School dog appointed to help Northumberland pupils grow

A cocker spaniel puppy has joined pupils in the classroom at Whittingham C of E Primary School.

Tuesday, 21st January 2020, 12:48 am
Jess, a cocker spaniel puppy, has joined Whittingham C of E Primary School.

Jess has joined the school as part of a pet therapy project following discussions with the governing body, parents and the Dog’s Trust charity.

Headteacher, Belinda Athey, said: “We hope students will gain a great deal of enjoyment from having a school dog and that she becomes an established part of life at our wonderful school.”

Studies have shown that the presence of companion animals can improve the well-being of children and lower the rate of anxiety simply by making the environment happier, more enjoyable and less forbidding.

Jess, the cocker spaniel, with Whittingham pupils in a reading session.

They also help to encourage expression, participation and confidence in all children, help foster a sense of responsibility, motivate pupils to think and to learn, help children to nurture and respect life, build confidence in reading and improve attendance.