As well as welcoming children, staff and parents back to BPS this term, we have also welcomed a new individual to our community. Billie, who is an 8-month old Shichon puppy belonging to our Business Manager, has been visiting Banstead Prep during the holidays and has enjoyed it so much she may become a permanent feature, as the Banstead Prep Wellbeing dog.
Research studies have shown that there can be numerous benefits of dogs working in schools. Spending time with an animal can decrease anxiety and worry, promote a good mood and support positive mental health. Children can benefit educationally and emotionally, increase their understanding of responsibility and develop empathy and nurturing skills through contact with a dog.
Before becoming a fully working Wellbeing dog Billie would complete a training programme, which would start after she is a year old. In the meantime, we have further planning to do including carrying out a full risk assessment and consulting with parents before introducing her to the children. We look forward to sharing more information with you soon!