After many months of research and preparation, our school dog is ready to join Elmgrove. Due to the current Coronovirus situation she has been at home with Mrs Gardner but will join us in school on a part-time basis now we are returning. Cerys is a Welsh Springer Spaniel. Welsh Springer Spaniels are less well known than the English Springer Spaniels but are known to be friendly, loyal and affectionate.
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 will work with the charity Dogs Helping Kids to ensure the health, safety and wellbeing of both the dog and the children.
For the first twelve months Cerys will be ‘behind the scenes’ at Elmgrove. She will be coming into school most days and staying with Mrs Gardner in her office to get used to the school environment. She will be doing some training around the school at quiet times such as the beginning and the end of the day. During this time there will be no contact with the pupils whilst she is settling in to the school and learning her basic cues. At around twelve months she will undertake the DHK Entry Test and the school we undertake a Welfare Assessment so that hopefully Cerys will be accepted on to the School Dog Training Programme which lasts another two years.
Once fully trained and assessed, Cerys would 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 the Dogs Helping Kids charity which already has dogs working in schools in various parts of the country. You will find more information about this charity at www.dogshelpingkids.co.uk
If you would like to find out more please read our School Dog Policy or ask to speak with Mrs Gardner.