John Stainer

Meet Our School Dog - Douglas

John Stainer has a proud history of welcoming everyone in to our school community. This does not just stop at humans! We have a very proud history of having a school dog. Our first school dog was the beautiful Charlie Brown, a chocolate brown miniature labradoodle. He was carefully chosen for his huge brown eyes and adoring personality. Charlie came to school every day for almost six years but when our old Headteacher Ms Harte retired and moved out to the countryside, he went too. To ensure he wasn’t feeling too lonely, he got a little sister called Lola!

For the last two years, we have had the pleasure of having Douglas join us. He is the cutest little dachshund you've ever seen! The markings on his coat make him a 'silver dapple' dachshund. When he first joined the John Stainer Community, many of us were still learning at home on Seesaw during a period of lockdown. For many of us, the first time we met him was on Zoom or Seesaw and it is so much better to be able to play with him in the real world now.

At first, Douglas took little steps to transition in to school life. He came for short days while he was getting used to all of the sounds and smells of our school. He was usually carried in to the playground for a short amount to time, to meet a small number of children, so he learned how our school works. Once we knew he loved coming to school as much as we do and had settled in fully he started to come in every day. As part of our priority to ensure everyone in our school feels safe and happy we hold regular talks with the children about how they can interact safely with animals and how they can protect them and ensure they are nurturing all living things on this planet.


Douglas is a regular classroom and assembly visitor and loves supporting children with their learning. He likes to visit EYFS and loves nothing more than a dress up day. He did look a bit confused on the last 'Dress as an Animal Day' but loved interacting with some other four-legged friends. In Year 1, he has his annual session where the children interview him as part of their Science learning about looking after pets. He is always very proud of how well the children share their knowledge about caring for his needs. In Year 2, he supports the children with their instruction writing about How to Tame a Wild Thing and very proudly recalls some of the very naughty things he used to do, when he was a tiny puppy, before Miss O’Sullivan trained (tamed) him. His favourite part of each school day is a walk through the playground and he surprises many of the children with his passion for football! He, of course, loves reading a good book and enjoys sharing story time with a friend.





Most importantly, Douglas is another powerful way that we as a school community show how we live and breathe our school value of kindness. He loves how nurturing and caring the children in our school are and he is always on hand to just be there, if someone feels like they need a bit of Douglas time!

Remember at the beginning we mentioned that we used to have a dog called Charlie Brown and his little sister Lola. Well the good news is that they are great friends with Douglas and they love spending time together. Well friendship is of course one of our school values and you can see from the picture that they are friends for life.