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Finding exams stressful? Then hug an alpaca

School introduces alpacas on its playing field so that pupils can reduce their stress levels by petting them

School uses alpacas to ease exam stress

School introduces alpacas on its playing field so that pupils can reduce their stress levels by petting them

Exams season is upon us, with all the nerves and stress that entails. But one school has found a solution – alpacas. 

Eight of the woolly animals took up residence this morning on the grassy playing fields at Kelvinside Academy in Glasgow. 

Staff allowed pupils to switch off from studying and the exams and spend time with the "therapets" in the open air.

The independent school's head of pastoral care, Dan Wyatt, said petting the animals helped pupils to manage their stress and keep perspective.

“Stress can be overwhelming during the exam period, so spending time with a woolly alpaca will hopefully have helped our pupils manage their stress levels and take a well-deserved breather,” he said.

Pets 'calm exam nerves'

The benefits of interacting with the animals included slowing heart rate, reducing blood pressure, calming nerves, regulating breathing and elevating mood, Mr Wyatt added.

“It is so important to have a balanced approach to studying during exams," he said. "Take time away from study to relax, be mindful and keep perspective.

“The physiological and psychological benefits of human-animal bonding have long been recognised, and recent research has also demonstrated that the mere act of stroking a dog or cat has exceptional benefits.”

Kelvinside is not the first school to realise the benefits of pupils interacting with animals. At the Varndean School in Brighton, they use goats to help to improve behaviour.

And at Stirling’s Bannockburn Primary, Riggs, an eight-year-old English springer spaniel, is helping pupils to discover a love of reading

 

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