Book: Tails from the Classroom by @HEL71_ & @RussellGrigg via @CrownHousePub

Published by Crown House Publishing

Tails From The Classroom Learning And Teaching Through Animal-Assisted Interventions













  • The book highlights the emotional, language and wellbeing benefits of having animals in school.
  • Considerations are also stressed about the welfare of the animals when in the school setting.
  • Risk assessment and cost implications are given due attention within the book for those considering introducing animals into the school setting.
  • The book offers a range of cross-curriculum activities to help introduce animal topics, referenced to all UK curriculum guidance.
  • The book is an essential 'must read' for anyone thinking of using live animals to support the development of young people in schools.

Supported by Crown House Publishing

  • Bringing together research in a highly accessible way, illustrated with real-life case studies from a range of classroom contexts.
  • Book includes lots of practical guidance on how to set up, manage and evaluate a project, ensuring that the welfare of all participants, including the animals, is a priority.
  • Not just for animal-loving educators, however. Book is for anyone who is serious about inspiring learners of all ages and prepared to explore new ways of doing so.
  • View book on Amazon UK (click here).

There are many people working with animals around them, at the time of writing, as working from home will mean that the family pet is also in the mix within the workday. The emotional wellbeing benefits of having a pet are widely reported and there has been a growing interest in the idea of bringing animals into schools as researchers have shown the positive impact on the behavioural, emotional, physical and cognitive development of children and young people.

The potentially powerful connections that can be made between humans and animals are explored in the book ‘Tails from the Classroom’ by Helen Lewis and Russell Grigg, who embark on an examination illustrating the benefits of some animals in supporting the development of children and young people.

With a rich exploration of research literature, the book looks at the often fractious human-animal relationships from history, and how many societies have viewed animals as subservient. It was literature, the authors argue, that started development in relationships between humans and animals, with the 1877 publication of Black Beauty cited as a peak of a moralising trend of kindness towards animals. I am sure you can think of many literary, or television, examples from your own childhood where animals were given prominence in stories, shifting our relationships away from a subservient creature to something more akin to many human characteristics.

For those thinking about bringing living creatures into the classroom, the book offers credible reasons as to the benefits to young people, especially in terms of their emotional development, literacy and communication skills, and well-being. The book also offers curriculum links to support learning in all UK countries, encouraging using animals as starting points for cross-curricular approaches. Crucially, a consideration of the practicalities and ethics of introducing live animals into the school is offered, including five key freedoms to ensure their welfare. The running costs of having animals in schools are also considered, along with risk assessment considerations, and keeping parents informed.

From fish, dogs, cats or chickens - having animals within the school setting can bring many personal advantages to the lives of young people, but the serious considerations that educators need to consider are well set out in this book. Rather than having something cute and fluffy in the classroom because ‘it’s nice for the children’, the book also considers the welfare of the animals and the responsibilities that come with ensuring they are happy also.

This book is a ‘must read’ for any educator wanting to introduce live animals into the school setting.

*RRP Correct at time of publication

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About @digicoled 446 Articles
Colin Hill - Founder, researcher and editor of ukedchat. Also a bit of a tech geek! Project management, design thinking, and metacognition.
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