Summer Term 2021
We have a new member of the QPIA team starting with us. His name is Jake and he is a registered therapy dog. He is also the family pet of Mrs Parker our Family Support Worker. Jake is a mixed breed Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and Bichon Frise and is 7 years old. He is registered with the Pets as Therapy organisation and has been part of their Read to Dogs scheme for the past 2 years. Jake is very gentle, calm and experienced in working alongside children.
If you want to find out more information about Pets as Therapy charity please have a look at their website https://petsastherapy.org/
Research shows that therapy dogs can reduce stress, provide social and emotional support and a sense of well-being in young children. A thorough risk assessment and specific insurance has been put in place to facilitate this activity. You can see the risk assessment below.
In his therapy role, Jake will meet and greet the children in the mornings on the playground and then will spend time with specific children in the afternoon. These sessions may involve a walk around the grounds or reading to Jake. If your child is selected by their class teacher, you will receive a letter detailing the session and asking for your permission before we start.
My child is allergic to dogs:
It is understandable that some of you may be concerned about possible allergic reactions to a dog. Jake will be regularly groomed and his claws are clipped. He is not a high moulting breed and will only be allowed to work with children whose parents have given permission for 1:1 sessions.
My child is scared of dogs:
Some children may have had an upsetting experience around dogs, or fear of dogs. Jake will only be in contact with children whose parents have given their permission. He is a very experienced therapy dog and is calm and gentle around children. Experience and research have shown that, with proper guidance and handling, children can learn to overcome their fear of animals and grow in respect and appreciation for them.
The school has a ‘no dogs’ policy:
Our school does have a ‘no dogs’ policy, however because Jake is a trained therapy dog, specific rules will apply to him when he is on the school grounds. He will be on a lead at all times when moving around the school and will always be accompanied by an adult. Jake will be insured to carry out his role, thus allowing him to be classed as a working dog.