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Christ Church (Erith)

C of E Primary School

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Christ Church gets a Labradoodle!

We are very excited to announce that the school, with full support from the staff has decided to take on a school dog. Our school dog is being specially trained to work with children and there are many benefits to having a school dog, including:

·         calming effect on pupils, particularly those with behavioural or learning difficulties

·         improved behaviour and concentration, reduced stress and improved self-esteem

·         encouraging expression and participation in more withdrawn children

·         fostering a sense of responsibility

·         motivating pupils to think and to learn, as 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, and educational improvements with low achievers

·         helping children build confidence in reading (click here for more details)

Our school dog will also be trained to work with children who have special needs, suffer bereavement or who are upset in any way and in need of calm, comfort and space before being able to tell an adult what has upset them. Our dog will also be available to work with children (and adults) who have had bad experiences with dogs or other animals. With parental permission, over a period of time children who react fearfully to dogs will be supported in approaching, handling and gaining confidence in managing their fear.

We will use a variety of different techniques to support our dog in understanding his place in school. One of the many ideas is that by ignoring him when he first arrives in school and when we are reunited with him throughout the day, he is clear about leadership. Whilst it does seem quite unkind to people, it ensures that our new dog is settled and not running and jumping when he meets new people which is what we want when he is in school.


While the dog’s main place of residence will be the office area, which is secure and separate from the classrooms, children will able to interact with the dog under strict supervision at certain times of the week as long as parental permission has been given. The dog will not be given access to other visitors without supervision and mutual consent.

Labrador and Poodle cross-breeds are by nature gentle and friendly creatures. They are also superb working dogs. We hope the children will gain a great deal of enjoyment from having their school dog and that he becomes an established part of life at Christ Church (Erith) C of E Primary School.

Once our dog is named and settled in school, we'll upload lots of pictures of him 'in action' around the school.