New Member of Staff at BSCS has Four Legs not Two!

Bradley Stoke Community School have introduced a very important new member of the school community- Wally the dog! Wally is a Cocker Spaniel puppy.

A growing number of schools, colleges and universities are now recognising the benefits of introducing a pet into their organisation.

Studies show that a school dog can have a very positive effect on students and there are many examples of how they can support a school community, including: helping to reduce anxiety; encouraging students to attend school; helping students to cope with examination stress; helping to foster a sense of responsibility; improving reading confidence by having students read to them and generally bringing a warmth to the school which makes the place feel happier. Costs associated with Wally are covered by a generous benefactor so school funds are not used.

Naturally there were a few students who are worried or anxious about being near dogs or who have allergies to dogs. Students were assured that they do not have to have close or direct contact with Wally unless they wish to, and before being introduced to the school parents were encouraged to raise any concerns. A full risk assessment was completed before the decision was taken and staff and students were briefed fully before Wally was introduced to students.

Wally was introduced to students in an assembly and, in consultation with an animal behaviourist, a set of guidelines has been agreed, such as not to crowd Wally and to remain calm around him with no sudden movements or loud noises, definitely not to feed him snacks!

Bradley Stoke & Little Stoke Gifford Matters thinks Wally is absolutely gorgeous and can’t wait to meet him!!

P.S As you can see from the photo Wally quite enjoys posing for a camera!

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