The Impact of Animal Therapy & The Ark

Although Animal Therapy is not recognised officially in the UK, we see positive changes in our pupils throughout the academic year and we are confident that developing this section of our school is important to the development of our pupils.

At St Luke's, we have a dedicated room for (most of) our animals called The Ark.

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The animals we have here at St Luke's provide sensory relief and also benefit our pupils' wellbeing.

Maintaining routines - such as feeding, providing water and cleaning - teaches our pupils independent skills that are transferable to their lives back home.

The reading area in The Ark can boost confidence in our pupils' reading abilities for one simple reason - animals do not judge! Pupils can take comfort in being able to read what they want and can read out loud is necessary.

Read more about our animals further down this page.

Mr Colley is currently undertaking his Level 3 Animal Assisted Therapy and Diploma.

Maple!

Our wonderful school dog Maple, a pure Labrador, will be two years old on 10th March!

Maple has been at St Luke's since she was 8 weeks old, fast becoming a pupil and staff favourite. In fact, Maple loves the school so much that she causes a fuss if she is left at home! She is very social (Maple loves bringing you things!) and she is very comfortable with the other animals.

There have been several success stories involving Maple and school pupils. One pupil in particular was 'petrified' of Maple in September, but after a few months of getting used to her the pupil is now able to take Maple for walks and give her strokes. Building confidence, like in this example, is key to the independent development of all our pupils.

Maple also has her own letterbox and email address at St Luke's, meaning any pupil can write a letter or write an email, utilising and building motor, writing and spelling skills, amongst others.