How can you create positivity for our children during lockdown?

Parley First School have just the answer...the Parley Pooch!

It started with a very special announcement in the school's weekly news letter, which read:

“As promised, for those who’ve not seen him yet, here he is... in his uniform, ready to be with our children... our Parley Pooch."

There was great excitement as more than 300 Parley Pooch cuddly toys were bought and given to each of the pupils.

Parley Pooch is a special little pal for every child to have sat with them at home. The idea being the Pooch can help the children write about their adventures, assist with maths and other curriculum tasks... as well as offering a hug when feeling happy or sad in these very strange times.

But before the Pooches found their new homes Head Teacher Mr Bagwell held an assembly in the school hall for all of the the toys - whilst the children watched on remotely from home!

In the footage Mr Bagwell can be seen singing Happy Birthday to one of the Pooches and blowing out candles on a cake. He also hands out a gold sticker in his office to a Pooch who has worked hard!

A Pooch is seen touring the school corridors, reading a book, and playing in the playground.

The idea was the inspired by Zoe Laver, a member of POPS (Partners of Parley School) who also works in the school. She saw the idea on social media after another school posted photos of their new Ted(s) having their school assembly.

Excited by this the Pops team knew they had to do their best to make it happen for Parley!

So after many conversations between the committee and the school's senior lead team, last week the team "had the pleasure of welcoming in excess of 300 Pooches to Parley!".

What's more, each classroom will have their very own mischievous Pooch as well!

And a little poem has been created to accompany him.

“Parley Pooch is here for you

from all your Parley Friends.

He knows times are strange right now

And hopes this lockdown soon ends.

Parley Pooch will be with you

If you are feeling sad, happy or pain.

Keep dancing, singing and smiling

Until we are all together again.”

Headteacher, Mr Bagwell said "I had great fun creating a video for the children to watch at home and I hope it has provided a respite for both the children and parents. I took the pooches for a tour around the school and they sat down beautifully whilst I did an assembly, pretending I had all of the children here with me.”

A parent at the school said:"Watching this video made by the amazing team at Parley First School gave me goosebumps and brought a tear to my eye. My daughter couldn’t wait to bring her Parley Pooch home! We are so lucky to have such an amazing extended family during these strange times."

Lucy, parent and Co-Chair of the POPS team said “Being able to help organise a Pooch for every pupil has been a pleasure. The joy we are seeing already on our year group remote learning page is wonderful and my son looks forward to seeing what new adventures his friends pooches have been on. I feel very proud to be a part of something so special.”

See the video footage here: