We were delighted to welcome a new member to our school community this half term: Maple the dog.
Maple’s owner, our Deputy Head Pastoral, hails from Canada, offering a clue (along with the colour of her coat) as to the origins of her name. As a cavapoo puppy, Maple is a small dog with low allergenic impact and is incredibly calm, gentle and friendly. Most of the time, Maple resides in Ms Brass’ office on the ground floor of the Senior School but she can be seen trotting into staff meetings, taking part in Economics lessons, greeting visitors in reception, hanging out in Sixth Form Oakwood garden, enjoying music concerts and bounding over to the Junior School.
Maple joined South Hampstead just ahead of exam season and has swiftly become a very popular new member of the school community. Well-documented research about the capacity for dogs to lift spirits and alleviate stress is already in evidence; she receives regular and enthusiastic break and lunchtime visits from the girls (and teachers) and has become an indispensable addition to the pastoral team, bringing a lot of joy to the school day – even to those dedicated staff members who are primed, in their rare free moments, to take her out in all weathers. The response from pupils, parents and staff has been overwhelmingly positive.
“You can’t help but smile when you see Maple. She is unbelievably cute.” Pupil
“It’s amazing to see the transformative and cheering effect of a dog in school. She is a tiny, fluffy force of nature.” Staff
“I’m thrilled my daughter has the chance to play with Maple during the week – she is clearly a wonderful, calming influence (and I’m very grateful it takes the pressure of us getting a dog at home!)” Parent