Pupils at Nuneaton Academy have started to benefit from the services of a ‘reading dog’ which has been introduced into its homework club to help inspire pupils with a love of reading. Children will read to Cerys the cockerpoo, who belongs to school librarian Chris Jupe, as they take on reading challenges that will last their entire school career.
Pupils in Years 7 to 9 are being introduced to the reading challenge through an online scheme called Reading Plus for which they need to read five articles per week and answer quiz questions to test their comprehension. The results give teachers a good indication of the standard of reading amongst pupils enabling them to identify appropriate reading material. Reading Plus leads on to the school wide Fifty Book Challenge for which pupils make a commitment to read ten books during each of the years they study with at Nuneaton Academy.
Lara Hall, Principal at Nuneaton Academy said,“Reading is such an important skill, and we are highlyfocused on encouraging all our pupils to develop a love of reading that we hope will remain with them throughout their lives. We are engaging in a wide range of activities to improve pupils’ engagement with reading including Reading Plus and the Fifty Book Challenge.
“There is evidence that reading to a dog helps pupils to relax and dispels any anxiety they may feel. We hope that combining the task with playing with a pet will enhance the appeal of reading as part of the homework club. We hope that Cerys will become a regular visitor to Nuneaton Academy, including during the school day, and look forward to the difference she will help to make.” In line with school rules, Cerys the cockerpoo will be in school uniform wearing a Nuneaton Academy tie as a harness.