"All the way through his schooling at Stoke Gabriel Primary my son has been nurtured, supported, encouraged and celebrated for his efforts. The consistency of this amazingly high level of teaching hasn't changed or dropped despite the staff changes that are inevitable in the schooling system today. As a parent I couldn't be more grateful to the School and the Academy for the amazing Primary School experience we have been fortunate enough to have had."

Moose the dog

Moose is a 3 year old Labernard (Labrador cross St Bernard). He is a very well behaved, gentle giant who loves being active between snoozes. He previously worked in a large primary school for 3 days a week and his main role was to raise mental health and wellbeing for the children, staff and families. This, and his experience working with children, is something we have brought to the community at Stoke Gabriel Primary School. He has quickly become quite a presence around the school where children may see him visiting classes for story time or PSHE based sessions. He likes to meet and greet families at drop off and pick up and enjoys supporting interventions, friendship groups, emotional literacy, outdoor learning and sometimes just going for a 'walk and talk'. He knows a lot of tricks that the children will see and learn.
A few children have been selected to partake in the 'Junior Dog Handling' project where they have the special responsibility of looking after Moose. Whenever Moose is working with children a trained member of staff will be in charge to make sure children and Moose remain calm, happy and safe.
Moose is now an established part of our school team and comes in three days a week. Thanks to the small but dedicated team of FOSS members and their supporters, we have been able to train a group of school staff to be main Dog Handlers. This means an increasing number of pupils are able to work with and experience the wonderful things Moose has to offer.
These include :
An overwhelming positive response from parents and families. It has been great to see so many of you excitedly greet him during Moose’s gate duty in the morning.
We feel there has been a real boost to wellbeing since Moose has joined the school and there is always a sense of excitement when he is around. The children have been so respectful and empathetic.
Moose has listened to readers, joined in with story time, helped during lunch club, taken children out on ‘walk and talks’ and helped with group interventions.
A few children are even undertaking some in-house training to become responsible Junior Dog Handlers.
Children love how ‘super big’ and ‘friendly’ he is and are feel ‘happy’ and ‘excited’ to see him because ‘he is so special’. Some children share that, ‘he helps me calm down when I’ve been angry’.
Thank you again to FOSS for allowing us to give this wonderful opportunity to the children at Stoke Gabriel Primary School.
We look forward to seeing how this programme develops further as Moose works with more and more children across the school.