Since the Easter holidays, we have been delighted to welcome a new member into our school community. However it isn’t a teacher or a pupil – but an Australian miniature Labradoodle named Betty!
Betty takes up residence in the Junior School, more specifically in Mrs Purvey-Tyrer’s office with whom she lives, and has proved already to be a hit with students and teachers alike. We’re not alone in having a school dog, and after researching and speaking to a number of our fellow GDST schools who have introduced a resident pooch to their family, we decided we would love to do the same!
Despite only being with us for a short time, we have already noticed the positive effect that Betty is having on our students. The girls love to see Betty when they are feeling upset, and her presence also encourages girls to talk about any difficulties or worries they may have. Research has shown that dogs in schools can help to reduce stress and anxiety, providing a sense of connection in challenging situations.
Having Betty with us also helps us to teach our girls a number of important lessons as they make their way through their early school life. As the girls interact with Betty, they are learning what her needs are on a daily basis, fostering a sense of responsibility, whilst teaching the children how to nurture. Betty has also helped some of our girls to face their fears. Whilst no girl has to be around Betty if they do not wish to be, we are delighted that a couple of members of our community who were perhaps nervous of meeting her at first, have faced their fears and have fallen in love with our puppy.
Welcoming Betty into our school’s community has been a wonderful experience, and despite her only being part of the family for a short space of time, it feels as though she is part of the furniture. Betty has had a marvellous impact on the students, teachers, and staff, and we look forward to seeing her grow alongside our girls.