Primary school headteacher explains brilliant reason he brought a DOG in as a new pupil

A South Yorkshire primary school has welcomed a new ‘pupil’ into their school - a Cocker Spaniel called 'Max'.

Wednesday, 28th April 2021, 1:53 pm

Executive Headteacher Andrew Truby of St Joseph's Catholic Primary School in Dinnington said the school decided to adopt the puppy as part of their initiatives to support the vulnerable children with their learning.

He said he was inspired by stories from other schools where dogs are given a place at a learning institution to become a support system for the pupils.

Max, he said, belongs to head teacher Laura Atkinson and will be attending the school full time in due time.

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Max joins the children at St Joseph's School in Dinnington to help with their wellbeing

"We wanted a school dog as a way for vulnerable children to cope with their social and emotional needs.

"The head of school, Laura is having him living with her but would be coming with her to school and now it is part of the induction programme where he can get used to the school and its atmosphere," he said.

He said Max's presence at the school has been well accepted by the children as he is "lovely and friendly" towards everyone.

"All the children have met him as he's been round in classes. He will be (at the school) full time once he is old enough.

Mrs Atkinson said Max, which is a welcome addition to St Joseph’s would benefit the school as a whole.

She said: “We have thought about getting a puppy at home for a while and combining a family pet and a new member of the St Joseph's team seemed like a perfect solution.

"He has visited to meet all the staff and children and has enjoyed some play days with small groups before his formal training starts next month.

"After lots of research we knew that a school dog would benefit the cognitive development of pupils as well as allow us to develop social and emotional skills and physical development.

"We will also be using the dog to read with groups of children to build confidence in children to read aloud to the school dog.

"Ultimately Max will give the children a sense of community and togetherness. He is theirs for the duration of their time at St Joseph's to nurture, care for and love.”