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How Betty is top dog with Ofsted school inspectors

PUBLISHED: 16:00 16 February 2020

Zoe and Thomas love spending time with Betty whilst they're reading  Picture: CHARLOTTE BOND

Zoe and Thomas love spending time with Betty whilst they're reading Picture: CHARLOTTE BOND

Charlotte Bond

A four-legged teaching assistant at a Suffolk primary school has helped it score top marks with inspectors.

Isabella with Betty the dog during reading club at Woodhall Primary  Picture: CHARLOTTE BONDIsabella with Betty the dog during reading club at Woodhall Primary Picture: CHARLOTTE BOND

Betty the labradoodle is a firm favourite among pupils at Woodhall Primary School in Sudbury where she is used as a therapy pet to help youngsters learn to read.

Her use was praised by Ofsted inspectors in their recent inspection in which the school was ranked 'Outstanding' in personal development of pupils.

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Headteacher Matthew Fuller said she was introduced two-and-a-half years ago by her owner, Year 6 teacher Tracy Tate, who wanted to train her as a therapy dog.

Amy from Woodhall primary with Betty the reading dog  Picture: CHARLOTTE BONDAmy from Woodhall primary with Betty the reading dog Picture: CHARLOTTE BOND

"Since we've had her she's provided all sorts of therapeutic elements, particularly with some of the more vulnerable children," he said.

"The children love to read to her, which is great at getting some of the pupils who are reluctant readers to actually read.

"She is also great for children who are going through difficult times, such as family bereavement or break-up. One of our children would only talk to an adult through her.

"She's a massive influence within the school and she's absolutely adorable. The Ofsted inspectors loved her."


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