Skip to content ↓
Woodlands Primary School

Woodlands Primary School

Learn, explore and
grow together

Our school dog

We are so lucky to have our school dog, Ralfie. He comes to school a few days a week and works with individuals and groups to support wellbeing. 

Research has shown that dogs working and helping in the school environment can achieve the following:

1) Improve academic achievement

2) Increase literacy skills

3) Calming behaviours

4) Increase social skills and self-esteem

5) Increase confidence

6) Teach responsibility and respect to all life

7) Help prevent absenteeism

8) Motivate children who are often less attentive

Reading to dogs have been proven to help children develop literacy skills and build confidence, through both the calming effect they have on children as well as the fact that a dog will listen to children read without being judgemental or critical.  This comforting environment helps to nurture children’s enthusiasm for reading and provides them with the confidence to read aloud.  

Social Development

A variety of anxiety problems can be addressed by the presence of a dog as it creates a calming influence, helping to decrease blood pressure and stress responses.  Children also become less self-conscious of themselves.

The ability to form and sustain relationships are natural for most children, but some find it difficult to acquire these skills for various reasons.  Working alongside a dog, children are able to grow in confidence because they bond with someone who is calm, affectionate and more importantly non-judgmental. 

It is accepted that interacting with animals is not appropriate for all children but for some it has the potential to provide many positive benefits. Any parent who does not want their child to interact directly with the dog has been asked to inform school.  Parents must also inform the office of any relevant allergies. Please see our School Dog Policy in the Policy section for further information.