Friary students well know that animals play a big part in school life with our annual Pet Week very much a highlight and the last three years have ranged from ferrets to snakes, tortoises to horses, kestrels to meerkats.

The message has been very much about care, responsibility and respect. Equally, there is a great deal of evidence to show that having dogs in schools helps calm students, provide a different focal point, and offer a welcome distraction when busy life starts to get you down.

Consequently, Mr Neale’s dog, ‘Millie’ has been adopted as the school dog, and though a large portion of her day is in the Learning Hub, she is regularly seen around the school and dropping into the odd lesson.

Millie is a 10 year old Border Terrier – a breed which are known for their intelligence, patience, obedience and love of being with children. Fortunately, Millie has grown up with children of all ages and so enjoys her time at school a great deal.

Steve Neale, Learning Hub Co-Ordinator said: “Students absolutely love seeing her around The Friary and are telling us how calming they are finding her presence. Millie is helping to build confidence and even has pupils doing presentations and reading to her.”

Matt Allman, Headteacher, added: “Millie instantly brings calm to students, Millie brings a pause to thought so that things fall quickly into perspective, and Millie plays an important part in keeping a focus on what needs to be done. Studies, rules and life can be chaotic and stressful – but Millie brings a sense of well-being that only makes our school a better place.”