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Therapy dogs helping Les Voies School pupils

Therapy dogs helping Les Voies School pupils

Thursday 15 March 2018

Therapy dogs helping Les Voies School pupils

Students at Les Voies School will enjoy an overnight school activity this week, accompanied by their popular therapy dogs.

The animals were introduced to the school to help the children both in their classrooms and on school outings.

The Middle School students have now been given the change to participate  in an overnight stay at Les Voies on Thursday 15 March to Friday 16 March, where they'll also get to be "Police Detectives in training" which is linked to their current curriculum of "intelligence".

Les Voies school has pupils with a variety of needs due to difficulties in social, emotional and behaviour issues. The ones taking part in tonight's activity are all aged between 10 and 13. It has been 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.

Haze therapy dog Les Voies

Pictured: Haze 

Ms Sarre said: "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.

Pictured top: Student Joshua with dog Callie


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