She wags lessons, howls in assembly and sniffs at the idea of homework – but Georgie is fast becoming a real superstar at Oak View Academy.
That’s because one of the newest faces at the Winsford school is a Pembrokeshire Corgi – and she’s making a real difference to pupils in the classroom.
The fluffy three-year-old is owned by Year 5 teacher Amy Richardson who, after a successful trial, takes her pet to work three-or-four days every week.
There the children are lapping it up, as Georgie helps them overcome shyness, calm down when they are upset, and boosts self-esteem.
Miss Richardson explained: “There’s lots of research backing the calming nature of therapy dogs, and the good they can do.
“When Georgie’s in the classroom she’ll wander round and it really helps children who are struggling with work to give her a little stroke every so often.”
Georgie also helps out in one-to-one sessions. Miss Richardson added. “The children feel like they’re not alone and someone is there for them, listening.
“We have children who don’t have the confidence to read to a teacher, but will read to her with a teacher in the background.
“Children who are angry and frustrated will calm down quickly because they know she’ll back away and won’t come to them until they’re calm.”
She added: “It’s also giving the children a sense of responsibility. They are starting to recognise when her water bowl is empty and offering to help. We are also teaching children about dogs and how to approach them properly.”
Fiona Rimmer is Headteacher at the Whitby Lane school, which part of North West Academies Trust. She believes finding new and innovative ways to broaden the educational spectrum provided to pupils, enriches the way they learn.
She said: “There’s never a dull moment at school and the pupils and teachers alike thrive in this environment. We all take great pride in our school and we’re going from strength-to-strength.”
George is proving to be a huge favourite with children and teachers alike – but it’s not a one-way street.
Miss Richardson added: “Georgie loves coming to school now. She’s straight to the car as soon as I open the door!
“The more she comes into school the more confident she gets, and she’s approaching children who are upset without being asked to.”