As I start my renewed experience here at the College, I bring with me some special additions to the cohort.
Welcome ‘Carrot’ and ‘Spinach’ – two large bunnies who are now calling Waverley College home.
I, (Mr Mark Neale), had been blessed with working at a Marist school, who saw the potential benefits of animals in schools and ran with my ideas. Moving on from my previous school into Waverley, I had to bring the animals I had nurtured and raised around the students of Marist Catholic College North Shore, with me.
Having animals in schools is quite common, as St Ignatius’ Riverview employs two Labrador therapy dogs which make an appearance every few days. ‘Chicks R Us’ are a company who deliver hatching eggs to schools around NSW, and allow agricultural classes to observe the life stages of the chickens as they hatch, grow and mature. All these programs and initiatives bring their benefits to curriculum learning, wellbeing and life lessons.
Rabbits hold many benefits to wellbeing, counselling and to the TAS curriculum. These two siblings have been raised from birth, being constantly in the student spotlight. They are not shy for a pat or a feed, which makes them perfect companions for students when they are wanting a ‘cool-down’ option for the many stresses that the school day can bring, as well as bringing out a previously unseen character trait in students.
When looking at TAS, many units in the junior years focus on agriculture, cultivation and caring for animals in managed environments. The process of feeding, cleaning and maintaining their living space teaches responsibility, scaled-down life skills of the animal care industry, as well as sparks new interests in pets or companions other than the common cat and dog.
Carrot and Spinach hope to be welcomed by all the students as they adjust to their new surroundings, and some can expect to see them venturing around the hallways and classrooms as the year progresses.
Mr Mark Neale
Animal Welfare Liaison Officer