Buddy is one of our most loved members of the school community. There is significant evidence about how a wellbeing dog can help student engagement and learning.
Scientific evidence shows that being near a dog can reduce stress and anxiety and decrease the heart rate.
That’s why Westport Primary School partnered with Dogs Connect to welcome Buddy the Wellbeing Dog to our site.
For children, animals can help with emotional regulation, social connection and communication. They can help engage students in many curriculum areas by supporting children in feeling less self-conscious than they may feel around teachers and peers.
Westport Primary School’s accreditation with Dogs Connect is reviewed annually and means that our school has:
- Demonstrated the competency of training required
- Demonstrated a sustainable approach to authentically building connections with our wellbeing dog, with people and places within our school community
- We’ve been recognised for our level of practice and ability to continue to provide a healthy, balanced, and sustainable working life for our school wellbeing dog
Who is Buddy’s handler?
- Jayne Arnesen, Business Manager
- Peter Arnesen, Groundsman
If I have and questions or concerns where do I go?
- Front Office or Jayne
When is Buddy at school?
- Tuesday, Thursday and Friday
SSO Business Manager
Our Westport Buddy Program promotes social and support networks for students, creates a kind and caring school environment with shared values and builds a sense of community and belonging in our school.
Buddy partnerships allow children to experience a connection with other children from different year levels. They support students in experiencing a welcome from the very beginning, particularly during times of transition.
Each year, our new Reception students are buddied with a child in Year 3 or 4. This allows the buddies to develop their relationship over a three year period. Our older buddies (Year 3-6) learn to take on responsibility, while the younger buddies (R-2) know that they have a fellow student they can confidently turn to for support.
Each fortnight, students take part in a variety of fun and engaging activities such as rock art, origami, book craft, outdoor games and bracelet making.
At Westport Primary School we believe that the wellbeing of each student is vital for their personal and academic success. We understand the complex world of our students’ personal lives and that their future landscape is ever changing. We therefore seek to equip and empower them with the necessary skills to thrive and lead a life that has meaning and purpose.
Our school’s Pastoral Care Worker Deanna Sabadin offers wellbeing support to students and the wider school community. She facilitates breakfast club, wellbeing programs, and supports students and staff to create a caring and inclusive environment within the school. Our wellbeing program is one that is student centred, promotes resilience, empowers students to make a difference and to lead with courage and confidence.
Lunchtime clubs help build student engagement, social skills and inclusion for all students. We offer a range of clubs to cater for a diverse range of interest groups. Breakfast Club is supported by KickStart for Kids and helps to provide healthy, nutritious food to students.
Our other clubs include:
- FitBits & MiniBits (Fitness Program)
- Chess Club
- Nunga Group
- Yoga Club
- Photography Club
- Sewing Club
Click Here to view our 2023 Clubs
At Westport, we are a passionate about student wellbeing and ensure this is a key focus in our daily routines. Interoception is a tool that we use daily to support students as a class, small group and individually. In doing so, we aim to increase all student’s self-awareness, ability to regulate and most importantly increase their overall health and wellbeing.
As a whole-school focus, Westport Primary School students participate in two daily interoception activities in their classrooms after recess and lunch. This allows students to connect with and learn to understand their own bodies and emotions. Westport also has an Interoception Room which is located in Building 6. This is a space for all students to access throughout the day, as well as for small group session to support them in listening and responding to their bodies and self-regulating by following the Interoception Routine.