In April Cocoa joined Team Rise. Cocoa is a chocolate cockapoo with lots of personality who is now almost 7 months old. She is our Head teacher’s dog, but we all like to share her when she comes to school.
Cocoa meets and greets us all at the front door with a sniff and a wagging tail! Cocoa then likes to play in HT’s office with us and even comes out to play in the playground sometimes. She particularly enjoys playing with our footballs and basketballs!
We held a cake sale to raise money for her doggy castle where she can go into her kennel part and keep her toys safe and sound. Some of us like to take Cocoa for a little walk as a reward for us doing all our work to the best of our ability during the day and some of us just simply like to roll on the floor and play with her like puppies ourselves. Cocoa has had such a positive impact on our whole school community including families, pupils and staff. Visitors are always pleased to see her too.
For those of us who are a little anxious about dogs, Cocoa is teaching us how to be around dogs generally and comfortable in their presence. Some of us are now able to take her for short walks and stroke her which we would never have done before.
The impact Cocoa has on our pupils in the educational environment is amazing and life changing. Academic research has shown that dogs working and helping in the school environment can achieve the following:
1. Improve academic achievement
2. Increase literacy skills
3. Calm behaviour down
4. Increase social skills and self-esteem
5. Increase confidence
6. Teach responsibility and respect to all life
7. Help prevent truancy
8. Motivate children who are often not that attentive
“She’s the best dog because she’s calm!” Jake Smith, Pupil
“She’s always so playful” Amir Kourrair, Pupil
“Cocoa is amazing to have as a school pet because she helps pupils with their anxiety.” Kevin Pacheco, Pupil