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Toby The Westfield Reading Dog

Recent research has shown the vast benefits of schools having a reading assistance dog. We have identified many aspects of our curriculum that would be enhanced by having such a dog. The dog’s main curriculum focus is Reading. All pupils get the opportunity to read to our dog, thus building their confidence when reading out loud. There are weekly visits planned for each class.

Additionally, our Home School Liaison Mrs Cramp, works with the dog, providing extra support for children who struggle with confidence, low self-esteem and anger issues. He is used to build up resilience and promote respect and an empathetic understanding, therefore enabling children to communicate better about their feelings and other aspects of their social life.

Toby, Westfield’s own Cockapoo is the perfect dog for all of these purposes. Cockapoos are a non-moulting breed, meaning they are practically hypoallergenic. All relevant risk assessment are in place for Toby, and an adult is always accompanying him on a lead around School, but we appreciate that some children may feel unsure about him initially. Luckily, Toby is a super friendly dog, and all of our children adore him. He even has his own song, and has had a television programme made about him and his work in school.

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Posted on: 28/09/2018

Headteachers Blog 28/09/2018

Dear Parents/Carers, We are well into the Autumn Term now and the children are settling in well to their new classes - we are still in the ‘honeymoon’ period where the children are still trying to impress their new teacher - long may it last! I saw the evidence of this during this week’s Celebration Assembly where I am able to smile a lot and give Head Teacher stickers to children for a range of reasons, not only good work. The class teacher chooses one pupil, the Learning Support Assistant chooses another and thirdly, and I feel, the most important sticker is voted for by the other children in the class or a pupil is nominated by another pupil in their class for being kind, supportive or a good friend. If your child brings home a sticker from me, he/she should feel very proud of themselves as there are only three per class each week. Children are also sent to my office with brilliant work! In those cases, they have House Points and a sticker from me plus a certificate to take home. Their photograph is taken for my Westfield Wonder Wall. I really enjoy seeing children (and their teachers) looking very proud of their amazing work. Occasionally, pupils are sent to my office for different reasons where there have been issues in the playground (not often) but also on the field (more often). Last week I had to close the field as there were a few too many incidents where children had been ‘play fighting’ on the field or climbing trees/throwing berries. Some children have had detention this term which is such a shame - this means that they will miss out on the Goodies’ Treat at the end of term. Play fighting and ‘accidently’ hitting, punching, pushing or kicking someone else is not tolerated at our school. I know that parents and carers agree with this - children need to feel safe in school and parents/carers do not send their children to school to have another child hurt them. This week we had Mrs Western’s class assembly - what a brave soul - going first! I had a feeling there would be some History in this assembly! All assemblies this year will also include our Resilience Project work looking at such things as resilience, perseverance, co-operation, risk-taking, questioning, optimism and others. Most assemblies will be on the same day as Coffee Stop and today is the first occasion. This a reminder that the Coffee Stop this week will give half the proceeds to MacMillan Cancer so come along, eat cake and give to a very worthwhile cause! Best wishes, Margaret Greig
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