Chip makes the press!

1st June 2021

Chip is a daily furry four-legged treat for our school


Most schools will have a furry friend for the children - perhaps a gerbil or even a hamster, but our school has gone more than one better and we have our very own dog.

He might not follow the uniform rules exactly, but he is very good in class and runs the school’s daily mile with his young friends and huge enthusiasm - and he has recently celebrated his first birthday.

There is much more to Chip, our Cockapoo, than being just a four-legged furry addition for fun;  he plays a serious role in terms of wellbeing and emotional support during a very difficult year for everyone.

During the lockdown, Mrs Lomax and other staff visited many children in their own homes and had the pleasure of meeting lots of animals, especially dogs.

Seeing how affectionate our children were towards their own dogs and hearing about the emotional support these pets have provided to families during a difficult time, the governors and staff decided that Chip would be a perfect pet for us.

We realised how much emotional support and how important pets were in helping people cope with isolation and the changes in pandemic life. Parents and children welcomed the idea of a school dog and so Chip became part of our school family.

Chip joined us at eight weeks old and socialised with the children who were here during lockdown because their parents were key workers. They were keen to look after him and the older children helped to train him, teaching him to sit, lie down, give a paw and high five! They quickly recognised when he needed the toilet and taught him to walk on the lead.

In September he welcomed everyone back to school and our reception children left their parents and walked into school without any distress. They were excited to hold Chip’s lead and walk with him and a teacher. 

He is now at the school gates every morning to welcome his young friends and help them gain confidence.

It’s not all been plain sailing though and he caused mild chaos by occasionally escaping from the office and running into classrooms to steal pencils, stationery and anything else he might find on the floor.

We absolutely loved these times and shared lots of laughter. He loves running around with everyone at playtime and had to be timetabled so all our ‘bubbles’ had a turn. He definitely has celebrity status!

He sits by Mrs Lomax’s office door and cries if the children go out to play without him

At eight weeks old, he was younger than everyone else in Reception year when he first started,  but Chip is now a vital member of our school family and has made friends with some of our children’s own dogs at the school gates. 

He thinks he is a guard dog and barks if anyone comes to the main doors. He loves Carol, our school cook, and tries to visit her often hoping for chicken!

Chip has even become integral to swimming lessons.

One of our children was very nervous about leaving the school building and Chip came to the rescue. The pupil walks the dog to the pool with Mrs Lomax and is collected at the door to the pool and taken back to school.

And parents also love the unruly pupil and think a school dog is a brilliant idea.

Claire Carpenter (Year 6 parent) said: “My son was very nervous about returning to school but as soon as I told him he would meet Chip, his nervousness turned to excitement. Chip is a wonderful asset to the school, the effect on the children is amazing and I think every school should have one.”

Sarah Bowden (Year 2 parent) added: “My daughter has always been nervous and slightly frightened of dogs. Seeing Chip from a pup, and seeing him grow and being involved in activities has transformed her. She’s so keen to see him every day and will happily hold his lead and says she loves him.”

Emma Bell (child in reception) “Alfie was very upset and really not wanting to come back to school and I was getting very worried that we were going to have a big issue. And then he met Chip and his attitude changed in an instant, he couldn’t wait to join Reception.”

Emma Bell (child in reception) “Alfie was very upset and really not wanting to come back to school and I was getting very worried that we were going to have a big issue. And then he met Chip and his attitude changed in an instant, he couldn’t wait to join Reception.”

“Chip brings us joy in school every day and the children get to spend time with him in numerous ways. The older children have supported training him and he meets and greets our families every day,” said Mrs Lomax.

“We learned a lot about how to take responsibility for Chip. The lady from Dog’s Trust told us that grapes and chocolate are poisonous, so we take great care to make sure he can’t eat either,” said Grace in Year 5.

“He made me happy when I didn’t have a dog,” said Blake, in Year 2.

Even staff members seek him out when they’re having a tough day and his impact has been incredibly positive on the entire school and its wider community.

Chip even has his own section on our school website here