Exam time is a stressful for all students but today the anxiety was alleviated by ten dogs from the organisation Pets As Therapy (PAT) who visited the College to be stroked, petted and befriend students. Pets As Therapy is a national charity founded in 1983 and their aim is enhance health and wellbeing wherever they go. They visit care homes, hospitals and schools with volunteers and their well-behaved animals. The benefits have been proven to work include reducing stress, anxiety, depression, loneliness and even relieving symptoms such as high blood pressure as the dogs shower love and affection on those they meet.
Students at the College found the afternoon a good distraction from revising for external examinations that start next week. The new linear A levels mean that two years of work depends on the performance of just a few weeks of exam time. With modern day pressures such as social media and parental ambition this can be a very testing time for most young people and almost debilitating for some as anxiety threatens to overwhelm.
Assistant Principal Carol Horlock explains ‘It is important for students to learn strategies for managing stress and anxiety; we have been delighted to have the PAT dogs and their owners to help students take a short break from their studies. Students, thoroughly enjoyed the short break and the calming effect of the canine kind!’