstrates to pupils has helped to reduce levels of anxiety in pupils.
We love having Denzil in school and can see the impact that he has when he is working with pupils. Based on the trial so far, Denzil is a great addition to our school community and we hope that you can see the potential benefits a School Dog brings to pupils at Deer Park School. We would welcome any feedback that you have with regards to Denzil and our School Dog Trial. Please contact Mrs Lang if you have any questions or comments about this.
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We are going to trial having a School Dog. Studies have shown that School Dogs can have a very positive effect on a range of pupils, from helping pupils who are struggling with things in school, reducing anxiety, improving reading confidence (by being read to) and generally being a calming influence.
We understand that there may be a few pupils who have phobias of or allergies to dogs: we want to reassure you that no pupils will have to come in close contact with the School Dog unless they wish to. If your son/daughter has a phobia of or allergy to dogs, it would be really helpful if they could speak to Mrs Lang to make us aware of this. If you have further concerns, please contact Mrs Lang.
The school has completed a risk assessment with regards to having a School Dog and pupils and staff will be made fully aware of all the information that they need regarding our School Dog. We will be reviewing having a School Dog after a short trial and would welcome any feedback you have.
Denzil is a 5 year old Golden Retriever owned by Mrs Stubbs, one of our Key Stage 3 Pastoral Managers. He is known for his mild temperament and excellent behaviour. He has previously visited pupils at a Wiltshire school for pupils with learning difficulties, and so already has some experience of a school environment. As part of the trial, he will be gradually coming into school for extended periods over the coming weeks and he will work with individual pupils and small groups of pupils (who will all be given the choice about this).
We believe that this will be a great addition to our school community and hope that you can see the potential benefits a School Dog could bring to pupils at Deer Park School.