Oakley is a three year old Border Collie who has been part of our school community since she was 10 weeks old. Oakley spends most of her days in the Performing Arts classroom under the direct supervision of Mrs Peta Murray. While the children go about their activities, Oakley remains calm and observes the children.
Oakley is training to notice signs of anxiety and stress in children. She will often approach individuals and ‘check in’ – a routine she has been taught which involves her tapping or nudging a student. A student can engage Oakley’s assistance by holding her paw or scratching her under the chin. Oakley will then ‘drop’ (lay down) in front of the student and encourage them to pat her. The patting routine helps to alleviate stress or anxiety in the student.
Oakley has been an incredible asset to the classroom and wider school environment. The daily classroom environment is noticeably more settled and calm when Oakley is in attendance. She loves to spend recess and lunch on the oval, playing fetch or scarecrow tiggy with the children. Children now know that if they are lonely or looking for a friend to play with, Oakley is more than happy to play. Oakley is a friend to everyone.