Rufus’ first day at school

Students have welcomed a new member to Pool Academy with open arms and lots of love – and he’s proving to be a furry-good idea.

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Rufus, a 13 week-old Sprocker-Spaniel, had his first day of school on Monday much to the delight of both the adults and children.

He is working as the academy’s emotional support dog and has created a whole range of activities for people to get involved with.

Vicky Reynolds, Autism Champion at Pool Academy, said the puppy has received a lot of love already.

She said: “The students have loved meeting him.

“He will be working here at Pool Academy every day in the Student Services room.

“He is already getting to know some of the students.

“His job will be to help provide a calming atmosphere for people and be a listening ear for those who want to read to him. He is an empathy dog.

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“A select number of students will also be allowed to take him for a walk.

 “Monday was his first day at school and he is doing very well.”

Mrs Reynolds decided to introduce the puppy to the classroom after speaking to experts who believe animals are a great way to engage students in school life.

Claire Meakin, Pool Academy Principal, said: “It is a great pleasure to welcome Rufus to Pool Academy and it is lovely to see he is already making such a wonderful impression on both staff and students.”

Christiana Richardson