Our small animal unit is a relatively new venture within school and an area that we are hoping with continue to expand. I have over 10 years veterinary nurse experience and am able to use my area of expertise to bring new experiences to our students.
The benefits that the sessions offer our students are limitless. Through the bond with the animals the students learn to trust, not only me as their mentor but their peers. They gain a new found confidence as they build up the courage to engage with the different variety of animals in school.
Communication barriers are broken down as the need to be involved with the sessions encourages students to interact at their pace and ability. Use of Pecs and sign is encouraged. Some sessions are purely sensory experiences and I think the photographs will show the delight, apprehension and involvement of the students. Some sessions are for reward time and the time spent with the animals is earned with positive behaviors.
It teaches responsibility and how to look after something. It gives them opportunities to carry out tasks as part of that responsibility. It encourages leadership roles as the older students take on a teaching role to share what they have learnt with the lower key stages in school. I can also offer accreditation to those older students who have showed an interest in continuing with animal care when they transition to college.
I encourage cross curriculum links so I can tie in sessions with learning in the classroom. PSHCE,Science, learning outside the classroom, forest schools, horticulture and enterprise are all areas covered this year and I am hoping to be able to offer the experiences to outside schools which will be positive links for new students transitioning to WLCHS.
Your child / young adult loves these experiences, loves the calming environment that is created during these sessions and I am lucky enough to share that with them.
Enjoy looking through the photographs.
Aims of Intervention
- To link with B Squared Assessments to measure impact on pupil learning.
- To offer an engaging curriculum for those who struggle with school life.
- To develop communication and interaction skills through caring for animals.
- AQA modules are used to allow students to gain qualifications through the programme.
- Teachers set targets appropriate for their group and this is followed through tailored sessions.
- Students explore aspects of animal care, personal and interpersonal skills, social and emotional aspects of learning, fine and gross motor skills, independence and organisational skills, functional skills and effective communication skills.
- Feedback from teachers.
- Photographic records of students engaging in sessions.
- Completed AQA units.
- Feedback from students about their own experiences.