A FOUR-legged member of the Culcheth High School team is helping students paws for thought as he takes on his role of community dog.

Will the cockapoo joined the school in March and has since helped those students who need to take time out from lessons.

The two-year-old dog is used as an incentive to learning or to help calm students if they feel anxious.

He belongs to key stage three achievement mentor, Claire Hill, who saw an opportunity to help the students she works with everyday.

She said: "I work with a lot of disadvantaged students so I went to see the head teacher to see what sorts of thing we could do.

"I wanted to introduce a community dog one day a week.

"The pastoral support officers might come across a student who they think would benefit from a meeting with Will for a variety of reasons.

"I also might have students on my list and we work out a timetable.

Warrington Guardian:

"This would be throughout the day so we take the students out of lessons- not core subject lessons.

"Everyone seems to love him!"

One pupil who enjoys spending time with Will said: "People walk around with him and do art work with him.

"We do a lot of painting about things we want to do in the future."

While not every canine is suitable to be a community dog, Will has the perfect temperament and knows exactly how to behave when he is at work.

The pooch even has his own Instagram account, willhill_chill, which has quite a following from the student population.

Claire believes there are plenty of positives to having a dog in the school and wants to keep the project going for those whose school life has been changed by Will.

Warrington Guardian:

She added: "I think the benefits are clear, the difference it brings to people, that's why I first approached the head teacher.

"Sometimes pupils might need some time out so they will come and have some time with the dog.

"You lose the tactile nature you had in primary school when you get to high school so it brings that back by having the dog there.

"The staff always smile when we are walking through the corridors- it's lovely.

"Parents have started requesting it after reading it in our newsletter but we will always ask if it will work and benefit that student."