Hawthorn Tree Primary School, in Toot Lane, is now playing host to regular visits by eight dogs – at least one for each year group.
They are: Benji, a Cockerpoo; Barney a Cocker Spaniel; Toby, a Sprocker Spaniel; Rosie, a Jack Russell; Trevor, a Labrador Retriever Cross; Toffee, a Pooshon (a Toy Poodle Cross Bichon Frise); and Sasha and Sandy, Japanese Chin Cross Chihuahuas.
The idea of having dogs on site came from the school council, a group of Year Six pupils who meet regularly to discuss different aspects of life at Hawthorn Tree.
They felt it would not only contribute to pupil wellbeing, but also offer insight into what is involved in having a pet.
The school council contacted parents and invited any interested dog owners among them to come into school with their pet. Alongside staff, members then carried out interviews to make sure the dogs were suitable for the project. They also wrote up a list of tips for each class of how to behave around dogs.
A spokesman for the school said: “There is always great excitement in the classroom whenever their dog is due to visit where children have time to take the dogs for walks, play with them and learn all about them.
“Those children who don’t have pets particularly gain from this invaluable experience – it brings joy, calm and supports the children’s wellbeing in so many ways – just as the school council intended.”