•  Sponsored Content 

In the vibrant heart of Singapore lies a safe and nurturing school for all children – Integrated International School (IIS). Renowned for its dedication to redefining success, IIS has recently relocated to their new campus in the heart of the CBD, marking a significant milestone in their commitment to providing comprehensive educational support. Among the school’s array of features, such as high teacher-to-student ratios, smaller class sizes, and personalised in-house support, one standout initiative speaks volumes about their dedication to student health and wellbeing – Petopia.

Petopia isn’t just a room; it’s a sanctuary where furry companions become partners in education and emotional support. Situated within the new campus, this unique space is dedicated to Pet Assisted Therapy, a scientifically proven method of enhancing mental health and learning outcomes. Under the guidance of trained facilitators, students at IIS interact with animals, fostering a sense of comfort, companionship, and emotional resilience in the heart of the bustling city.

Why pet therapy matters

In today’s fast-paced world, students face challenges ranging from academic stress to social pressures. Recognising the need for holistic support, IIS has embraced Pet Assisted Therapy as an integral part of its approach to education. Studies have shown that interactions with animals can significantly reduce stress, anxiety, and feelings of isolation. Moreover, the presence of therapy animals has been linked to improved school attendance, concentration, motivation, and overall feelings of wellbeing.

Benefits for students

Students eagerly anticipate their visits with the pets, whether it’s cuddling a therapy dog or observing the graceful movements of our in-house cockatiels and fish, and funny antics of our hamster! These interactions offer a welcome respite from the rigours of academic life, allowing students to recharge and refocus. However, the benefits extend far beyond momentary relaxation. Through Pet Assisted Therapy, students learn valuable life skills, such as empathy, responsibility, and communication, shaping them into empathetic and socially conscious individuals.

Catalyst for success

Contrary to conventional wisdom, prioritising wellbeing doesn’t come at the expense of academic achievement – it enhances it. As Dr. Vanessa von Auer, the school’s founder and clinical psychologist explains, such interactions result in increased levels of serotonin and oxytocin, creating a surge of positive emotions and boosting students’ moods. Research has shown that emotional wellbeing is closely linked to academic performance. When students feel safe, supported, valued and emotionally secure, they are better able to engage in learning and achieve their full potential.

Integrated International School’s Petopia stands as a testament to their commitment to providing a holistic education that nurtures both mind and heart. With student wellbeing at the forefront, teachers are empowered to exercise flexibility in lesson planning to adapt to individual learning styles. In turn, they become proactive participants in each student’s day-to-day school life and learning journey. 

Integrated International School

 Capital Square Two, 21 Church Street, #01-01, Singapore, 049480