Our School Dog Harley
Harley was born in December 2015 and comes from a long line of Labradors who have been used as working dogs. He was chosen to be both a family dog and, following consultations with governors and parents, a school dog. He usually accompanies Mrs Benjeddi to school on one afternoon a week.
Other schools have “school dogs” and these have become increasingly used in schools over the last five years. Labradors are by nature gentle and friendly creatures and Harley was selected for his gentle, calm and affectionate personality. Harley’s main place of residence at school is either in Mrs Benjeddi's office or the main school office ‘pod’. Harley is available for children to pat and play with under strict supervision at certain times of the day. Harley is also able to work with children who have special needs, suffer bereavement or who are upset in any way and in need of calm, comfort and space before being able to tell an adult what has upset them.
Harley visits classes from time to time and even assists with certain lessons (when a dog is useful as a visual aid). Harley is also used as a ’reading dog’, 'hearing' children read to improve their confidence. Children are taught how to behave when with Harley and also how to be safe around dogs in general. This is beneficial to the children both in and out of school.
Harley is not in school every day but has visited the school regularly since he was 16 weeks old so he is used to the school environment. We have a clear notice in the entrance when Harley is “in residence” and he also has a crate in Mrs Benjeddi's office so that he has a retreat when he needs to rest. We have a safe place to put him when required.
We will always seek parental permission for your children to have supervised contact with Harley. We also would like to have information concerning any dog allergies of fears your child might have. We hope that children from the school will gain a great deal of enjoyment from having a school dog.