Pupils in a music lesson at Elms Bank

Meet Our Family

It is often said about Elms Bank that there is a real sense of a "school family" here. We hope that you feel the same way when you explore the website and we know you will experience it when you visit our school.

From time to time we want to introduce you to our family members, so please come back often, you never know who you are going to meet!

Buddy Dog

What does a Buddy Dog do?

A Buddy Dog gives pupils the opportunity to build on their communication and mobility skills needed to enhance their lives. Confidence is also enhanced by giving certain responsibilities to pupils to care for the dog’s needs, i.e. feeding, grooming and walking. We have Cooper and Poppy at the main school site and Holly at the College Hub. 

Cooper, Poppy and Holly have other dog friends who come and help in school and the College Hub.

Our Buddy Dogs - Cooper, Poppy and Holly

The dogs are very busy during the day and they go into classes with pupils. A pupil from the class collects and returns them from and to the office either independently, if they are confident to do so, or with a member of staff if needed. The dogs are used as reading dogs, that allows pupils who are less confident at reading out loud to be able to read to them as this can be less intimidating than reading to a member of the reading team.

They are well liked around school and have a very calming effect on pupils. If a pupil becomes distressed the dogs can help to calm them down as pupils always want to interact with them.

The dogs gets involved in lessons in all sorts of ways which range from sitting with pupils to learning about how to take care of them and sometimes they are even measured! Cooper also helps pupils to understand the responsibilities of owning a pet.

Cooper, Poppy and Holly are fantastic additions to the school/college and if you visit make sure you come and meet them!

The Chickens

Over the past few weeks Challenge class have been researching Chicken Husbandry in our Animal Care lessons.  They have researched what types of chickens there are and how to look after them.

They have visited Pear Tree Poultry farm in Preston and asked lots of questions to the staff there.  When they returned they researched and set up a chicken area, making sure they had everything needed to keep chickens.

The following week Challenge went back to choose four new friends to join our Elms Bank family. The staff at Pear Tree Poultry were fabulous, we chose which chickens we wanted and the lady brought them over for us to see before putting them in a crate for us. Challenge chose 4 different breeds – Bluebelle, Goldilocks Hen, Speckledy Hen and Daisybelle. 

When they returned to school the pupils were really excited about putting the chickens in the new area they had created for them. The college pupils are really looking forward to looking after the chickens for their animal care course.  Pupils within school will also have the opportunity to learn about Chicken Husbandry during form time.