Here at Hartley Primary Academy we run a therapy programme called PALS (Pets As Learning Support). This programme encourages children to come and read to a variety of animals.
The mission statement for this programme is:
‘To inspire children to discover the joy of reading while developing Literacy skills and confidence in a safe environment using P.A.L.S.’
The advantages of reading to a pet are:
- No embarrassment
- Confidence Boost
- A fun approach to school work
- Pets are polite listeners, not judgemental
- Engagement and Performance
Once a week the animals come into school and the children read with them. Books are made available for the children or they are encouraged to choose and bring their own books.
Some time is also spent reading books to the children as this was revealed by some as something they would like to happen more.
All parents are fully consulted about their children joining the programme and the animals are carefully monitored while in school.
- The Year 6 boys have shown greater confidence and they want to go to the reading sessions. – Year 6 Class Teacher
- The children love going to PALS. It is increasing their enjoyment of reading and their confidence too. – Year 4 Class Teacher
- I have even picked a book to read today. I really enjoy PALS. – Year 6 child
- My child really enjoys the sessions and comes home talking about what she had read. Something she would not have done before. – A parent of a child attending PALS