Treacle our school dog
Some of you may have spotted a new addition to the Tockholes family. Treacle the sproodle has joined our family (via Miss Ross) and is settling in very well and although Treacle will predominantly be a family pet, he is now starting to visit school, whilst training to be a well-being dog for pupils and staff. Treacle will predominantly stay safely in the offices and at a distance from the pupils until satisfactory training has been completed. He will then, in time, work with small groups or on a one to one basis, but will always be accompanied by a trained adult.
When choosing Treacle there were certain things we needed to consider if he was also going to be coming into a school. Sproodles are known to:
- Be low/non-shedding and likely to be non-allergenic for people with allergies
- Have a great temperament and a friendly demeanor
- Be a breed recognised as one that makes a good well-being dog and a good companion.
Although many of us love animals, we are of course aware that many children and adults are not so keen, plus we have members of our school community that may have allergies to pet hair. For that reason, on his visits to school, Treacle will predominantly be based in the office areas and the ‘snug’ which is shortly to be our nurture provision room. He will at times move around the school on a lead with an adult, avoiding the areas where children with allergies are known to be. Children will be invited to come and see him should they wish to do so. You can find our school dog policy on the website, along with a risk assessment, for further information.
Our school does have a ‘no dogs’ policy and dogs are not allowed anywhere on the school site. However, there is a risk assessment in place for Treacle and the school has a policy specifically for him. He will always be accompanied by an adult who knows him well and children’s time with him will be carefully monitored and supervised. We hope you will join us in welcoming Treacle to St Stephen’s Tockholes and embrace all that he can offer the school. More information about his progress will be in future newsletters. As this is a trial, the impact will be monitored and reviewed regularly so that the safety and education of the children is not compromised. Your feedback will be welcome and considered.
If you do not wish your child to be in contact with the dog whilst it is on the school premises, please let us know by emailing school on:
Treacle the Tockholes Dog
There is lots of research that shows that children respond well to animals. Spending time with animals can help pupils with their learning, as well as managing their emotions and developing better communication skills. Here at Tockholes, Treacle will eventually become involved in all aspects of school life, as well as during times when children and staff are finding things difficult.
Our school dog will help support the mental health and well-being of our pupils in the following areas:
Emotional well-being – interacting with dogs can help improve self-esteem, acceptance and lift moods. They are a bundle of fun and we hope will often result in laughter and fun. It is known that dogs have the ability to relieve anxiety.
Social & Communication – Dogs can make amazing listeners, and therefore are great companions. Dogs love human interaction, are highly intelligent and are able to mimic simple intensive interaction and turn taking games. Treacle’s non-judgemental interaction can support and increase your child’s confidence to initiate communication.
Physical well-being – Petting Treacle provides tactile stimulation and therefore will engage all senses. Like our pupils, our dogs will require regular movement breaks and will need activity/games/walks outside. Long term we are hoping that this will become part of Treacle’s role, which will motivate the children to
get active with him and in turn will prepare them to be ‘ready to learn’ when in the classroom.