Celebrating Pets in Schools: A Paw-sitive Experience at REAch2 Academy Trust

National Pet Day is a delightful occasion that encourages us to recognise and appreciate the furry, feathered, and scaly companions who bring joy and comfort into our lives. As we celebrate this special day, let’s turn our attention to the remarkable impact of pets within our school communities.

At REAch2 Academy Trust, where education and compassion go hand in paw, pets play an essential role in teaching children about life lessons such as responsibility, empathy, and compassion.

Our Pet Pioneers at REAch2

Barkley and Barney at Green Ridge Academy

A photo of Barkley - the school dog; on some grass.
A photo of Barney on the floor.

Barney is the new school dog at Green Ridge Academy. He is a red cavapoo and has been attending the school since he was just 12 weeks old. Barney is 8 months old and has already settled into life at Green Ridge excellently. Barney is training to become a therapy dog with the PAWS Therapy Dog programme and is currently enrolled in the Good Companion Award and is completing foundation level.

Barkley has been the school dog at Green Ridge since we opened seven years ago. Despite being in his senior years now and slowing down he is still much loved by all the children and staff. His highlights at work include hearing children read, being taken for walks on the field and hoovering the hall floor after lunchtime.

Tom and Jerry at Tidemill Academy

Words provided by the Year 6 children at Tidemill Academy –

Tom and Jerry are our two class pets and have lived a great life so far. They have lived in a plastic cage at the back of the class. There was a time when everyone came in on a Monday, to see that Tom had climbed to the top of the cage! Then, he fell off onto the soil and kept on climbing. He had a lot of resilience. Tom and Jerry are a unique species of snails; Giant African land snails. They are one of the largest ones in the world. They are not mammals nor reptiles as they are malluses. At the end of term, the snails were ready to be picked up by the children. We were told to be very gentle as they are very delicate. The snails slithered on our hands and it was a great experience!

Luna at Sprites Primary Academy

Luna lives with Sprites Academy Deputy Headteacher, Mr Ashley and his family.  Luna is a very caring, docile, gentle and well-behaved dog who was selected for having the right breeding and temperament to be a therapy dog. She has experience of being in a school from when she was a puppy, and has learned how to react well to children.

The Educational Benefits

Empathy and Compassion
Pets teach children empathy and compassion. When children care for animals, they develop a deeper understanding of their needs and emotions. Whether it’s feeding, grooming, or simply offering a gentle pat, these interactions foster kindness and emotional intelligence.

Stress Reduction
Petting a dog or watching fish swim can reduce stress and anxiety. They remind us to pause, breathe, and appreciate the simple joys of life.

Responsibility and Routine
Caring for pets instills a sense of responsibility. Children learn about routines, feeding schedules, and cleanliness. These lessons extend beyond the classroom, preparing them for life’s responsibilities.

Celebrate with Us!

On this National Pet Day, let’s celebrate the paw-sitive impact of pets in our schools. Whether it’s a wagging tail, a gentle purr, or a chirpy tweet, our animal companions enrich our lives and create lasting memories. Remember, every day can be a pet day—so give your furry friend an extra treat and a heartfelt pat today! 🐾🐶🐱🐰🦜

To learn more about the schools mentioned in this article, please take a look at their website:

Green Ridge Academy
Sprites Academy
Tidemill Academy