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St. Francis de Sales Catholic Junior School

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Paws & Read

Paws and Read


We have been incredibly lucky to register for the Paws and Read programme through Therapy Dogs Nationwide, which is designed to give pupils opportunities to increase their confidence and enjoyment in reading. Paws & Read gives children a private opportunity to practice and enjoy reading, away from their peers, to an audience that will enjoy the experience as much as the children do.


Each child has a weekly session of 30 minutes, reading to a Therapy Dogs Nationwide registered dog, under the close supervision of the TDN volunteer and a member of school staff. These dogs are specially temperament assessed dogs who normally visit in hospitals, hospices, care homes etc. 


Our lovely volunteer, Sue, and her furry companion, Polly very kindly agreed to visit our school every Monday and work with a small group of children each week.  Polly loves listening to the children's stories, especially those with other dogs or even balls in them!  She is very calm and relaxed during the sessions and is a great support for the children who read to her.  


The children have been incredibly engaged with the sessions and look forward to their sessions each week.  One child said, "I love reading to Polly, it has helped me be more confident in reading out loud."


A year 4 teacher reported it had an immediate impact on the children in class as they didn't want to put their books down once they returned from the session each week.