School Dog at GISW

Dear Parents,


in a few days the teaching team in grades 1 through 4 will receive four-legged reinforcement: from January 23rd "Buddy", a six-year-old Cocker Spaniel, will accompany the lessons after consultation with the class teachers. Buddy will be used in the classroom to support educational processes. Buddy belongs to Mr. Papieß, who has years of experience with dogs and has been involved in animal-assisted pedagogy for a long time.


Throughout Germany, dogs are no longer a rarity in everyday school life. At the GGS Burgaltendorf in Essen, Buddy has been part of the team of educators since 2016.


It's no coincidence: numerous studies in Germany and abroad have been able to prove the positive effect of dogs in the classroom. Children in classes with a school dog work in a more concentrated, disciplined, and quiet manner. Overall, they are less susceptible to stress and show more consideration for each other. A welcome side effect is that the noise level in such classes decreases noticeably, and the children willingly do their part to keep the classrooms clean.


Very important: It has been shown that the presence of a dog (apart from the very first sniffing) does not distract the children, but on the contrary can noticeably increase their concentration and memory.


Buddy has already been working at a German elementary school for six years and was gradually familiarized with the teaching situation there. The dog received a classical dog training at a dog school. Here he was confirmed in writing that he has the qualification as a school dog and can work there as an "emotional support dog".


In the long run, it is planned that I will also offer special "dog lessons" with Buddy in other classes. The extended school management and the elementary school teachers are interested in the school dog project and support this new pedagogical approach. Everyone is looking forward to seeing Buddy at work.


We hope that you and your children are looking forward to the new "colleague" with us. Should you have any questions or perhaps want to meet Buddy in person, please feel free to contact me.


With kind regards


Holger Papieß

Principal of the Elementary School

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