Therapy dog is a hit with students and staff at Hove school

Clay the boxer dog with students from Cardinal Newman
Clay the boxer dog with students from Cardinal Newman

A Hove secondary school has brought a new staff member on board - Clay the boxer dog.

Clay, who is owned by inclusion mentor Lisa Amicucci, started his first week at Cardinal Newman Catholic School as a therapy dog.

Miss Amicucci said: “Clay is such a lovely, calm dog. He is loving his new role!

"He enjoys being with the children and is already making a difference. We have seen children want to come to school to see him and he is going to be involved in our accelerated reading programme and listen to children read in the library.

"I am so pleased he has been such a hit. He even has his own Twitter account and is becoming quite the celebrity.”

The boxer dog was chosen because of his mild temperament and has been on dog therapy training through the summer, the school said.

Clay was chosen as a therapy dog because of his mild temperament

Clay was chosen as a therapy dog because of his mild temperament

Clay has been brought in so that students can benefit educationally and emotionally from having interaction with a dog at school, learning about responsibility, empathy and nurturing skills through contact with a therapy dog.

Cardinal Newman said research has shown that a dog in school can help with attendance, bullying, behaviour and social development.

Students were introduced to Clay during assemblies, and the school said he has been a 'massive hit' with both staff and students alike.

Here's what the students thought:

Clay has been a hit with students

Clay has been a hit with students

Jake Philips said: “It’s amazing! We have a school mascot! Clay is so cute and he motivates people.”

Evie McGuckian said: “We love Clay. He helps cheer everyone up.”

Lily Stephenson said: “We’ve been stroking Clay. He is really well behaved and so big and cuddly.”

Kitty Page said: “I love having Clay here. It is so fun to have a dog. It makes our school day more enjoyable if we can go and see him.”

You can follow Clay on Twitter: @cncs_clay