CamdenNewJournal

The independent London newspaper

Pug introduced to school’s reading lessons to calm pupils

'Matatu enables our pupils to apply their reading skills in a positive and enjoyable way'

26 October, 2017 — By Geoffrey Sawyer

Matatu listens to a story at North Bridge Prep School

CHILDREN at a Camden Town school had a classroom assistant of a different kind this week after their headteacher brought in his pet pug. Brodie Bibby’s dog, Matatu, is being introduced to once-a-week reading sessions at North Bridge House Prep School with the idea that she will have a therapeutic effect on pupils.

Mr Brodie said: “On the surface this activity may seem like something cute and trivial, however we are finding that having Matatu there in the classroom enables our pupils to apply their reading skills in a positive and enjoyable way.”

He added: “Having the dog there is allowing them to experiment with tone of voice and to take their time over potentially difficult words in a calming and motivational environment.” Year 3 students at the school in Gloucester Avenue said the dog had been “really quiet” while they read, and that they had got to pet her afterwards.

Year 3 teacher Carli May said: “The children were delighted that Matatu had come to listen to them read – even those that are usually quite shy. It had a very calming effect on the children and they all felt comfortable reading to her. They haven’t stopped asking about when she will be back.”

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