We would like to introduce you to Luna!
Luna is a beautifully calm and caring 2 year old cocker spaniel and is Reigate Priory's wellbeing dog. She has been trained and assessed with 'Pets as Therapy' and visits school every Thursday afternoon to work with individuals and groups of children. She may even pay a visit to the staff!
Why have a wellbeing dog in school?
Research has shown many benefits to therapy and reading dogs in school settings.
School dogs have been proven to help develop Pupils’ reading skills, improve behaviour, attendance and academic confidence, as well as increasing student understanding of responsibility and in the development of empathy and nurturing skills. At Reigate Priory Junior School, we hope that Luna will be a beneficial addition to our therapeutic offer, in addition to the interventions we already offer and will promote engagement for those children who have found it difficult to access talking therapies in the past.
Animal assisted interventions (also known as AAI’s) can:
- Teach empathy and appropriate interpersonal skills;
- Help individuals develop social skills and self-esteem along with responsibility;
- Be soothing;
- Improve a child’s ability to pick up on social cues - imperative to human relationships;
- Support emotional regulation through the autonomic nervous system
- Show that children working with therapy dogs have experienced increased improved motivation for learning, resulting in improved outcomes;
Research into the effects of therapy dogs in schools is showing a range of benefits including:
- Increase in school attendance;
- Improved confidence;
- Decreased pupil anxiety resulting in improvements in learning;
- Improved motivation to learn;
- Enhanced relationships with peers and teachers due to experiencing trust and unconditional positive interactions with a therapy dog;
- Helping children learn how to express their feelings and enter into more trusting relationships.