A DOG is helping children learn to read at two local primary schools.

Since four-month-old cockapoo Hallie arrived at Greenhead and Henshaw Primary Schools as a “reading dog”, staff have seen significant improvements in pupils’ literacy skills.

Headteacher, Sarah Hutchinson, introduced Hallie to the school after conducting research on how to boost pupils’ self-esteem and confidence.

“The children’s self-confidence has soared since she’s been here,” she said. “Those who were once afraid of dogs now can’t wait to read to her. She’s really peaceful and often just sits on the children’s laps whilst they read.”

According to the Dogs Helping Kids charity, research has shown that children who read to listening dogs show an increase in reading levels and word recognition.