Canine Partners demonstrate life skills

Prep School Head of PSHE, Mrs Heather Bignold, tells us about some very special visitors:

“As part of their PSHE work this term, pupils in Year 7 think about what disability really mean, people’s attitudes to disability and then do further research into a specific condition. As part of this work, we invited a speaker from Canine Partners to come in and speak to the pupils about how they can help people with physical disabilities. We were treated to an amazing session by Alison and her demonstration dog Yarna.

Having explained a little about the training techniques, Alison showed us how Yarna can switch on lights, pick up items such as keys or a phone, and can even help with taking off clothes. The skill most enjoyed by the pupils was Yarna’s ability to open a cupboard and take out her dish to get her breakfast, and then put it back again! Alison spoke of real-life examples where having such a dog has given back independence, and allowed the person to take part in normal everyday life. Something that many of us just take for granted.

There was time for a few questions from the pupils before Yarna took a bow, and we thanked both Alison and Yarna for a very interesting session.”