This little ‘buddy’ is offering a helping paw to schoolchildren as he takes on a most important job.
Kincraig Primary School , in Bispham is just one of many schools across the country that has adopted a furry friend as a mascot and companion to both pupils and teachers.
Buddy, a four-month-old cocker spaniel is among the hundreds of ‘therapy dogs’ being introduced to schools in the UK.
His owner, Emma Oldham, is a special needs co-ordinator at the school.
She said: “He’s going to be used, like any other therapy dog, for reading with the children. To give them the confidence to read in class.
“He’s going to do walk and talk therapies where children walk him around the field.
“Research shows that children feel more inclined to speak to the dog rather than an adult.
“He can help if they are having a bad day and don’t want to go into the classroom.
“We have gota little boy who struggled coming off the playground so he can stroke Buddy before he goes into the classroom on the afternoon.
“With reluctant writers, we are hoping Buddy can sit by the child at their desk and it’s a bit of an incentive to get them to write in class.”
The school was inspired to adopt Buddy at the recommendation of a teacher fromRevoe Learning Academy, which also employs a therapy dog, named Poppy.
Emma said: “He has an overall calming affect on the classroom.
“One of the rules is that there’s no loud noises for the dog, so the whole classroom changes.
“It’s good therapy for the staff as well because they like stroking him.
“He’s not a fully fledged therapy dog yet but he likes people.”