At the Ballarat, Narre Warren and Morwell campuses, therapy dogs come to school each day under the care of their owners, who are staff members at the Berry Street School. Therapy dogs at the Berry Street School support students with their social-emotional learning needs. Students might gently pat or have a chat with the dog to help them be calm.
Research indicates that students who work with therapy dogs experience increased motivation for learning. Therapy dogs can also:
- increase school attendance
- help students gain confidence
- decrease learner anxiety behaviours
- help students learn how to build trusting relationships.
Ballarat, Shepparton and Morwell also have chickens that the students enjoy spending time with and nurturing. Other animals that attend the campuses with their owners (our staff) to assist with learning, wellbeing and adding some fun throughout each day include Kahlo who is a rat and some guinea pigs!