At Willmott Park Primary we work to develop positive school/community relationships with students and their families to support learning, engagement and wellbeing. The Willmott Park Statement of Values and School Philosophy is integral to the work that we do and is the foundation of our school community. We do this through agreed school values of; Respect, Responsibility and Achievement.
We also value a high quality curriculum catering for all learners to enhance themselves as individuals for the 21st Century to be active and happy citizens. Our school’s Statement of Values are incorporated into our curriculum and promoted to students, staff and parents so that they are shared and celebrated as the foundation of our school community. Students, staff and members of our school community are encouraged to live and demonstrate our core values at every opportunity.
School Wide Positive Behaviour Matrices for Students, Staff and Parents & Visitors These matrices are aligned with our school values which have been agreed upon as high and consistent expectations. These matrices have been developed for students, teachers and parents to identify and demonstrate appropriate behaviours at Willmott Park that align with the school values of Respect, Responsibility and Achievement.
At Willmott Park Primary School we are excited to announce that we will be investing in 2 Therapy Dogs, who have been approved by School Council in Term 1 2021. As a school, we will begin with one Therapy Dog, Sana, who will start at Willmott Park from Term 2 for 2-3 days a week. Sana is a SEDA dog (Seeing Eye Dog Association) and has been through copious training and temperament assessment. An OH&S Risk Assessment has been completed regarding having Therapy Dogs on school grounds. Sana will work under the guidance of our Wellbeing Leaders and a selected number of staff who will work as her handlers. Sana is Miss Bassett’s dog and will go home with her each day. The second Therapy Dog will eventually come later in the year and will work alongside OSHC on some afternoons as well. This dog will also be from SEDA and will have additional handler training completed and will be shared with OSHC on certain afternoons during the week and will have handlers there too. The Therapy Dogs will work at WPPS to support students with social and emotional learning needs, for example; a calming effect on students, promote a sense of belonging and acceptance, improved self-esteem and encourage participation and responsibility.
Dog Therapy Opt Out
We understand that there may be some families who do not want our Therapy Dogs to work directly with their child, for example, due to allergies to dog hair. Please email your opt out notification that states your child’s/children’s name/s and grade/s to: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Therapy Dogs will be used within a variety of ways including:
– Individual/small group time – Students reading/writing to them and showing them their completed work – Encouraging a sense of responsibility and respect – Students who need some calming down / brain break time – Teachers booking in time with them for their class – Non-judgmental animal to talk to and spend time with – Reward of spending time with them – Someone to express their feelings and thoughts with – Lunch time club
Some of the benefits of students working with a Therapy Dog in school have shown to be:
– Improved school attendance – Increased behavior and concentration – Improved confidence – Increased motivation
The following rules are enforced when the Therapy Dogs are working at our school:
If the Therapy Dogs are present in a learning space or the playground with the staff member they are officially working. They are available for pats and cuddles, but we try to limit this to two children at a time and only under our supervision.
If they are working with a staff member who is supporting an individual student or small group of students, then other students must adhere to the ‘no touch, no talking’ with the dogs both in the playground and when they enter the classroom.
Rest areas have been set up for the Therapy Dog in the Wellbeing Office so they can have some time out – the concentration they need when they are working means they can get tired and need a rest! The dogs need a number of staff members who are ‘second handlers’ who understand the basic commands and can take the dogs from their primary handler if required.
Students and Staff will be taught and reminded that the Therapy Dogs must not be fed by anyone but their handlers Students must always be supervised around the Therapy Dogs. Therefore if they are having a rest in the Wellbeing Office, then students are not to enter without a handler present.
At Willmott Park Primary School, students and staff pride themselves on a wide range of creative talents. One of the ways in which this is showcased is through Lunchtime Clubs. All staff and students are empowered to join in and facilitate clubs that showcase their interests and bring out the best in one another.
Promote a sense of belonging.
Build upon our school community, and
Celebrate the passions and talents of all staff and students.
There are many great benefits and purposes for holding a lunchtime club program. Many of these clubs run across more than one year level. As a result, this assists in building strong foundations and rapport for all students. There are a wide range of clubs for every child to be part of, which incorporate: sport, drawing, art, music, reading, technology, nature, and mindfulness.
All lunchtime clubs are welcome and available to all students, but it also gives teachers the opportunity to gauge student interests and develop excellent connections and rich experiences. Additionally, teachers that run clubs also showcase their strengths and talents beyond the teaching profession and as a result, it gives students an insight into what teachers are like as people and not just as teachers.
Lunchtime clubs have proven to be a great success for many years here at Willmott Park Primary School. For students both past and present, certain clubs have been something that they look forward to on a weekly basis, as well as a fond memory of their primary years.
Some of the clubs that we will be running in Term 2 are: