Introducing our school dog – Jambo
Jambo is a Cockapoo. He lives with the Assistant Head Teacher, Mrs Pope, and her family. His Mother is a working Cocker spaniel and his father is a standard Poodle. This makes him ½ Cocker spaniel and ½ Poodle – this mix is known as an F1 Cockapoo.
He has public liability insurance, which means he can come into school and he regularly visits the vet for check-ups and vaccinations to make sure his flea and worm treatments are up to date.
Jambo will spend most of his time in school in Mrs Pope, or Mrs Daubney’s office – where he already loves to play and sleep. Eventually, he will undertake training to work with children in specific ways at school, this may include visiting classrooms to support learning, hearing children read, helping children to be calm and supporting those who might be feeling a little sad.
Jambo will not have any contact with children in school until he has completed his puppy training and good citizen classes for dogs.
Please see our risk assessment below for more detail on how and when interaction with children will begin. This risk assessment outlines clearly that Jambo will only begin working with children once he has completed certain levels of training and his temperament is clear. We believe that there are many benefits to having a school dog, these include:
- a calming effect on pupils, particularly those with additional needs;
- improved behaviour and concentration, reduced stress and improved self-esteem;
- encouraging expression and participation in more withdrawn children;
- fostering a sense of responsibility;
- motivating pupils to think and to learn, as most children have a high level of natural interest in, enthusiasm for and enjoyment of animals;
- encouraging respect and thereby improving pupils’ relationships with each other, parents and teachers;
- teaching children to nurture and respect life;
- helping work undertaken with the most vulnerable children, and educational improvements with low achievers;
- helping children build confidence in reading.
Once Jambo has completed his training, and only with written parental permission, will he begin to work with children. While the dog’s main place of residence will be an office area, which is secure and separate from the classrooms, children will be able to interact with the dog under strict supervision at certain times of the week as long as parental permission has been given. Over a period of time (with parental permission) children who react fearfully to dogs will be supported in approaching, handling and gaining confidence in managing their fear.
Please understand that we will do everything we can to reassure children who are fearful and that under no circumstances will they be forced to meet with the dog.
Whilst moving around the school (when children are present), Jambo will be kept on a short lead and will always be with an adult.
We have chosen a Cockapoo as the most appropriate breed of dog for the school. The breed has been carefully selected because of its ideal temperament and because it is used widely in the field of therapy and support (e.g. hearing dogs). Cockapoos are also used successfully in other schools as they are, by nature, gentle and friendly creatures. Jambo was also specially chosen from a reputable breeder and has a mum and older siblings who have very good temperaments.
Jamie Olney (Head of School)