New teacher's pet at Ansford Academy
OSIAN the puppy is the new ‘teacher’s pet’ at Ansford Academy, and will feature in lessons following an intensive summer of training.
The border collie, poodle crossbreed will play an active role in a wide range of educational projects and student welfare initiatives, including next year’s Duke of Edinburgh expedition.
The introduction of a school pooch is a pioneering venture supported by Crown Pet Foods that builds on the success of the Ansford Academy’s earlier introduction of chickens, pigmy goats and bees.
Alyson Evans, head of DT and art at Ansford Academy and the owner of Osian, said the initiative is a regional first and signs are encouraging that the new canine addition will prove to be a success.
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She said: “We’re absolutely delighted with the enthusiastic response from students and the way that Osian has settled into his new academic surroundings.
“It’s still early days, but student interaction is already really good and I’m sure he’ll have a very active role to play in everyday life at the school in the years ahead.
“Now, after lots of puppy training during the summer holidays, we’re confident Osian will be contributing to curriculum subjects as diverse as nutritional studies and art.
“And we also believe he’ll play an important role in everyday student welfare and helping our young people to develop their skills and responsibilities in other non-academic areas.”
The school’s decision to proceed with the initiative followed a presentation of research findings by Year 11 students to the rest of the school and a thorough student consultation.
The chosen breed was selected for intelligence, reliable behaviour and a very low risk of allergy.
Ansford Academy headteacher Rob Benzie said: “The staff and pupils have really thought this through and there’s been a great deal of planning behind the scenes.
“We’re determined to show what can be achieved and, as we start a new year at the academy, I’m sure all of his recent training will see Osian really come into his own – in academic areas as well as in the everyday welfare of all our young students.
“I know many other schools across the region are watching our progress in this area with interest and very much hope to follow our lead.”