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Cirencester Deer Park School

Cirencester Deer Park School

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January 2016

In January 2016 we announced that we would be trialling having a School Dog. Nearly a year later we are all amazed at the impact that Denzil and Cosmo have had on our school community!

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.

Denzil the Golden Retriever started with us in January and was joined in September by his nephew Cosmo.

News stories here on our website:

  1. In February, Denzil becomes a regular...
  2. In March, Denzil and BBC Radio 4 ...
  3. In September, Introducing Cosmo… 
  4. In October, Our School Dogs...

We have been contacted by other educational establishments, even as far afield as Germany following a piece about Denzil on Radio 4 Woman’s Hour, expressing an interest in the positive influence of having a school dog and wanting our help in understanding how to establish a dog in a school environment. 

Cosmo continues to settle into life at Deer Park and now comes in 3 days a week to work with, and learn from, his uncle Denzil. He has been spending a proportion of his time with the Pastoral Team, working with some of our learners as a Therapy Dog. He has become a regular feature around the site during lunchtime as he meets and greets pupils while out on duty with staff. Just this week some pupils have been given the responsibility of walking Cosmo at break times and lunchtimes. This helps develop their confidence and sense of responsibility.

As we move into 2017 Cosmo will be undertaking some 1:1 training so he can start to take a more high profile role in the PLC as a Reading Dog and begin to follow a timetable of lessons, having an impact on a wider set of pupils and their learning.

Cosmo December 2016