Our School Dog

Our school dog, Nigel, is a much loved and highly valued member of our school community.  Nigel is a male, Shiranian (Shih Tzu-Pomeranian cross bread).  He came to our school as a four month old puppy in September 2020 and was an instant hit!

Nigel comes to school every day and spends time with all children from Nursery to Year 6.  You might find him out at break time playing with the children, comforting a child who is upset, or the subject of a lesson about caring for others.  But one this is for sure, wherever Nigel goes, he brings joy and happiness to children and adults alike.

The name Nigel is of English origin and means 'champion'.  We think that suits our school dog perfectly!


Why a school dog?

  • Studies have shown that the presence of companion animals can improve the wellbeing of children and lower the rate of anxiety
  • Having a companion animal in school can make a positive difference to the wellbeing of both staff and pupils
  • School dogs are able to provide comfort and affection to individuals in a variety of situations, helping young people cope with emotions, disorders or relationships
  • School dogs can enhance a child’s psychological development, improve social skills and increase self-esteem among other benefits
  • Dogs can teach responsibility, compassion and respect for other living things
  • Interaction with a furry friend reduces blood pressure, provides tactile stimulation, assists with pain management, gives motivation to move / walk and stimulates the senses
  • A visit with a dog provides a positive mutual topic for discussion, promotes greater self-esteem and wellbeing and focusses interaction with others
  • Companionship with a dog stimulates memory, problem solving and game playing
  • A four legged visitor improves self-esteem, acceptance from others and lifts the mood of the school
  • A dog in a work environment decreases the feeling of a sterile environment, de-stresses adults and children alike