'Bark-eology' on the timetable as Brodie the Cockerpoo joins Long Sutton Primary School
He’s only seven months old but Long Sutton Primary School’s newest recruit is already surpassing all expectations.
Brodie the Cockerpoo joined the school just before Christmas and after undergoing his training will be supporting pupils by listening to them read and sitting in on pastoral support sessions to offer comfort to children.
Headteacher Bill Lord said the idea was suggested by staff member Dani Barton, who was looking into get a dog herself and wondered if the school would be interested in having one too.
“We work so hard here on pastoral support for the children. Although he’s only a few months old Brodie is already having a remarkable impact on some of the children,” said Mr Lord.
“We researched the idea fully before getting a school dog and visited Sutton Bridge where they have one too.
“Miss Barton is training Brodie fantastically well and he is incredibly calm when anyone comes into my office. He is having a really relaxing impact on everyone already.”
Because Brodie is so young and still being trained he is not regularly interacting with pupils yet. He stays in Mr Lord’s office during school hours and has his own area outside, away from the children, to run around and go to the toilet.
Mr Lord also checks with everyone coming into his office that they are happy for Brodie to be there, but says all the pupils absolutely love him.
He added: “There are two things we are looking for once his training is complete; the first is to sit in on pastoral support sessions and be there to help relax the children.
“He’s already sat with a sick child, who was able to get some comfort by just tickling his ears and stroking him.
“He is also going to sit with children when they read; we are really lucky here as we have a large number of reader volunteers, but we’re just trying to find an angle for those children who aren’t so comfortable reading to an adult.
“It gives us a stronger team and supports our school ethos – that we’re always looking to support our pupils with something extra.
“Brodie is really having a great impact, one which I had not expected to be made so soon.
“I’ve never had so many visitors to my office form staff and children and parents and other visitors love seeing him too!”