Buddy dog at Elms Bank
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Meet The 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, Switch and Flic at the main school site and Forest at the College Hub. 

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

Our Buddy Dogs - Cooper, Flic, Switch and Forest

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, Flic, Switch and Forest are fantastic additions to the school/college and if you visit make sure you come and meet them!