Our School Dog
Lottie is our school dog. She is a friendly one-year-old black Labrador and joined Cheltenham Bournside School in June 2021, when she was just 8 weeks old.
Lottie is a key member of our pastoral and culture team in the school. She is on site daily, and works with students on an individual basis, as well as spending time with as many students as possible during social times. Lottie loves attention and cuddles and her presence at school never fails to put a smile on the faces of everyone who meets her throughout the day. We believe that animals can have a significant positive impact on mental health and wellbeing, and Lottie is brilliant at helping us all to be present in the moment.
We are committed to continuous professional development for ALL members of our team, and Lottie is no exception! She is currently undergoing training and has recently passed her Silver Award for the Kennel Club Good Citizen Award and is working towards her Gold Award. Upon successful completion, Lottie will undertake further training and assessments to become a therapy dog.
Studies have shown that school dogs can have a positive effect on students, from helping students who are struggling with things in school, reducing anxiety, improving reading confidence (by being read to), and generally being a calming influence. Children can benefit educationally and emotionally, increase their understanding of responsibility, and develop empathy and nurturing skills through contact with a dog. Children also tend to take great enjoyment from interaction with a dog.
Positive effects of having Lottie onsite, include:
Learning, including reading and literacy
Knowledge and understanding of animals
Love and support for groups of students
Developing self-esteem and interest, especially for some of our most vulnerable groups
Coping with bereavement
A feel and sense of community
Some curriculum involvement
Follow Lottie's Lead
You can keep up-to-date with Lottie's school journey on social media:
Remembering Molly, our first school dog
Molly, a black Labrador Retriever from the same breeder as Lottie, joined the school in September 2020 and very quickly became a key member of the pastoral team. Molly was chosen as our first school dog because of her mild temperament and excellent behaviour. She had previously qualified as a Pets as Therapy dog and in 2017, was awarded first place in the Veteran’s Class and Reserve Best in Show in the Gloucestershire Labrador Owner’s Club Competition in 2020.
Sadly, Molly passed away in January 2022, having reached the grand age of 13 years and 8 months. We remember Molly fondly, and we were proud to see her contribution to the school recognised in the local press.