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School Dog

January 2023

Cerys is a Welsh Springer Spaniel. Welsh Springer Spaniels are less common than English Springer Spaniels, but are known to be friendly, loyal and affectionate.

Cerys is now a familiar sight around the school and has been into school on a part-time basis for over two years.

There are significant benefits for children to have contact with a dog in school. A dog can help to improve confidence and achievement, calm behaviour and support children at risk of emotional or mental health issues. At Elmgrove, we recognise the potential benefit of having a dog in school, however, we also understand that it is essential that it is the right dog with the right training in order to safely and successfully work with our children.


As such, our school dog is working with Paws and Learn (PAL) to ensure the health, safety and wellbeing of both the dog and the children. Paws and Learn is a company dedicated to training carefully selected dogs to help teach children non-violence, empathy, respect, kindness, love responsibility, friendship and trust.

Cerys is currently in her Intermediate years of training. We call her our School Dog in Training. She comes into school on a part-time basis and stays with Mrs Gardner in her office. In addition, she supports some children on an adhoc and regular basis. Some children like her to help to calm them, others like to read with her and several children like to help her learn new skills.  Everything she does is carefully supervised by Mrs Gardner and the PAL team. She will be assessed via termly wellbeing and skills checks through PAL.

Once fully trained and assessed, Cerys will become a certified School Dog. To reach this standard she must have a suitable temperament, have undergone in-depth positive reinforcement training and have been rigorously assessed to check that she is competent and safe to work in the educational environment. Cerys would continue to be affiliated to Paws and Learn which has other dogs being trained in schools in various parts of the country.

Cerys enjoys sniffing around the field, listening to children read, joining in activities the children have set up and watching them learn.

She also enjoys lots of rest time!

If you would like to find out more please ask to speak with Mrs Gardner.