What is PetWise School Award?
PetWise School Award is similar to an accreditation scheme – you may already be familiar with these in school. The difference is, this is the first (and only) animal-related award that schools can take part in. By being ‘PetWise’, your community will know that your school is pet-savvy and care about our furry friends. In order to complete the award, and gain your special PetWise status, your pupils will complete a series of curriculum-linked activities but the best part is: everything is already planned for you so all you have to do is the delivery.
Why should my school Get PetWise?
Our aim is to help the nation get PetWise so we can ensure people have the knowledge required to be responsible pet owners and by teaching children (our future pet owners) these messages early on, hopefully in the future we’ll have a nation of happy and healthy pets.
We can’t do this without your help so this is your chance to share the responsibility with us.
How much does it cost?
The award is completely free. All we ask is that you make a small donation as part of your launch day. This can be as simple as holding a pet related non-uniform day in school. You’ll be awarded points for your donation, no matter how small, to help you on your journey towards being a PetWise school.
How does it work?
The award programme is made up of an initial launch day and three main levels: Bronze, Silver and Gold. To pass each level you need to gain at least 1000 points.
Each level has at least 2 PowerPoint presentations (lasting around 1 hour), each worth 200 points; a series of short activities such as Top Trumps games, welfare spinners, newspaper reports, big writes, diary entries and quizzes, each worth 50 points; and a couple of social action activities, such as a poster, an assembly session run by the children for parents and a research booklet task, each worth 200 points.
What topics do the levels cover?
- This level includes an assembly presentation and a history lesson as well as fun activities to introduce pupils to the topic and inform them about the award. This level has been designed to be completed over one day.
- Get PetWise - This session provides an overview of what pets need to be healthy and happy. Based on the care of cats, dogs and rabbits, it teaches the audience how to be responsible pet owners. The follow up activities from this cover topics such as: animals in need of shelter, preventive health care, wants vs. needs, responsible pet ownership and how to stay happy and healthy.
- In the Pet Hospital - This session brings the Pet Hospital to the audience. You’ll be taken on a journey through the hospital, following Cyril, one of our special patients, through his treatment programme. The follow up activities for this session include: fun games to learn more about careers with animals, diary of a poorly pooch, foreign body x-rays, role play and the importance of keeping harmful objects out of a dog’s reach.
- Canine Communication - This session identifies how to recognise what dogs are telling us through their body language and how to stay safe around dogs. The follow up activities from this cover topic such as: feelings and the history of domestication.
- Animal Heroes - This session looks at the brave and heroic acts of animals from war time to today, PDSA’s medal programme and its animal recipients. This session also shares the amazing stories of everyday pets in society. The follow up activities for this session reinforce the learning from the session and encourages pupils to think about brave animals in their local communities.
- Get Set for the Right Pet - This session covers the costs associated with owning popular pets with a Maths focus for audiences of appropriate ages and encourages the audience to make an informed decision when choosing a pet. The follow up activities for this session include: a tally chart to find out how many pupils own pets and which pets are most popular in your school; case studies where the pupils have to decide which pets are most suited to certain families; and finding out the initial costs of getting a pet, where to buy them from and which animals make the best pets.
- Animal-based careers - This session identifies some of the different careers that involve working with animals. The follow up activities from this cover the topic of careers.
- Stereotypes - This session encourages pupils to question their prejudices about both people and animals and addresses the way the media portrays certain breeds such as the Staffordshire Bull Terrier. The follow up activities for this session include: a persuasive newspaper article, research tasks and debates about the Dangerous Dog Legislation and matching activities to address prejudice.
How can I fit it in to our school curriculum?
All of our sessions and activities follow the current National Curriculum across a range of subjects such as Citizenship, English, Maths, Science and ICT.
The activities can be built in to your existing curriculum, for example we have an activity where pupils create a tally chart - this can be delivered as part of your own Maths planning or as part of a wider topic based on pets.
Will it be a lot of extra work?
No, our aim is to provide you with everything you’ll need to run each session. Our PowerPoint presentations have extensive notes so there is no need for additional preparation and our lesson plans outline each session in an easy to follow, step-by-step manor. The activities have activity worksheets, where possible, and the evidence you need to supply in order to pass is straight forward and simple to upload.
How long will it take me to complete?
There is no set time to complete the award. It has been designed to take no longer than one school year but it depends on the way your school works. Schools that want to concentrate on a pets topic as part of their curriculum may even complete the award over one school term.
Who can take part?
The award is currently only open to Primary Schools or schools that teach either Key Stage 1 or 2. If this means you’re not able to take part at the moment, please make use of our free education resources that will also be available on our new website next month.
What happens once we’ve completed the award?
Once the gold level has been completed, your school will be awarded with our ‘PetWise’ status and sent a high res image of the logo to display on your school’s website and any correspondence to parents. You’ll also be sent a certificate and a ‘We’re PetWise’ glass plaque to display in the main foyer/reception area. The plaque itself is free but we would appreciate a donation of £5 to help towards postage if possible.
The award lasts 2 years and then you are required to do a short refresher as a top up – this wouldn’t take more than a day or two to complete and would last a further 2 years.
I have more questions, who can I talk to?
If you’d like to know more about the award, we’re happy to help. Simply email your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org and someone will get back to you asap.