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Shears Green Junior School, Northfleet, introduces pet greyhound Nelson

Youngsters at a school have an unusual addition to their class – Nelson the greyhound.

Shears Green Junior School in Northfleet has added the retired four-year-old to the roll, and is rewarding good children with his warm welcoming paws.

Teachers got the idea after visiting Culverstone Green Primary School in Meopham, which already had its own dog.

Nelson the dog with head teacher Jacky Pike, deputy head teacher, Matt Paterson and pupils Aiden, seven, Leonie, 11, Isabel, 11, Holly, eight, Ava, nine, and Tyler, nine
Nelson the dog with head teacher Jacky Pike, deputy head teacher, Matt Paterson and pupils Aiden, seven, Leonie, 11, Isabel, 11, Holly, eight, Ava, nine, and Tyler, nine

They liked the idea, and Nelson arrived from RGT Croftview kennels in Harvel last month.

Nelson has been fully risk assessed and has restricted movement around school grounds to stop children with fear or allergies coming close.

He lives in head teacher Jacky Pike’s office during the day and goes home with deputy head Matt Paterson at night.

Nelson the greyhound helps relieve stress. Picture: Steve Crispe
Nelson the greyhound helps relieve stress. Picture: Steve Crispe

Mr Paterson said: “Nelson is a great tool to calm stressed and anxious children, also to reward good ones.

“The success of this strategy has also helped children who are reluctant to come to school.” Nelson’s favourite lesson is English. He enjoys being read to by pupils and is renowned for being a good listener.


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