ROCK ON: Teacher Aaron Agius with Alice Prichard and Rocky the animal assisted education dog at Bundaberg North State High School.
ROCK ON: Teacher Aaron Agius with Alice Prichard and Rocky the animal assisted education dog at Bundaberg North State High School.

Bundy North High welcomes new member of staff to the team

BUNDABERG North State High School has a pawsome new addition with Rocky joining the team as an animal assisted education dog.

Teacher and Rocky’s owner Aaron Agius said he thought of taking Rocky to the training after seeing how his young daughter interacted with Rocky.

Now Rocky has joined the school as a learner and will continue to be reassessed to step up levels in his accreditation.

Alice Prichard with Rocky the animal assisted education dog at Bundaberg North State High School.
Alice Prichard with Rocky the animal assisted education dog at Bundaberg North State High School.

Mr Agius said he paid for Rocky’s public liability and the course because he believed it was something great he could offer as a teacher.

“I have been teaching for 20 years and mainly work with kids who are having some trouble at school,” Mr Agius said.

“At Bundy North I have more of a caring and sharing role so I work at the Flexispace to help kids find different ways to engage with education and Rocky can help.

“It is not just bring your dog to work, we have passed a course to be an animal education team.”

Mr Agius said Rocky would be used for wellbeing while he was a learner but in the future would start to do more intensive work in classes.

“One of the things I will be using Rocky for is emotional regulation,” he said.

“We talk about parts of the brain and how it functions and as humans we have this large part of our brain that thinks about the consequences of our actions.

“When you get too emotional or angry or scared all that part shuts down, you just use the little animal part and Rocky is a good example of that because he has an animal brain.

“He wants to escape the yard, run the street, hassle people and control the place but there is a difference between what he wants and needs and that’s a good conservation.”

Mr Agius said Rocky would be attending the school every second day and he would continue to monitor whether Rocky was enjoying it.

Principal Robyn Kent said Rocky’s first day would be on Wednesday and it was the ideal time to introduce him to the grounds with fewer students at school.

Ms Kent said they had offered parents and students to opt-out if they didn’t want to interact with Rocky and were taking many precautions.

“Aaron has been training him for the past year and we are ready to move to the next stage as he has passed the accreditation.”



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