Buddy - Our School Dog
Our school nurture dog - Buddy - arrived on Friday the 7th of July 2017. The following was publilshed in the Winsford Guardian:
THERE’S a new ‘buddy’ in town for the youngsters at Whitegate Primary.
Buddy, a nine-week-old goldendoodle, has joined the school with the task of helping to improve the confidence and wellbeing of its pupils.
The move sees Whitegate become the latest in a growing number of schools taking on nurture dogs, and headteacher Caroline Mackenzie believes he will make a big difference to the children’s lives.
She told the Guardian: “We decided earlier on this year that it would be a good idea to have a nurture dog in school.
“It’s been done at other schools, and with mental health and wellbeing becoming increasingly talked about it was something we wanted to try.
“The children chose the name Buddy because he will be a buddy to everyone.”
As a goldendoodle – a cross between a golden retriever and a poodle – Buddy was chosen by the school for his non-shedding coat, minimising the risk of allergy issues.
Buddy spends schooldays at Whitegate Primary, before returning home with Mrs Mackenzie and her own family in the evenings, and he is already well-trained and well-behaved for his young age.
Mrs Mackenzie is delighted with the positive impact he has already had in the school.
“Children will be able to read to him if they want to build up their confidence but don’t feel ready to read in front of their classmates or teachers,” she said.
“Any children who may find playtimes and lunchtimes difficult can spend time walking with him, while children who need calming down can stroke him.
“If a child with behavioural difficulties has done something wrong and wants to say so, but doesn’t feel they can tell a member of staff, they can tell Buddy that too.”