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Bluecoat School in Stamford welcomes a therapy dog called Jim

Like many four-and-a-half year olds, Jim is just starting out on his school career.

But unlike other youngsters at Bluecoat Primary School in Green Lane, Stamford, he is also about to embark on his working life too.

Jim is a labrador retriever and is receiving training to become a therapy dog for pupils.

Jim joins pupils in their classrooms
Jim joins pupils in their classrooms

Headteacher Emma Houlton, and colleagues Leila Nightingale and Helen Taylor, are helping to settle him into the school while he also follows the Paws Therapy Dog Training programme.

A typical day for Jim involves an early morning walk and a short trip in the car to work. Once at school, he greets staff, pupils and parents. After the children have settled in for the day, Jim makes his way through the school to ensure everyone’s in good spirits.

Away from his duties, Jim has downtime - a run on the field, catching a few tennis balls, or a well-earned rest in an office.

Jim also joins children who have chosen to spend their reward time with him, and he accompanies staff members talking to pupils sharing their worries.

Mrs Houlton said: “We are thrilled to have Jim as our therapy dog.

“He is a vital part of our school community, providing emotional support for pupils and creating a positive environment for all.”

“As a school, we understand the importance of ensuring that our children are fully supported in regards to their mental health and wellbeing.

“We are all looking forward to seeing the continued positive impact that Jim will have on our pupils.”

Children at the school have attended multiple assemblies on learning to read and understand the emotions of dogs, as they continue to learn how they can make Jim’s time at the school successful.

Jim’s training was all made possible by donations from Nisa Local in Drift Road, The Rotary Club of Stamford St Martin’s and The St Michael’s and Exeter Schools’ Charity, known informally as Stamford Young People's Charity.

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