Supporting the development of the whole child one PAW at a time.


The PAWS program focuses on developing the whole child and aims to support students socially, emotionally, physically and academically. The PAWS program features one very special component – a very affectionate dog called ‘Scruffy’. Scruffy’s breed took some careful consideration and a lot of research. Firstly, he needed to have a loving, friendly and kind nature and needed to be happy to work with a large number of children. Secondly, he needed to have the intelligence to be able to learn very quickly how to act and behave within the school environment. Thirdly, he needed to have a hyper allergenic coat for those students in the school who have allergies. The result, a labradoodle!


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Paws up for learning

Scruffy was 13 weeks old when he first started at WASPS.

Scruffy always gets involved in school events such as footy day or dress up days. He loves costumes!

Scruffy dressed in his tuxedo for the Year 6 Graduation!


Scruffy spends the majority of his time supporting the transition of the prep students into the school environment. The preps absolutely love having a dog in their classroom and learn how to be responsible for themselves, their belongings, others and Scruffy. They all learn important values such as making sure the door is shut, their bags are zipped up (those lunches smell delicious to Scruffy), everything is picked up from the floor so Scruffy doesn’t eat anything he shouldn’t and lots more. If the preps feel upset or sad Scruffy will always be the first to come over with a toy in their mouth, often cheering them up. He is like a big teddy bear!




Dogs have been proven to lower stress and anxiety levels in students and adults. Thus, the PAWS Club was was set up to support the well being of students who would benefit from some quality time with Scruffy. The group comprises of students who are chosen by the current staff at WASPS. The PAWS club often meets weekly with Scruffy and Miss Paton for games or walks over to Walkers Reserve.

During 2014 the PAWS club participated in many different activities with Scruffy including playing soccer, going for walks, walking to Knox City for ice-cream, bowling (unfortunately Scruffy had to miss out on that one), teaching him to play fetch and many different board/card games.





PAWS program will be extending into the Knox community by visiting hospitals, kindergartens and nursing homes. A small group of students will be chosen to accompany Scruffy and Mrs Paton into the community to hopefully improve the well being of those who need it most.


Do you love drawing but don’t get enough time to do it. Well “PAWS Drawing” might just be the thing for you. Every Thursday at lunch time the prep room opens up it’s doors for all students in the school to come in, listen to Disney soundtracks and draw anything they like. Scruffy enjoys walking around and getting lots of pats from the students while they draw.