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Dougal's Deep Sea Dive, by Mrs Maguire

Date: 7th Oct 2019 @ 9:45am

Dougal’s Deep Sea Dive

I’m very excited to be writing my first ever Bernard’s blog. With so many wonderful things to talk about in school I was unsure where to start. However, this week, as I scampered along the corridor of the school, I noticed that the corridor was brighter and more colourful than last week. I soon discovered that each class had done a display on a book that they were reading in class. There was also a competition to see whose display was the best (this was judged by the children) and the winner was Year 2 who have been reading Dougal’s Deep-Sea Diary. This made me ‘paws’ along the corridor and have a closer look.  

 I was immediately drawn to the book by the alliteration in the title – Dougal’s Deep-sea Diary as there is also alliteration in the title of my page – Bernard’s Blog. Alliteration is fun as it can be used to create tongue twisters. I also speak with alliteration all the time  - ‘woof, woof, woof.’ 



 The book is about a man called Dougal, who has a pretty boring day job (unlike me). However, he has the most amazing hobby – deep-sea diving. In this book, Dougal keeps a diary of his dives and he discovers the most amazing things (I won’t tell you what he discovers so that you can find out for yourself.) What he discovers is that amazing, that he doesn’t return to his job after his week of deep-sea discovering.

What have I enjoyed the most about this book? It is the writing the children in year 2 have produced after reading the book. They have pretended to be Dougal and have written a diary or a postcard about their adventures in the deep-sea. They are ‘fury, fury’ good and make me as the reader want to find out more about their adventures under the sea. Next time you walk along the school corridor, ‘paws’ and have a read of the book and the children’s writing. See if you can spot any more alliteration.

I have enjoyed reading about this book and Year 2’s writing this week so much that I will choose another book from the book displays next week for Bernard’s Blog.

Welcome Bernard the Buddy Dog , by Mrs Maguire

Date: 3rd Sep 2019 @ 12:37pm

Welcome to Bernard the Buddy Dog


Why Have a School Dog?

With Sir Antony Seldon (Vice Chancellor of Buckingham University, educationalist and political author referencing the benefits of school dogs and Damian Hinds recognising their role in helping children’s mental health and wellbeing we thought we’d bring you our School Dog Blog.

In recent years it has become increasingly common for schools to have a school dog, but ‘Why?’ I hear you ask!

There are a lot of articles about the benefits of having a dog in school, from increasing children’s understanding of responsibility to supporting children with managing their feelings and behaviour. Alongside the impact of a school dog on pupils, research also suggests that interactions with a dog can have benefits for staff too. Research shows that interacting with a dog can moderate stress by reducing the heart rate, lowering blood pressure, and other observable supportive signs of anxiety (Katcher, Friedmann, Beck, & Lynch, 1983). However, as the Dog Trust saying goes, “A dog is for life not just for Christmas”.

So, before we opened our school gates (and hearts) to a school dog there were many considerations to be made:

  • The breed: It is important to consider the breed of dog most suitable to our school to ensure that they are a good fit and that we can accommodate all of its needs. Temperament and exercise requirements are a big factor here.

Bernard is a Norfolk terrier, whose mum is already a therapy dog. He comes from ‘Stable Lives’. Stable Lives is a Community Interest Company based at Parbold Equestrian Centre. Volunteers at Stable Lives recognise the devastating effect that Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Mental Health Trauma can have on an individual and their family. They use therapy dogs and horses to bring real comfort to adults and children suffering from a wide range of physical and psychological challenges.