Fernie, our school dog
Meet Fernie, Our School Dog Here at Winford Primary, we have an educational assistance dog, Called Fernie.
He is a ‘chocolate’ Labrador who lives with the Headteacher, but comes into school daily. He is fully trained and certified through a charity called ‘Dogs Helping Kids’. The training takes in excess of 18 months and he has had to pass eight rigorous assessments in order to meet the standard. Fernie is based in the Headteacher’s office, but will often be seen on a lead with Mr Gardner in classrooms, assemblies at playtime and around school.
Fernie is used as a dog to educate about welfare and training, provide therapy and listen to children read. It has been proven that working with a dog improves children’s social skills and self-esteem. Many studies have been undertaken that give credit to the benefits of dogs in the school. We also place great emphasis on using Fernie to educate children about how to approach, act around and train dogs. There is no better place to educate our children on how to treat animals than that of the school environment. Animals in schools can encourage children to respect all life, teach responsibility, motivate those children who are often not that attentive, help calm children down and improve academic achievement.
In addition to this, if children are wary of dogs, they can be supported in approaching, handling and gaining confidence in managing their fears, through the presence of a specially trained dog in school.
We also have a young Labrador-in-training who attends on alternate days from Fernie. He is Tango and is currently undertaking the DHK program. He works with both the Headteacher and our part time pastoral and wellbeing practitioner.
Both Fernie and Tango have been fully risk assessed but if you have any questions , concerns or reservations then please do contact the school for further information.
Please do take a look at the ‘Dogs Helping Kids’ website to read about the benefits of school dogs and what they can do.