School’s class dog takes lead
Pupils in Maidstone have welcomed a furry new classroom assistant to help them learn this year.
When Hayley King, head teacher at Tiger Primary, got Nelly the cockapoo in July she thought the pooch would make a great mascot for the Boughton Lane school. But during her first term, the six-month-old pup has captured the hearts of staff and students there.
Now Nelly is involved in many different activities across the academic spectrum, and each day a different class has the pleasure of taking the puppy out to break with them. One of her main functions is her involvement with the Sunshine Club, which aims to comfort children who suffer with anxiety brought about by school environment. The puppy is used as a coping mechanism for when the children begin to feel nervous or upset.
She is also helping children to get active by taking part in the Marathon Kids programme, an initiative which gives youngsters the opportunity to run or walk the distance of 26 miles throughout the year.
Nelly’s duties don’t stop there; she is also present during reading time as children tell her their favourite stories. And she is also used as a reward, with pupils who are behaving and performing well able to enjoy some extra time with everyone’s favourite cockapoo.
Head teacher Hayley King said: “Nelly has been a fantastic addition to the Tiger Primary School family, the children are always excited to see her and she can really brighten up their day.
“We are so happy with how many activities she has managed to get involved with and how often the children want to see and interact with her.
“She has been well received by both staff and parents, all of whom think her inclusion in so many activities is hugely beneficial to children who may not be as receptive to school as others.”
Nelly will continue to spend time with the pupils for the rest of the academic year.
Nelly the six-month-old cockapoo, pictured with some of her young classmates at Tiger Primary School in Boughton Lane