Bertie the School Dog
There is growing evidence as to the benefits of having pets in school and that petting an animal reduces cortisol levels. At Compass School we recognise the importance of this and how it helps support good mental health in both our staff and pupils. As a result, we have a pair of guinea pigs called Smudge and Coco who are based in our North zone (primary) and we have Bertie the cocker spaniel who is based in our East zone.
Bertie was born on 1st March 2022 and has been coming to school since he was 9 weeks old. As such he is growing up in the environment, so it is home from home for him. Bertie provides companionship and helps create a nurturing environment. In addition, he can often be a positive distraction and encourage responsibility; wellbeing and focussed interaction. Bertie gives students the opportunity to show compassion and helps reduce anxiety. He offers sensory stimulation and therapeutic touch and students who find it difficult to maintain meaningful relationships can relax with Bertie knowing they will not be judged.