Girls' high school welcomes a boy - Casper the Labrador puppy
PUBLISHED: 06:00 15 January 2019 | UPDATED: 08:25 15 January 2019
Norwich High School for Girls has welcomed a new school dog this term who they hope will help students educationally and socially.
Casper, a 16-week-old yellow Labrador, is currently attending the independent school off Newmarket Road three days a week. As well as providing support for pupils, staff hope he will help them foster a sense of responsibility and nurturing skills.
Research has proven the power of dogs to boost children’s confidence and enhance their learning, particularly for children with learning and emotional difficulties.
Norwich High School headmistress Kirsty von Malaisé said: “While this may be unusual to many, we are by no means unique in having a school dog. In fact plenty of other Girls’ Day School Trust schools have a canine on site and have found it to be hugely beneficial to their pupils and staff.”
Mrs von Malaisé said staff visited a number of breeders and sought advice before making a final decision on a school dog.
“The priority was to ensure that the temperament of the dog was suitable for interaction with the girls,” she said.
“At the moment, our four-legged friend is getting used to the school environment. He is learning how to greet people and where and when he can play. He is spending a lot of time in the Eaton Grove offices whilst he is introduced to school life slowly.”
Casper’s owner, school assistant head (academic) Mark Braybrook, said: “In time, Casper will hopefully be playing a role in our day-today wellbeing – actually, I think he already is among those he is currently around.
“For now, the girls are taking the opportunity to interact with him around school and he will gradually be able to play a bigger part as he develops.”
Casper is not the only school dog to have started making his mark this term.
Mark Carlyle, the new headteacher at Burston and Tivetshall Primary Schools, has brought his labradoodle puppy Waffle into school since starting in his new post on January 1.
The University of East Anglia has also introduced dog walking sessions for students are part of a drive to tackle mental health problems.