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Paws in Practice

Paws in Practice

I had the pleasure of seeing Helen and Ned in action today at Kilberry Valley Primary School. They are running the F & R program with a young group of active & eager students. Helen’s patient and calm approach supported the students to engage and participate enthusiastically, while Ned charmed the students, all who were delighted to have his attention.

The content for the session was well-planned and beautifully delivered. With Ned resting calmly beside Helen, the group started with a self-care reflection from the previous week. It was lovely to hear students share how they implemented their ideas at home, such as playing with their pet or having a shower. Helen then divided the students into 3 groups allowing them to choose between some mindful colouring, a group game of memory or working with Ned. Having the choice, made the transition very smooth.

Watching Ned eagerly jumping through hoops for the students was a joy. It was wonderful to see the students confidence grow, fostered by Helen’s constant encouragement, patience and understanding. She was in tune with the student’s progress and ensured a safe environment for engagement with Ned and the activities.

Introducing the 3C’s to a young group can be challenging at the best of times, but I loved how Helen broke it down into simple terms and focused just on the first C – Catch it. Using visual posters, she supported the children’s understanding with simple examples about friendships and what happens when things go wrong. Explaining that as a result, sometimes our minds can tell us different things that makes us feel sad. A great segue into Check it.

Helen also had a wonderful capacity to engage students and hold their attention in the group in a way that encouraged everyone to be themselves and build on their emotional awareness and self-confidence, something that was highlighted during a game of statues.

Well done Helen & Ned and thank you for allowing me to share your fabulous work!