Meet Maxi, our school dog.
Her main place of residence is in the SEND department or the year 7 area. Maxi spends time in the year offices, the school library, sixth form spaces and in some lessons. Whilst moving around the school, Maxi is kept on a short lead and is always with a member of staff or a trained sixth form student.
‘Pet therapy’ is widely accepted as benefitting children’s well-being and communication skills.
Studies have shown that the presence of companion animals can improve the well-being of children and lower the rate of anxiety simply by making the environment happier, more enjoyable and less forbidding. Dogs are increasingly being used in schools with great success and some of you may have seen in the media that they are now being used in some hospitals as the emotional health benefits they bring are so vast.
Cheney School introduced our first school dog in September 2019 – a golden retriever called Maxi.
The benefits of having a school dog include:
- a calming effect on pupils;
- improved behaviour and concentration, reduced stress and improved self-esteem;
- encouraging expression, participation and confidence for all children;
- fostering a sense of responsibility;
- motivating pupils to think and to learn, as most children have a high level of natural interest in, enthusiasm for and enjoyment of animals;
- encouraging respect and thereby improving pupils’ relationships with each other, parents and teachers;
- teaching children to nurture and respect life;
- helping work undertaken with the most vulnerable children;
- helping children build confidence in reading;
- improving attendance.