We are so fortunate to have two Pets As Therapy(PAT) dogs at St Mark's who take it in turns to visit school alternate weeks. Tilly is a cavapoo and Jess is a labradoodle. They come into school with their owners Mrs Morley and Mrs Nicholls and another member of staff always works with them as well. Some of the tasks that they do include being with children who have celebrated a birthday that week. The children love their additional birthday treat of being able to give the dogs a bit of a smooth!
Children also have the opportunity to work with the PAT dogs if they receive the 'star of the week' trophy in Achievement service. These children see spending time with the PAT dogs as a real bonus!
Tilly and Jess, as well as their owners, are really good listeners. Tilly and Jess love to settle down and listen to child after child read their reading books to them- sometimes they even nod off to sleep.The children's confidence in reading really improves when they are reading to our PAT dogs.
Tilly and Jess also improved the confidence of children who are normally a bit scared of being around dogs. Spending time with adults they trust and dogs they trust is making a tremendous difference to them.