By Clair Hill - March 26th, 2024 | Posted in Article

My name is Clemmie and I am the Grafham Grange School Dog Mentor. I am a Cockapoo and I live with Sandra Jackson, the school nurse. I have been in school since I was 10 weeks old but I have just passed my Dog Mentor Programme assessment with flying colours.

My role as school dog will be challenging and varied, but I feel that I am more than up to the task. I love being around people and making them happy. There has been a lot of research studies that have shown the benefits of dogs in schools and evidence indicates that areas of potential benefits include:

  • Cognitive development – companionship with a dog stimulates memory, problem solving, game playing and can improve reading skills.
  • Emotional development – a school dog improves self-esteem, acceptance from others and lifts mood, often provoking laughter and fun. Dog can also teach compassion and respect for other living things as well as relieving anxiety.
  • Physical development – interaction with a pet reduces blood pressure, provides tactile stimulation, assists with pain management, gives motivation to move, walk and stimulates the senses.
  • Environmental benefits – a dog in school contributes towards the creation of home style environment, with all the above benefits continuing long after the school day is over.
  • Social benefits – a dog provides a positive mutual topic for discussion, encourages responsibility, wellbeing, developing social skills and focused interactions with others.

I am still a young pup, so I am still learning what is expected of me as a Dog Mentor, I am working very hard and I spend a lot of time in the school nurse’s office where students and staff regularly visit. I will also be working with my student handlers and will have planned sessions with individual students or small groups of students as needed. I am also very excited about hearing people read and Sandra is collecting books all about dogs for you to read to me. Sometimes, I may join a class for a lesson or two if it will enrich the experience in some way.

If you have any further questions regarding my role within the school, please contact Sandra Jackson (school nurse) via the school office.

Please see the link to The Dog Mentor website https://www.thedogmentor.co.uk/about