PUPILS at Northchapel School have a new teacher in the shape of Bertie the Labrador.
Bertie is going into school every week to help children read and has proved a really good listener.
It is all part of the Read2Dogs programme which began after research showed that some children become nervous and stressed when reading in a group.
But reading to one of their four-legged friends makes them much more confident.
So Bertie, who is a registered PAT (pets as therapy) dog, is happy to help out.
“A small group of children take it in turns to read their book and Bertie listens attentively with his human companion, CC Guard,” said headteacher Helen Coleman.
“The children love to read him stories, and are keen to ensure that Bertie enjoys listening and is following the storyline!
“Even children who are a little nervous of dogs or dislike reading soon begin to look forward to the reading experience and the weekly visit from their new friend Bertie.
“The school is always looking for new ways to enhance the curriculum and this is proving to be a wonderful experience for all concerned.”