With pastoral care of paramount importance here at Warminster School, we are proud that we have our very own 'furry friend', Professor Moriarty, a reassuring and healing canine presence.
The Professor, ‘A Mostly Pug’, is proud of his 1/8th Chihuahua heritage, his silky coat and endearing features have ensured he is a firm favourite amongst staff and pupils alike. The Professor (Mo for short), resides with our Chaplain, Rev. Ayers-Harris, but during the school day is ideally situated in a central location in his ‘office’ within The Foundry. Mo makes himself available for strokes, hugs, laps of the School grounds and gentle ball throwing, but importantly incorporates the occasional forty winks when his busy timetable allows.
Therapy and healing dogs have been introduced to great effect amongst educational establishments in the UK over the last 5 years, but in countries such as the USA and Australia they have been common place for considerably longer. Numerous studies have illustrated the positive and healing benefits of their presence amongst a school community ranging from cognitive, to social, emotional and environmental. As Mrs Cook (Professor Moriarty’s personal assistant testifies), “The ‘Mo’ effect is instant. If a pupil drops in feeling a little low for whatever reason, in just a short while they re-emerge calmer and more at ease. A hug with Mo can work when words have not.” Pupils are encouraged to pre-arrange a time slot for ‘Mo Time’ and short walks can also be arranged as long as a member of staff is in attendance.