Casper The Rowans School Dog
Since Friday 9th October, Mrs Martin has been bringing her dog Casper into school as ‘The Rowans School Dog’. Casper has become an integral part of the school teaching team and is highly valued by the school and the children.
Casper and is a male Beagle. Beagles are medium size dogs within the hound group of dogs. Casper is even tempered, gentle, he can be excitable when playing, amiable in that he calms down when a person is nervous of him, showing his pleasant, good-natured personal qualities and is intelligent.
Casper’s very presence has a calming effect on the children. Research studies in both Britain and America have concluded that having a dog in a school can have many positive benefits – these include help to calm children down, improve academic achievement, motivate those children who are often not that attentive, teach responsibility and encourage children to respect all life. Furthermore it has been shown that when pupils share the affection and care of a ‘school’ dog, a bond forms among the pupils and strengthens their team ethics.
We have certainly see this at our school, pupils love to see Casper and greet Mrs Martin as she gets to school before 8am to walk Casper and play with him before school starts.
Casper has been involved in many school charity events and wore his Pudsey ears to raise money for Children in Need. Casper also enjoys helping pupils with their school work and regularly works hard in science lessons.
In Casper’s reward dog role, children who have performed incredibly well during the week or those who have made progress in a certain subject, will be rewarded with spending time during lunch or break to interact with Casper. Walking, grooming, playing and training are some of the responsibilities the children will be allowed to undertake with Casper in his reward dog role. It has been proved that working and playing with a dog improves children’s social skills and self-esteem. Casper is regularly used as a reward dog and can been seen on walks around the school grounds or playing in the school playground with pupils every break time. We have found our most challenging pupils respond well with Casper’s intervention.
In the future we hope to develop Casper’s role within the school and introduce him as a therapy dog. Within his therapy role he could work with children on a one-one basis. Children who struggle with social interaction can find a reassuring friend in a canine therapy dog. Research also shows that children can be nervous and stressed when reading to others in a group. However, when a dog enters the group the child becomes less stressed and less self-conscious. This results in improving the literacy skills of children by reading to a pets as Therapy.
There is a full risk assessment in place, but if you have any concerns regarding your child interacting with the dog, please telephone the school office and let us know. Casper will be on a lead when out of the classroom or office.
Casper enjoying PSHE and Science lessons
Casper enjoying school life