School Dog

School Dog - Pebbles

Our work to improve mental health and emotional wellbeing at Gusford continues with Mrs Sparrow leading our efforts in this area. We now have an in-house counsellor, social skills groups for selected pupils, our daily ‘Chill & Chat’ lunchtime provision, we have started Lego Therapy groups, we have two licensed ‘Thrive’ practitioners and two more staff currently in training with Thrive.

In 2019/20 we were part of a SWERL project, working with UCL (University College London) and Ipswich Opportunity Area (IOA) to further support the emotional health and resilience of our pupils and staff. SWERL stands for ‘Supporting Wellbeing, Emotional Resilience and Learning’ and at Gusford our project focused on improving our environment and building relationships.

As part of our SWERL project we introduced a school dog. Pebbles the french bulldog has been coming in to school since she was 8 weeks old. In February 2020, at 11 months only, Pebbles successfully passed her assessment to become a therapy dog with the charity Canine Concern.

You can follow the adventures of Pebbles as she settles in to life as our school dog on Twitter and Instagram and now Facebook

New for March 2020 - to support our pupils while we are closed Pebbles now has an email account Our pupils are encouraged to email or tweet Pebbles with photos of activities they are doing at home while unable to attend school. We hope this will help them to feel they remain connected to our school family. Pebbles will do her best to respond to all messages.

Please see below copies of our information letter to parents, school dog policy & risk assessment and other key documents.

Puppy Pebbles - 8 weeks old

Pebbles - (almost) 1 year old

Information about our school dog

Pebbles & Thrive

Now Pebbles is a therapy dog she will become an important part of our Thrive work at Gusford.

Canine Concern

pebbles on social media

Photographs of Pebbles

Pebbles Press

Pebbles in Suffolk Families magazine.pdf
Therapy dog Pebbles keeps supporting pupils during lockdown - Dogs Today Magazine.pdf