News & Achievements

Truro High welcomes its first four-legged TA

The start of school term is always an exciting time with lots of new faces to get to know but pupils at Truro High were in for a real surprise when they were introduced to a new member of staff who is sure to get tails wagging.

The latest addition to the Truro High team, Issey the dog – a 4-month-old F1 Cockapoo – will be joining the school’s Learning Support Department to soothe pupils and even help teach them to read aloud.

Head of Learning Support, Mrs Katie Wood introduced her newest, cuddliest colleague to pupils earlier this week as she begins the 3-year training process for Issey to become certified with the charity Dogs Helping Kids.

DHK School Dogs are highly trained animals who are of impeccable temperament, have undergone in-depth positive reinforcement training and who then have been rigorously assessed to clarify that they are competent and safe to work in the school or college environment. Under this framework, Issey will be trained to the very highest standard to ensure that she is able to work safely with pupils and to contribute to school life as much as possible.

She said: “Issey’s job title is “learning support dog” – an increasingly common addition to modern classrooms – and we are absolutely delighted to be welcoming her to our dedicated team. She is still a puppy at the start of her journey to becoming a certified school dog so at the moment we’re concentrating on helping her learn to love school and making sure she has lovely manners before she starts meeting the girls regularly. Because she is young it is unlikely she will be ready to visit classrooms yet but we will see how she adapts to Truro High and settles in to her new workplace.”

As her training continues, Issey will work with pupils as a reading motivator and listener, as well as providing invaluable pastoral support and helping to carry out therapeutic work for children who may benefit from this.

The welfare of Issey and the Health and Safety of all pupils is paramount and as such a risk assessment has been put in place by the school. When Issey is not in school she is lives with Mrs Wood as a much loved family pet.

Issey’s training is supported by Devoran-based puppy school Paws-ative dog training and Dogs Helping Kids. Dogs Helping Kids is a unique UK charity dedicated to using highly trained dogs to help teach children non-violence, empathy, respect, kindness, love, responsibility, friendship and trust.

Find out more about the furriest member of the Truro High family here bit.ly/2fEDFtI

Published by: Grace Kennard

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