A - Z Parent Guide
Two Therapy Dogs, Sid and Archie, come to school each day with our Wellbeing Officers. Dogs offer unconditional love and support. They do not judge. They give children the ability to talk and just be themselves!
It’s well-known (and scientifically proven) that interaction with a gentle, friendly pet has significant benefits.
Therapy dogs can help with:
• Relationship building
• Lowering blood pressure
• And much more!
The following rules are enforced:
- If Archie and Sid are wearing their therapy dog jackets they are officially working. Please do not pat them, talk to them or make extended eye contact with them. We know this will be tough given how cute they are! Essentially in order for them to be effective, they need to understand that when they have their jackets on they are working and not playing.
- Students must adhere to the ‘no touch, no talking’ with the dogs both in the playground and when they enter the classroom. They will be allowed to be cuddled and touched by the children when they have their jackets on, but only two children at a time and only under our supervision.
A ‘rest area’ has been set up for Sid and Archie in the Wellbeing Office so they can have some time out – the concentration they need when they are working means they get quite fatigued and need a rest! There is also time to play with the dogs without their jackets on.
The dogs need a number of ‘second handlers’ (older students and staff) who understand the basic commands and can take the dogs from their primary handler if required.
Writing to Sid & Archie
Students are invited to write to Sid and Archie, and with the help of our Wellbeing Officers, Dr Carolann Clifford and Mrs Natalie McMahon, the dogs will read the letters and may even reply (unfortunately they won’t be able to reply to everyone!).
Letters may include anything at all, from acts of kindness to what you did on the weekend or maybe even something about about your own pets!
Please address your letter as follows, make sure your NAME and CLASS are included and deliver it to the ‘Dog Letter Box’ in the foyer:
Sid and/or Archie
BNPS Therapy Dogs
Happy writing – Woof Woof!
Sid and Archie have their own business cards which are given to students when they have been seen by our Wellbeing Team!
Dog Therapy Opt Out
We understand that there may be some families who do not want Archie and Sid to work directly with their child. Please complete the attached opt out form and return to the BNPS Office if you do not want the dogs to be in contact with your child.
Should you have any further queries about the dogs and their work, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Beaumaris North Primary School acknowledges the support of Family Life, School Focused Youth Services and the Victorian Government.