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Buttons our reading dog.Our press release



Press release




Issue date: January 24th 2020


Pictured: Springfield Academy pupils are taking part in a reading dog scheme. They are pictured with Buttons.


Reading dog scheme helps Springfield Academy pupils


Pupils at Springfield Academy are being inspired to develop their literacy skills by reading to a canine companion.


The school, on Lawton Drive in Bulwell, has joined a national reading initiative called Paws and Read run by the charity Therapy Dogs Nationwide.


The free scheme is aimed at children who are reluctant readers and who need encouragement with communication and literacy skills.


Once a week a small group of pupils pair up and read to a dog called Buttons, accompanied by a trained volunteer from the charity.


JB Francis, Headteacher, Springfield Academy, said: “Reading to a dog is very relaxing for children, particularly those who struggle with speaking aloud to others.”


She explained: “Having a reading dog in school is helping to develop our pupils’ literacy skills and building their confidence and self esteem.”


Buttons, a cockapoo, currently attends Springfield Academy for a one-hour reading session on Fridays, which is attended by a small group of pupils.


Ruth Boyes BEM, Trustee, Therapy Dogs Nationwide, said: “Research suggests children can be nervous and uncomfortable about reading in a classroom environment, especially those who are struggling for various reasons.”


She explained: “Many teachers, parents and guardians have told Therapy Dogs Nationwide that as well as improving their skills, the children in the scheme have grown in self-confidence by reading to these calm, non-judgmental attentive dogs who are perfect listeners showing their unconditional love to the children and young people.”


For more information about Springfield Academy, sponsored by Djanogly Learning Trust, visit


For more information about Therapy Dogs Nationwide, visit or email


About Djanogly Learning Trust


  • Djanogly Learning Trust is a successful, growing multi academy trust that sponsors eight schools in the East Midlands. They are Djanogly City Academy on Gregory Boulevard and Sherwood Rise, Djanogly Northgate Academy on Suez Street, and Djanogly Strelley Academy on Helston Drive - which are all based in Nottingham and Ofsted graded ‘good’ - as well as Djanogly Sherwood Academy on Sherwood Rise in Nottingham, Laceyfields Academy on Laceyfields Road in Heanor, Langley Mill Academy on Bailey Brook Crescent in Langley Mill, Springfield Academy on Lawton Drive in Bulwell and Kensington Academy on St John’s Road in Ilkeston. Visit Follow us @DjanoglyT


Media contact


Mary Hampshire, Public Relations Consultant

Djanogly Learning Trust


Telephone: 07985 779078