Woolly plans to alleviate exam stress

Kelvinside Academy welcomed alpacas to the school to improve pupils’ mental health

To mark Mental Health Awareness Week (May 14-20), Kelvinside Academy has come up with a novel way to keep pupils calm during the SQA exam diet: hosting alpaca ‘therapets’ at the school.

Provided by BobCat Alpacas in Edinburgh, eight animals took residence for the morning on the school’s grassy playing fields, giving pupils the opportunity to switch off from studying by spending time in the open air and petting an alpaca.

Deputy Rector Dan Wyatt, head of pastoral care at Kelvinside Academy, said: “Stress can be overwhelming during the exam period, so spending time with a woolly alpaca will hopefully have helped our pupils manage their stress levels and take a well-deserved breather.”

“Benefits include slowing heart rate, reducing blood pressure, calming nerves, regulating breathing and elevating mood. It is so important to have a balanced approach to studying during exams,” he continued. “Take time away from study to relax, be mindful and keep perspective.

“The physiological and psychological benefits of human-animal bonding have long been recognised, and recent research has also demonstrated that the mere act of stroking a dog or cat has exceptional benefits.”


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