Ilsham Academy pupils boost their reading ability with therapy dogs

Ilsham C of E Academy, which is part of the Learning Academy Partnership (LAP), has joined an initiative where pets are brought in to help children strengthen their reading and communication skills.

The project, which is called Read2Dogs, has been created to support children who are more reluctant to read by encouraging them with a positive reading experience. The pupils are able to build up their courage by practising their reading with one of the animals before reading in class.

Pupils at the academy are currently reading to Bosun, a beautiful golden retriever, who is more than happy to listen to stories from the children.

The children feel at ease and very comfortable with Bosun and his trained handler, which contributes to improved wellbeing across the academy.

Ilsham is a designated Department for Education-funded English Hub, supporting nearly 400 schools to drive up English standards in the region. The academy is always investing in new initiatives in order to inspire a love of reading in its pupils.

Jake Grinsill, Head of Academy at Ilsham Academy, said: 

“It has been lovely to see how much Bosun’s presence has brought joy to our pupils and how his support has already had a really positive impact on their confidence.

“As one of only thirty-four English Hubs nationally, reading for pleasure is at the core of Ilsham Academy and opens endless possibilities and opportunities for our children. We are always looking at ways that we can innovate and create new ways to engage our children in the wonderful world of reading. 

“Our aim is for our children to be inspired and flourish in the future and this initiative is a fantastic example of how we remove barriers for our pupils.”

Ilsham Academy pupils boost their reading ability with therapy dogs