Sutton V.A. Lower School

Sutton Lower School

Life at Sutton V.A. Lower School Life at Sutton V.A. Lower School Life at Sutton V.A. Lower School Life at Sutton V.A. Lower School Life at Sutton V.A. Lower School Life at Sutton V.A. Lower School Life at Sutton V.A. Lower School Life at Sutton V.A. Lower School

Coco the School Dog

24th November 2016

Coco visited us this week to show off her new Hi-Vis winter coat. As Coco is a dark haired dog, this was a great way to demonstrate why it is important to be seen in the dark now that the nights are during in. Two children from Ocean Class took a walk with Mrs Chapman and Coco to post a letter and try out the new winter coat!


11th November 2016

Year 2 enjoyed a visit from Coco who enjoyed listening to them read!




4th November 2016

Coco was in school this morning and even took part in our Celebration Assembly where she received her Bronze award for dog training.




23rd September 2016

Ocean Class have enjoyed some time with Coco the dog this week.



 Meet Coco!


The school, with support from the staff and Governors, has decided to take on a school dog. There are a number of reasons for this and this is something that other schools locally have in place and have reported on the benefits. We have undertaken a significant amount of research and are aware of many benefits to having a school dog: 

  • a calming effect on pupils, particularly those with behavioural or learning difficulties;
  • improved behaviour and concentration, reduced stress and improved self-esteem;
  • encouraging expression and participation in more withdrawn children
  • fostering a sense of responsibility
  • motivating pupils to think and to learn, as children have a high level of natural interest in, enthusiasm for and enjoyment of animals;
  • encouraging respect and thereby improving pupils’ relationships with each other, parents and teachers;
  • teaching children to nurture and respect life;
  • helping work undertaken with the most vulnerable children, and educational improvements with low achievers.
  • helping children build confidence in reading.


Please see the links below to see other school communities have benefitted from their school dog:


Our school dog will be trained to work with children who have special needs, suffer bereavement or who are upset in any way and in need of calm, comfort and space before being able to tell an adult what has upset them. It will also be available to work with children (and adults) who have had bad experiences with dogs or other animals.

With parental permission, over a period of time children who react fearfully to dogs will be supported in approaching, handling and gaining confidence in managing their fear. While the dog’s main place of residence will be the office area, which is secure and separate from the classrooms, children will able to interact with the dog under strict supervision at certain times of the week as long as parental permission has been given. The dog will not be given access to other visitors without supervision and mutual consent.

Coco is a cocker spaniel puppy. The breed has been carefully selected because of its temperament as gentle and friendly creatures that are also superb working dogs. We hope the children will gain a great deal of enjoyment from having their school dog and that she becomes an established part of life at Sutton VA Lower School.

The school website will publish pictures of our school dog, from birth as it grows up. We understand that it is not possible for all families to have a family dog and therefore we hope that this is an opportunity for children to have a ‘share’ in a dog and gain from a relationship and contact on a regular basis.

We would very much welcome queries or questions on the matter. In the meantime, please take a look at the following FAQs.