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Therapy Dog

Dear Parents

We are thrilled to introduce the newest member of the Gatehouse Primary team: Blossom, our therapy dog!

Blossom, a nearly 2-year-old Labrador, has undergone comprehensive training under the guidance of Mrs. Anderson's family, along with assistance from KC registered trainers and assistance dog specialists, over the past year to prepare for her role at our school. She has completed her KC citizenship in bronze, silver, and gold levels and has been engaged in learning task-based activities to support children. Blossom has been behaviour tested and is known for her calm and loving demeanour. She thoroughly enjoys games and exhibits remarkable acceptance of challenging behaviours. We are confident that her presence will greatly enhance the pastoral support we provide here at Gatehouse Primary.


Why we looked to get a therapy dog ?

The benefits of having a therapy dog in a school setting are well-documented. Research has shown that school dogs significantly contribute to the development of pupils' reading skills, behaviour, attendance, and academic confidence. Additionally, they play a vital role in fostering empathy, nurturing skills, and social responsibility among students. Studies have also highlighted numerous positive effects of therapy dogs in schools, including teaching empathy and appropriate interpersonal skills, helping individuals develop social skills and increasing self-esteem, providing a soothing and calming effect, improving children's ability to pick up on social cues, supporting emotional regulation, increasing motivation for learning, and assisting children with social and emotional learning needs, which can also facilitate literacy development.

We firmly believe that Blossom's presence will not only bring joy and comfort to our students but will also significantly contribute to their overall well-being and academic success.

Where will Blossom be located ?

Blossom will be supervised at all times with the children, during her down time she will be located in the deputy's office. Blossom will always be accompanied by a trained adult and will be on lead.  As part of the process of becoming a certified therapy dog, Blossom visits the vet regularly for general health check-ups and for regular and required vaccinations. As part of the process of introducing a therapy dog in school we have risk assessments in place and relevant documentation in place.


Tomorrow Blossom will be having her first visit to our school and meeting with our MH Ambassadors.