New arrival at Bedlington school is having a furry good time

A paw-some new arrival at a Bedlington school has proved a hit with children.

Tuesday, 21st December 2021, 8:00 am
Mac the dog with a pupil at St Bede's Catholic Primary in Bedlington.

Mac the dog has been an instant hit with students, staff and parents since arriving at St Bede’s Catholic Primary School.

The cockapoo belongs to headteacher Therese Worrall and has been getting to know pupils by visiting classrooms and assemblies.

Once he has become used to the school environment, it is planned he will be able to be present during one-to-one school counsellor sessions and spend time with groups of children or individual pupils.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Mrs Worrall said following a time of research it was decided having a school dog would benefit the pupils.

“Mac began at St Bede’s in September and was instantly a hit,” she said.

“When the children enter the school ground in the morning they greet Mac and he in turn enjoys the ‘Morning Mac’ calls.

“When the children have been dropped off by parents they then have their time with Mac on their way out.

“It is not just the children who are benefiting from him being in. The staff light up when they arrive in school and Mac greets them.”

Mac was chosen because of the loving and friendly nature of the cockapoo breed.

Mrs Worrall explained: “Mac has visited classrooms to familiarise himself with them and has been present during assemblies – one time he decided to leave the hall and explore alone. He returned with a paper towel in his mouth.

“The children found this very funny but it was turned into a teaching point. They were able to see that perhaps a room in school was not as tidy as it could have been.”

There have been plans in place for gradual introductions for children, parents and staff who are unsure of dogs.

“The hope is that when he is confident enough he will spend time with groups of children or individual children,” Mrs Worrall added.

“We are looking forward to the school counsellor having Mac with her when she is with children one-to-one.”

Parents have welcomed the new addition to the school.

One parent said: “It an absolutely fantastic idea as I think it will help with some child's emotions and anxiety.

“It will also help children to develop relationships with animals and combat fear of dogs.”