School Therapy Animals
Our School Therapy animals helps us to provide emotional support for our pupils.
We have a therapy dog called Cookie and if you look closely you will also find fish and stick insects in classrooms!
Cookie is a super friendly and loving pup who joined our St Joseph's family in March 2021. She adores people but especially loves being around the children. She can barely contain her excitment and it's not just her tail that wags, it's her entire rear end!
Cookie supports our ELSA team by visiting classes as well as working with some pupils on an individual basis to provide friendship and confidence. Children take part in various acitivies with Cookie, including petting her, playing with her, reading to her, confiding in her as well as taking her for walks around the school grounds. Cookie provides a listening ear without any judgement as well as helping our pupils recognise how fabulous they really are with an affectionate kiss (lick)!
There is a great deal of research to show that there are many benefits from using a school therapy dog. They can enhance psychological development, improve social skills and increase self-esteem. Dogs can also teach responsibility, compassion and respect for other living things.
Up until very recently we had 10 rescue chickens which we adored. The children enjoyed taking care of them and collecting the eggs. Unfortunately the pandemic and lockdown made it increasingly difficult for us to ensure they were cared for sufficiently and thankfully Mrs Butterfield's father stepped in and took them to a wonderful spacious new home.