Our two school dogs, Monty and Winston, are key members of our school community. Not only do they nurture our understanding of how to care for and treat animals, they also provide invaluable support to us emotionally and socially. They are fully trained to work with children, particularly those with special educational needs, those who suffer trauma or bereavement and anyone who is upset in any way and needs calm, comfort and space to help them to regulate and talk about their emotions. They also have an important role in improving reading and the confidence and wellbeing of our children.
Monty and Winston are gentle and friendly and are, therefore, suitable to work in a school environment. Their main place of residence is in the school office, which is separate from the main school.
Monty was born in February 2012 and came to join us just before Easter of the same year. The children were fully involved in the process. They voted for which puppy they would like from the litter of guide dog standard Labradors. The children gave suggestions for the name and these were voted on and, finally, Monty joined us for his first assembly when he was seven weeks old.
The very same process was followed when choosing Winston. We researched breeders and selected a reputable breeder who is Kennel Club registered and whose animals come from generations of working dogs. In fact, Winston’s Great Grandfather is Monty’s Father!