A - Z Parent Guide
Our Therapy Dog, Archie, comes to school with our Wellbeing Officer. 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 the dog is wearing his therapy dog jacket he is officially working. Please do not pat him, talk to him or make extended eye contact with him. We know this will be tough given how cute he is! Essentially in order for him to be effective, he needs to understand that when he has his jacket on, he is working and not playing.
- Students must adhere to the ‘no touch, no talking’ with the dog both in the playground and when they enter the classroom. He will be allowed to be cuddled and touched by the children when he has his jacket on, but only two children at a time and only under our supervision.
A ‘rest area’ has been set up for Archie in the Wellbeing Office so he can have some time out – the concentration he needs when he is working means he gets quite fatigued and needs a rest! There is also time to play with the dog without his jacket on.
The dog needs a number of ‘second handlers’ (older students and staff) who understand the basic commands and can take the dog from their primary handler if required.
Writing to Archie
Students are invited to write to Archie, and with the help of our Wellbeing Officer, Dr Carolann Clifford, he will read the letters and may even reply (unfortunately he 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 Office:
BNPS Therapy Dog
Happy writing – Woof Woof!
Archie has his own business card which is 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 to work directly with their child. An online opt out form is made available during the enrolment process.
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.