The Dog Mentor Programme has built upon the benefits of the human-animal bond by providing children positive experiences with dogs that can help them educationally, developmentally, emotionally and socially.
Over the past 8 years, implementation of The Dog Mentor Programme in Primary and Secondary schools across the UK has proven to have significant impact on many children’s lives. These positive impacts follow the premise that improving communication within schools will improve behaviour. The Dog Mentor Programme has been implemented in over 90 schools in the last two years alone. There are now more than 120 Dog Mentor dogs working in school every day.
Over the last five years The Dog Mentor programme has been proven to have a positive impact on children in all areas including self-esteem, behaviour, peer relationships and better engagement skills. These improvements then result in improved academic achievement.
- Cognitive – companionship with a dog stimulates memory, problem-solving and game-playing
- Social – a dog provides a positive mutual topic for discussion, encourages responsibility, wellbeing and focused interaction with others
- Emotional – a school dog improves self-esteem, acceptance from others and lifts mood, often provoking laughter and fun. Dogs can also teach compassion and respect for other living things as well as relieving anxiety.
- Physical – interaction with a furry friend reduces blood pressure, provides tactile stimulation, assists with pain management, gives motivation to move, walk and stimulates the senses
- Environmental – a dog in a school increases the sense of a family environment, with all of the above benefits continuing long after the school day is over.
- Reading to dogs has been proven to help children develop literacy skills and build confidence, through both the calming effect they have on children as well as the fact that a dog will listen to children read without being judgemental or critical. This comforting environment helps to nurture children’s enthusiasm for reading and provides them with the confidence to read aloud.
The Primary Science Quality Mark
Supported by high-quality training and mentoring led by experts across the country, schools can achieve the Primary Science Quality Mark award through a year-long process of audit, action and reflection. We have successfully achieved PSQM award level in 2019.
- To raise the profile of science in primary schools;
To provide schools with a framework and professional support for developing science leadership, teaching and learning;
To celebrate excellence in primary science;
To work with existing and facilitate new networks across the UK and wider to provide local support for primary science;
To assemble and make accessible to the wider science education community a rich data base of current practice in primary science.
The Youth Sport Trust Quality Mark
The Youth Sport Trust Quality Mark is online self-review tool which provides schools with a nationally recognised badge of excellence for PE and school sport. The tool supports schools to audit their PE provision and identify priorities for their development plan.
The tool has been aligned to Ofsted guidance supporting the PE and Sport Premium and comprises a series of straightforward benchmarking statements, where you can select your level of provision in these areas:
- Overall vision for PE, physical activity and school sport
- Quality of PE
- Quality of school sport
- Quality of physical activity
- Use of PE, physical activity and sport as a catalyst for wider learning.
The Basic Skills Quality Mark
The basic skills Quality Mark is an award that celebrates and supports continuous improvement in literacy and numeracy. It is awarded to a setting or school to recognise their provision, practice and performance in literacy and numeracy, and is valid for three years.
A school or setting must demonstrate a whole school approach to improving standards in literacy and numeracy, with evidence of the impact of its approaches.
The Sandwell Well-Being Charter Mark
The Sandwell Well-being Charter Mark is a school’s opportunity to commit to improving the mental health and well-being of everyone connected with your school.
The Charter Mark is made up of three elements:
- The Charter Mark School Audit
- The Healthy Mind, Happy Me Curriculum
- The Pupil Well-being Survey
The Charter Mark has been developed by Sandwell Council’s Inclusion Support Educational Psychologists in partnership with the council’s Public Health team. The process is always co-ordinated by a Sandwell Council Educational Psychologist.