Amber, Our School Dog
Amber is my golden retriever and she has been our family dog since she was 15 weeks old. She was born in December 2012 and comes from a long line of Golden retrievers who have been used as guide dogs. She was chosen to be both my family dog and, following discussions with governors, a school dog. She regularly accompanies me to school. Other local schools have or have had “school dogs” (notably Yatton, Flax Bourton Primary, St. Anne’s in Hewish and Backwell Primary).
Golden retrievers are by nature gentle and friendly creatures and Amber was selected for her gentle, calm and affectionate personality. She has already become quite a popular member of the school community!
Although Amber’s main place of residence is the school house, either in my office or the main school office, she is available for children to pat and play with under strict supervision at certain times of the day. Amber is also able 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. Amber visits classes from time to time and will even assist with certain lessons (when a dog is useful as a visual aid!). She particularly enjoys hearing children read and really helps improve confidence. Children are taught how to behave when with Amber and also how to be safe around dogs in general. This is beneficial to the children both in and out of school.
Amber is not in school every day but but she has become used to the school environment since early on in her life. We have a clear notice in the entrance when Amber is “in residence” and she also has a rug in my office so that she has a retreat when she needs to rest and we have a safe place to put her when required. We seek parental permission for your children to have supervised contact with Amber. We also would like to have information concerning any dog allergies of fears your child might have.
We hope that children from the school will gain a great deal of enjoyment from having a school dog and that Amber is an established part of life at Wrington C of E Primary School.
A full risk assessment has been prepared and is available from the school office.