Introducing Holly, our very own trained READ 2 DOG. She is almost two years old and is a hypoallergenic cockapoo, she is also very calm and friendly. Miss Ingham (one of the teaching assistants at Newchurch and Holly’s owner), works alongside Holly to hear children read with a group of children each week. Newchurch Primary School feels fortunate to be involved in the READ 2 DOGS scheme, a programme aimed at alleviating anxiety around reading aloud.
Research shows that some children feel anxious and self-conscious when reading particularly when they are in a group situation. Introducing Holly, our specially trained therapy dog, to the reading session, the children feel more relaxed when reading to the dog. Due to Holly being non-judgemental, the children’s reading confidence, enthusiasm for reading and reading ability is heightened.
Therapy dogs are known to have a calming influence on pupils thus reducing stress levels and optimise conditions for learning. Therefore, in addition to reading with the children, Holly and Miss Ingham will be joining children within the classroom environment as therapy dog to deliver a seven week programme aimed at building children’s confidence, communication and leadership skills.