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Chaplaincy Canine
Brings Joy to
Peter Carnley ACS

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Chaplaincy Canine Brings Joy to Peter Carnley Anglican Community School

Carnley the Corgi is the new breed of working dog at Peter Carnley Anglican Community School and his presence across both campuses is already making a difference.

As School Chaplain The Revd Kim Thomas’ new family member, Carnley, has only just begun his journey as a chaplaincy dog and will commence his formal training in October 2021 when he is turns eight months old.

Research shows dogs in schools can be used to assist with social and emotional learning. Children working with them experience increased motivation for learning, resulting in improved outcomes. Dogs in schools can even assist with literacy development.

More and more research is being done into the effects of dogs in schools and the latest research indicates a range of benefits including:

  • increased school attendance
  • growth in confidence
  • decrease in learner anxiety behaviours resulting in improved learning outcomes, such as improvement in reading and writing levels
  • positive changes towards learning and higher motivation, and
  • enhanced relationships with peers and teachers due to experiencing trust and unconditional love from a dog. This in turn helps students learn how to express their feelings and enter into more trusting relationships.

Whether it’s just students sitting with and patting Carnley, doing their work or reading next to him, Kim said our newest member reduces anxiety and stress and even acts as a social ice-breaker.

Carnley teaches both students and staff members that sometimes it’s OK to just sit, pat him and take five minutes out of your day. It’s reminding everybody that you need to be happy at school. Everyone has a big smile when they see him . . . it’s definitely added a feel-good factor to the School environment,’ Kim said.

'As well as problems, there have been breakthroughs and I can think of a particular occasion when a young student came to see me who was upset. As the student cried, Carnley sat quietly at their feet and when the time was right, a small hand came down and stroked that young but wise head. A good cry, a talk and a stroke of the puppy seemed all that student needed and I was thankful that we are here to offer that. The puppy in action is a joy to see.’

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Peter Carnley Anglican Community School

At Peter Carnley Anglican Community School, we offer a creative and balanced educational experience for students from Pre Kindergarten to Year 12.

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