Students Take a Paws before the last ever Queensland Core Skills Test

In an effort to calm the pre-examination nerves of their Year 12 students, Somerville House recently organised a visit from five adorable Delta's Paws the Pressure Therapy Dogs, Poppy, Edie, Oscar, Domino and Cleo to provide some much needed relaxation and fun ahead of their final Queensland Core Skills Test.

For the first time in the history of the School, Year 12 students had the opportunity to interact with the dogs on campus in an effort to boost morale, with research suggesting just ten minutes playing with a dog can minimise stress levels by reducing cortisol production, putting students in a more relaxed mood.

Somerville House Dean of Students, Mrs Julie Brunckhorst said the School was delighted to host the dogs and believed it was extremely beneficial for the mental health and wellbeing of the Year 12 students ahead of their final test.  

“The Paws for Thought initiative was a surprise gift to our Year 12 students for their hard work in building their knowledge and capabilities in preparation for QCS and their upcoming examinations,” Mrs Brunckhorst said.   

“Patting, cuddling and playing with the friendly dogs is a positive, warm experience helping the students to de-stress, laugh and connect to another being as well as each other, eliciting positive emotions to counter any negative,” she said. 

Somerville House boarder and Year 12 student, Gracie T said she could not contain her excitement as she walked out of assembly and saw the dogs waiting to be cuddled.

“This has made my day, I never imagined starting my week like this,” Gracie said.

“Playing with these dogs has definitely put me on a good path for my upcoming exams,” she said.

Fellow Year 12 student Laura J, also a boarder, said the experience was fantastic and brought back memories from her home in central Queensland.

“I have six dogs at home and I miss them all so much – I don’t get to see them for long periods of time, so I was very excited to be around dogs again,” Laura said.

“I am a little bit nervous for exams, but this such a good start to the week,” she said.

Principal, Mrs Kim Kiepe said this experience was a wonderful opportunity for the students of Somerville House to remain calm and focused ahead of their QCS test.

“There is a good research around the benefits of dogs such as these, and the excited faces of the girls on the day said it all,’ Mrs Kiepe said.

“I believe our Year 12 students are well prepared and I wish them all the best of luck over the next two days of QCS,” she said.

From January 2020, the pathway to tertiary study for Queensland Year 12 students will change from the Overall Position (OP) system to the Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR), with students no longer required to sit the QCS Test. The new ATAR brings Queensland in line with other states and territories such as New South Wales who already use the system.

You can read more on this story in the Courier Mail here. Image courtesy of the Courier Mail.

To read more about how Somerville House is ready for the new 2020 system, please click here.