Sidegate Primary School

Seize Opportunity, Create Success

School Therapy Dogs

Information for families


One of the things we pride ourselves on at Sidegate, is the quality of pastoral care we extend to our pupils and their families. We are always looking for ways to enhance our offer and as part of this, and following a successful Year 5 election campaign, we introduced a school therapy dog in November 2021. Since his induction, Wilbur has worked with a variety of pupils from across the school. For example, he has supported pupils who are learning to work together, walked with pupils struggling with anxiety or coping with bereavements, listened to children read and even played a starring role in an assembly about the role of dogs in the First World War. 


Following the successful introduction of Wilbur and having seen the positive impact he has had on pupils, we have decided to increase our capacity and provide more pupils with the opportunity to interact with a therapy dog. Therefore, we have been trialing the introduction of ‘Woody’ to Sidegate. 


Woody is a two-year-old cockapoo owned by Mrs Buglione (see his bio above). Mrs Buglione has been leading weekly groups with Wilbur and so is very familiar with the relevant procedures as well as being an experienced dog owner. As it was with Wilbur, Woody is being gradually introduced to the school. Mrs Buglione has spent a number of weeks bringing him for short visits and he is now slowly beginning to work with a limited number of pupils. Woody will also be completing some specific training with a certified dog trainer to ensure that he is prepared for the role. 


If you would like more information about how we manage dogs in school, please see the Sidegate School Dog Policy and accompanying risk assessment on the school website. These have both been reviewed in light of the introduction of Woody. I have also included some ‘frequently asked questions’ with this letter, which have been taken from the policy. 



Wilbur Heaven

Hello! My name is Wilbur Heaven and I am one of the Sidegate School Therapy Dogs. I am a six-year-old yellow labrador and I love walks in the forest, my local park and the beach; chasing my ball; sleeping in strange positions and; eating anything and everything I can get my paws on. When I am at home, my two-year-old human sister keeps me busy eating imaginary food and listening to stories so I am used to children. I have been working at Sidegate for just over a year and have had lots of fun getting to know different pupils. 


If you would like to know more about how we use therapy dogs at Sidegate, Mrs Heaven has put some important documents at the bottom of this page with lots of useful information for you and your families.

Woody Buglione

Woof!! I'm Woody and I am one of Sidegate's Therapy dogs. I am a 2 year old Cockapoo. My fur mum is a Cocker Spaniel and my fur dad is a Miniature Poodle. I am an adorable 'small'' dog with the personality of a 'big' clown.  

I love to play ball.  I'm an expert chaser and catcher. I love a walk, especially if it involves the park, the woods or the beach, but to be honest, I'm easily pleased and just love being outside.  I am a 'hyperallergenic' dog - which means I do not shed and I may not trigger allergies.


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