Numerous studies have shown the impact and benefit of animal-assisted interventions in schools. By introducing animals in to schools, a range of moral, spiritual and educational benefits for the child can be observed. Pets in schools have been found to:
- Motivate pupils to learn and think
- Encourage respect for life
- Foster a sense of empathy and responsibility in children
- Teach children how to nurture, care for and love all life
- Lead to the development of hobbies and potential careers in animal care
- Improve academic achievement
Over the last year, we have developed our courtyard garden area to house a small flock of bantams and a family of guinea pigs.
Students support with the maintenance of the vegetable garden and animals, including daily egg collections, so our produce can be used in catering lessons.
Our guinea pigs are regularly brought into therapeutic sessions in our Wellbeing Zone and into the library during student reading sessions. Students identify that this intervention is both calming and helps them focus and engage more successfully, particularly if they are feeling anxious.