John Robinson, Principal
Animals promote wellbeing and higher achievement
At Investigator we focus on respect: respect for ourselves, for each other, for the environment and respect for animals. We are blessed by the presence of animals, at various times including chickens, lambs, calves, fish and dogs, and the links to authentic wellbeing -and, in turn, personal and community best achievements – are clearly documented.
- Animals can teach children about human behaviour and body language, about parenting skills and social responsibility. Learning to care for an animal is often the first step towards learning to care for others. The concepts of unconditional love and a love of life are clearly demonstrated.
- Psychologists at Oregon State University found that teaching children to care for an animal enhanced their social skills, making them “more cooperative and caring”. According to psychologist, Dr Sue Doescher “Having a pet improves children’s role-taking skills because they have to put themselves in the pet’s position and try to feel how the pet feels, and that transfers to how other kids feel.” These feelings of empathy assist in development of friendships as well.
- Developing positive feelings about pets can aid self-respect and help children develop non-verbal communication skills and compassion.
- They can provide a gentle introduction to the important concepts of life and death.
- Pet ownership studies have shown links to higher levels of fitness, fewer reports of loneliness and a reduction in reported experiences of rejection.
- Regular experiences with animals have been shown to make children calmer, better able to concentrate and more cooperative.
- It is not just behaviour that can be improved. A study from the University of Warwick has found that pets can make children healthier by stimulating the immune system. Children without pets were recorded as being at school nine days a year more than those without.
- Pets can serve as important sources of social and emotional support for everyone, not just individuals facing significant health challenges, according to research published by the American Psychological Association.
- Chickens and fish are stars of sustainability and help the students grow into being better citizens.
- Importantly, animals can help teach respect for other living beings.
Many of you will be familiar with the book and subsequent movie, “Marley and Me”. The author, John Grogan, sums up the importance of pets -and in this case, dogs, beautifully.
“A person can learn a lot from a dog. Marley taught me about living each day with unbridled exuberance and joy, about seizing the moment and following your heart. He taught me to appreciate the simple things – a walk in the woods, a fresh snowflake, a nap in a shaft of winter sunlight. And as he grew old and achy, he taught me about optimism in the face of adversity. Mostly, he taught me about friendship and selflessness and, above all else, unwavering loyalty.”
Isn’t it sad that there are still schools out there with “No dogs allowed” signs? Investigator is proud to be one of Australia’s leading schools when it comes to animals and sustainability and your support of our innovative programs is greatly appreciated.
“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the ways its animals are treated.” Mahatma Gandhi
Open Day – Saturday 25 March
I encourage you all to try to bring a friend along to this really special day. You will feel as proud as our staff and students do.
Registration details below: