Our School Dog

 

We would like to introduce you to the new Newlands Primary School Dog in training, Jinxy.

Jinxy is a Yorkshire Terrier puppy that hopes to be a member of the Newlands School Community.

The name Jinxy means, "Magic Charm" and is a fitting name for this little male puppy.

Yorkshire Terriers shed very little making them ideal for people allergic to dander and do not get very big, usually around 7 lbs.

 

Why can a school dog be beneficial?

* School dogs are able to provide comfort and affection to individuals in a variety of settings. For some, school can be a stressful setting and this stress can inhibit learning, manifest as unwanted behaviour and create a strain on the resources which can help young people cope with emotions, disorders or relationships. Through providing a comforting presence in the school they can be an inexpensive way to assist pupils in focusing on their education.

* Empirical evidence has shown that school dogs can enhance a child’s psychological development, improve social skills and increase self-esteem among other benefits. Dogs can also teach responsibility, compassion and respect for other living things. Dogs in school can be used to calm fears, relieve anxiety and teach skills. 

Here is a summary of potential benefits adapted from the Australian Companion Animal Council:

* Physical - Interaction with a furry friend reduces blood pressure, provides tactile stimulation, assists with pain management, gives motivation to move / walk and stimulates the senses

* Social - A visit with a dog provides a positive mutual topic for discussion, promotes greater self-esteem and wellbeing and focusses interaction with others

* Cognitive - Companionship with a dog stimulates memory, problem solving and game playing* Emotional - A four legged visitor improves self-esteem, acceptance from others and lifts the mood of the school*Environmental - A dog in a work environment decreases the feeling of a sterile environment, de-stresses adults and children alike

 

What are the desired goals?

The following is a summary of the desired goals:

- Increased empathy and compassion

- Improved social skills pupils

- Reduced anxiety levels and help children to decompress after stressful and traumatic circumstances

- Improved attitudes towards school and self

- Improve reading skills, comprehension and literary interest

- Lessen the emotional trauma of a critical incident / event for children, teachers and staff

- Improve school attendance

- Feedback on the impact of Jinxy being in school will be reported to the governing body, evaluating the effectiveness on achieving these goals.

 

What next?

 

Jinxy will begin coming into school for short periods of time over beginning the Week of 26th September.

In the beginning, he will remain in Mrs Prince’s office and take walks around school after 3 pm when most of the children are gone.  This is how he will get use to the environment and the multitude of smells. Eventually, when Mrs Prince is sure that Jinxy is settled he will be introduced to the classes.

 

It is to be noted that Jinxy will always be on a leash when outside of Mrs Prince’s office and not allowed to wonder freely.

  

As the year goes on, we will report on how Jinxy is getting on both at school and at home.

 

You can find the School Dog Policy HERE.