Home Children and Young People New ‘teacher’ at Hope Primary is just paw-fect
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New ‘teacher’ at Hope Primary is just paw-fect

by Gemma Melling

A loveable new member of staff is inspiring pupils at a Knowsley primary school just a few months into his new job.

But you won’t find Dexter marking homework or writing on the whiteboard – because he’s an adorable little puppy whose responsibilities include enjoying a cuddle whilst the children read him stories!

Dexter, a Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen, whose mother is Jilly, the 2013 Crufts Best in Show Winner, has a fantastic temperament and is settling into life at Hope Primary, Huyton, fantastically. It is hoped he will support children’s social and emotional wellbeing and enhance their learning by promoting positive behaviour, increasing pupils’ confidence in communication and reading.

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Confidence boosting

Head Teacher at Hope Primary, Belinda Basnett explains “The children all love Dexter. He is still only a puppy but already he has inspired the children to write stories and poems about him, or to sit and read a book quietly with Dexter at playtime.

“We’re finding that children who might feel shy or who lack confidence in reading find it easier to read to Dexter than to a teacher.

“And if ever a child is feeling sad or worried about anything, they find having Dexter to cuddle really helps – we’ve been amazed how much children will open up about their feelings when Dexter is around.”

And when Dexter isn’t busy visiting the classrooms to join in with maths, PE or phonics classes, he’s attending puppy school where he’ll develop his own skills and become a fully qualified Therapy Dog!

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