One of the most loved staff members at Eastry is our school dog, Maddie. Every Monday Maddie joins the children in school, sitting in on lessons, hearing readers, being taken for walks and being cuddled. She thinks she has the best job in the world!
Some of the benefits of having a school dog according to research are:
- A calming effect on pupils, particularly those with behavioural or learning difficulties;
- Improved behaviour and concentration, reduce stress and improved self-esteem;
- Encouraging expression and participation in more withdrawn children;
- Fostering a sense of responsibility;
- Increasing enthusiasm for and enjoyment of animals which will motivate the children to think and learn;
- Encouraging respect and thereby improving pupils' relationhsips with each other, parents and teachers;
- Teaching children to nurture and respect life;
- Helping work undertaken with the most vulnerable children and educational improvements with low achievers;
- Helping children build confidence in reading;
- Helping children who 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.
Maddie is a cockapoo, this breed is known to be child friendly, lively, gentle mannered, demonstrably affectionate yet sensitive and have an outstanding trainability. Maddie is a hypoallergenic dog so there is a reduced risk of allergic reaction too. We understand that is it not possible for all families to have a family dog and therefore we hope that this is an opportunity for children to have a "share" in a dog, gain from a relationship and contact on a regular basis and have a friend for life.