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Dognapped! School pupils save the day!

Dognapped! School pupils save the day!

Sunday 18 March 2018

Dognapped! School pupils save the day!


Pupils from Les Voies School have helped to rescue one of their beloved therapy dogs after she was "dognapped" last week.

The children were tasked with searching for clues during their investigation into Haze's disappearance which was set up as part of a school activity which included an over night residential for a small number of middle school pupils.

Les Voies is the school for children experience social, emotional and behavioural difficulties in Guernsey with pupils aged between 9 and 16. It offers a number of extra curricular activities as well as more traditional lessons and a group of children have benefitted from that ethos over the last week.

They were invited to sleep over at the school on Thursday 15 March, where staff worked with Guernsey Police to set up a scenario whereby one of the school's therapy dogs went missing. The dogs are seen as an integral part of school life for some of the pupils, offering them support in the classroom environment. 

The scene was set by staff who then helped the children navigate the clues set for them.

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The pupils successfully followed the trail of clues and after a trip to Guernsey's Royal Court they found the animal, Haze, within the grounds of Saumarez Park where the dognapper was "arrested". 

The ones who took part in last week's activity are all aged between 10 and 13. It was designed to help them work on confidence and self-esteem, their ability to work as a team but also individuals build their self-help and independence skills – just to name a few of the numerous benefits. The school says it is "so lucky to have Therapy dogs – who are trained and assessed by a new local charity called Paws For Support" which is run by Sara Sarre:

"The therapy dogs mean a lot to the students at Les Voies. They are used to calm fears, relieve anxiety, and teach skills. Callie and Haze, are two dogs that are teaching students lessons they’ll carry all their lives.

"The dogs love to greet as many of the students as possible, Haze gravitates towards kids who are sitting quietly as much as the kids that are calling and encouraging her over; it really brightens the student day and there are always smiles all around."

Ms Sarre said the dogs help the students in a number of ways both in class and on school outings:  

  • Their calm relaxed presence encourages similar reactions from the students
  • Noise levels improved
  • Less projectiles are thrown as the students do not want the dogs picking up anything that could hurt 
  • Focus levels improved as the atmosphere was calmer
  • They help calm students who are feeling stressed by sitting encouraging the students to talk and stroke them
  • Students gravitate to the dogs for a positive response no matter how they are feeling
  • They always bring a smile and a positive greeting
  • They teach responsibility and care for other living things
  • They encourage conversation
  • The dogs have become effective classroom management tools

 

 

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