Animals play an important role in school life at St Philip’s. As well as the two therapy dogs, Bobby and Joker, there are also a number of animals in school for pupils to interact with. In one Year 7 classroom, pupils can take time out from their lessons to watch or pet Aslan the rabbit or Timmy the tortoise. Pupils say it is soothing to have the animals in class with them.
In Key Stage 4 students have the option to follow a course in Animal Care. The course explores animal care industries and jobs working with animals. Pupils learn how to care for different animals and the sort of hazards that could arise.
There are a number of reptiles at St Philip’s including a milk snake, a variety of geckos, a turtle, Bearded Dragon and one section of the course teaches young people how to look after these animals in a safe manner. They can also practice their skills on guinea pigs, rabbits and chickens which are kept outside in a fox-safe enclosure. Pupils enjoy stroking the soft fur and feathers, when they can catch them, and also learn how to feed and look after these animals.
All pupils on the course have to prepare a presentation to give to Primary aged children about caring for an animal of their choice. Animal Care is a popular Key Stage option which gives pupils the experience of looking after animals. Every year some of our students choose to complete an Animal Care course at local colleges.
The animals at St Philip’s are not only for education and are a valuable part of the pastoral care that we offer.