Why this Bexhill school is bringing a dog to class every day
A prep school in Bexhill '¨has welcomed a Lhasa '¨Apso dog to school every afternoon to support the well-being of its students.
Milo, their new four-legged friend, visits Battle Abbey Prep School every afternoon to provide emotional support and to relieve anxiety.
Nova Shoesmith, Battle Abbey Prep School deputy head, said: “We consider the family environment we engender a main attribute of the school and have seen enormous positivity and increased confidence in the students after Milo’s visit.
“It is well known that dogs, who have developed a close social bond with man over thousands of years, can teach compassion and respect for living things as well as alleviate stress and help with nervousness or those that have worry.
“Historical data shows that animals have been used as part of healing processes for a long time.
“An animal can increase confidence, provide support and companionship, enhance independence, offer protection for those that are worried or help deal with an unfamiliar situation.
“The presence of Milo has had a tremendously positive impact on our students.
“He listens to concerns, offers a calming effect, cheering anyone up who feels low and reduces stress for those that have a worry and only asks for a stroke in return.
“He has also been known to listen to some children read who lack confidence – as he will never judge a stammer, stumble or wrong word.
“This has supported academic skills immensely for the more intrepid learner.
“It’s not Battle Abbey Prep School’s first foray into introducing pupils to animals.
“The school also has its own fish tank – which offers pupils a further cathartic place of calm in a busy school.
“In today’s busy world mental health and wellbeing is of vital importance – and we should not exclude younger children from this.”
Organisations such as Mind and Wellbeing.org have both highlighted the benefits of animals.
If you would like to have a tour of Battle Abbey Prep School and meet Milo the wellbeing dog, contact the school on 01424 219674.
For more information about the school, visit http://www.battleabbeyschool.com/prep/.