A Whole School Program Focussed on Student Well-Being
Research shows us that dogs have may ways of having positive impacts on people. Incidental impacts of interacting with dogs are linked to lowered heart rate while in stressful situations or environments, reduction in anxiety, increase in feelings of acceptance, increase in eagerness to attempt challenging tasks, and increases in positive emotions. All of these impacts underpin student well-being and support students in their learning in a variety of ways.
The Dogs Connect Program works directly with our school community towards bringing a dog into the culture of learning and teaching with a clear focus on student well-being and connectedness. we know that students who are connected to their place of learning have a much higher rate of becoming equipped to learn socially, academically and emotionally. This program has been very exciting for our school community and has introduced very positive impacts.
Our School Has Made A Wonderful Decision
Our school has decided to employ the use of a dog as a staff assistant. Our dog, Milly, began work on a part time basis in week four of term three 2018, and progressed to full time work as her stamina built. By the end of term four our school had Milly as a full time member of the teaching and learning community.
Grant Shannon and Sonny the Labradoodle from Dogs Connect worked with our school on a weekly basis to help implement this program in a way that is sustainable and successful.
The effects of this leading edge program will be continually be assessed, reviewed and documented as we move through the different levels of connection with students, staff, parents and the broader community.
Prior to the program beginning the school and Dogs Connect asked for parent and student feedback regarding any considerations that we need to be aware of. If carers or students have any queries, suggestions or information that may be helpful we encourage you to note these and ensure that we receive the information.
Please visit the Dogs Connect website and view the short film clips at the top of the home page for a look at how this program works and what it looks like in schools. www.dogsconnect.net.au