North Baddesley Infant School

Happy, valued and growing together

Monty the School Dog!

You can see photos and videos of our school dog, Monty, below. Monty has earned his bronze and silver citizenship awards.

The initial suggestion to get a school dog was made by Year 1 children as part of their "All Creatures Great and Small" topic. Monty is being specially trained to work with children. There are many benefits to having a school dog, including:

  • calming effect on pupils, particularly those with behavioural or learning difficulties
  • improved behaviour and concentration, reduced stress and improved self-esteem
  • encouraging expression and participation in more withdrawn children
  • fostering a sense of responsibility
  • motivating pupils to think and to learn, as 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, and educational improvements with low achievers
  • helping children build confidence in reading (click here for more details)

Monty will also be trained to work with children who have special needs, suffer bereavement or who are upset in any way and in need of calm, comfort and space before being able to tell an adult what has upset them. Monty will also be available to work with children (and adults) who have had bad experiences with dogs or other animals. With parental permission, over a period of time children who react fearfully to dogs will be supported in approaching, handling and gaining confidence in managing their fear.

We are using the ‘Amichien Bonding’ technique (The Dog Listener by Jan Fennell) to support Monty in understanding his place in school. The idea is that by ignoring Monty when he first arrives in school and when we are reunited with him throughout the day, he is clear about leadership. Whilst it does seem quite unkind to people, it ensures that Monty is settled and not running and jumping when he meets new people which is what we want when he is in school.

For frequently asked questions about Monty, please click here!