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Our School Dog

At Winterslow, we are very pleased to introduce Poppy, our Wellbeing dog. Poppy is owned by Mrs Malcolm and her family and is also part of our Staff team at Winterslow.


Poppy visits school a few days a week and is based in Woodpeckers class.She has been coming into school since she was a puppy and is very familiar and comfortable with the hustle and bustle of a classroom environment.


What are the benefits of a school dog?

There are numerous benefits to pupils and adults alike including:

  • A calming effect on pupils;
  • Improved behaviour and concentration, reduced stress and improved self-esteem;
  • Encouraging expression, participation and confidence for all children;
  • Fostering a sense of responsibility;
  • Motivating pupils to think and to learn, as most children have a high level of natural interest in,  enthusiasm for and enjoyment of animals;
  • Encouraging respect and thereby improving pupils’ relationships with each other, parents and teachers;
  • Teaching children to nurture and respect life;
  • Helping work undertaken with the most vulnerable children;
  • Helping children build confidence in reading;
  • Improving attendance;
  • Further promote our ‘Well Being’ agenda for pupils.


All contact is carefully planned and children are not left unsupervised with Poppy. When not working, Poppy is given a safe space in school to ensure her wellbeing.


‘Poppy’s Rules’ have been developed alongside the children in school are reminded to follow the rules each time they see Poppy in and around school. Poppy's rules are displayed outside the classroom and are also available on the website. 


Poppy is a loving and gentle family pet. She receives regular vet checks for temperament and has ongoing training sessions with a certified local trainer.


What about allergies?

  • Poppy is a cocker spaniel, a short-haired breed that has low allergy qualities
  • All areas of the school are vacuumed and surfaces are wiped down daily
  • Movement around the school is controlled
  • Any pupil working with Poppy will be reminded to wash their hands
  • Poppy will be kept away from any pupil with an allergy to pet hair


We were so pleased to welcome Poppy to our Staff Team and we have had many positive comments from children, parents and Staff! If any parent does not wish their child to interact with the dog, please to write to the school office to inform us of your wishes.