Herne Bay Infant School has held its first leaving assembly – for a dog.
Jimmy, a golden retriever, had worked at the school for almost three years and was its dedicated reading dog.
He was loved by everyone at the school and many children asked why he had to leave, but, having just turned 15, it was time to take things a little more gently and enjoy a well-earned retirement.
He was presented with a huge card with comments written by all the children who had read with him in the school. He was also given dog biscuits, which he enjoyed at home.
Bernadette Lax, the headteacher, talked to the children about Jimmy and how many children he had helped learn to read.
He came into school for an hour each week as part of the Reading To Dog Scheme, in which several Kent schools participate.
He would come in either with his owner, Claire Hudson, who is a parent at the school, or her mother-in-law Margaret Hudson.
A child would read with Jimmy and reading support teacher Sue Edge for ten minutes a week for seven weeks.
Over his time at the school, Jimmy helped almost 30 children become more confident readers.
Ms Edge said: “The change in the children, who were all in Year 1, was remarkable.
“For some children they became more confident and relaxed reading out loud. Others would talk more confidently about the stories to Jimmy.”
Jimmy’s legacy is being continued by the school’s new reading dog, Lily, a small black Labrador.