There is a new friendly furry face waiting to greet children as they return to Ramsgate Arts Primary after lockdown.
Marlowe the puppy has joined the school and will play an important part in welcoming pupils back and helping them ease back into a RAPS routine after months of home learning.
As well as petting the 14 week old miniature Labradoodle (Labrador and Poodle crossbreed) boys and girls will be able help groom him, take him for walks, read to him, enjoy quiet moments in his company and learn responsible dog ownership skills.
Marlowe’s owner is teacher Alice Rees-Boughton who is the school’s English lead. She said: “He is a cheeky loveable chap and it has been an absolute delight watching him meet both staff and pupils.
“He has loved all the attention and everyone has said what a joy it is to have him in school. I can’t wait to see what his future at RAPS has in store for him.”
Head Teacher Nick Budge said Marlowe has already had a couple of fantastic days in school, is slowly familiarising himself with the office area and is really enjoying his visits from the children.
He added: “As he becomes more familiar with being in school, the children will hopefully see him more and more and he won’t be such a novelty. The idea is that he very much becomes a part of the RAPS team.
“The value of pets as therapy is very well known with dogs in particular playing a huge role in this important area of personal wellbeing – and wellbeing is a facet of pupil life that we continue to expand upon throughout our school community.”
Miss Rees-Boughton has produced a short video with basic rules for pupils to follow when dealing with their new furry friend, parents have been informed about Marlowe and the school has carried out a full risk assessment on the puppy’s presence at school.
Mr Budge added: “As much as anything we thought it would be a lovely treat for our children to have a school puppy to welcome them back into the mainstream learning after such a fractured year with home schooling and remote lessons.
“It is a lovely way for us all to get back on track together and build on the excellent progress that has been maintained throughout the enforced lockdown months in the last year.”