Staff at St Mary’s enjoy canine therapy & cookery classes during Well-being Week

Staff at St Mary’s enjoy canine therapy & cookery classes during Well-being Week

26 March 2019

Staff at St Mary’s School, Cambridge enjoyed rejuvenating activities as part of their Staff Well-being Week. Following on from the success of last year’s Well-being Week, the School expanded this year’s activities and now offers workplace massages, run by PostureWorx, to staff each term. The programme of events was created and run by the School’s Human Resources team, which was launched and fully endorsed by the School’s Senior Leadership Team.

To start off the week St Mary’s welcomed some visitors to the school who were eager to help teachers and staff members relieve any stress. 8-year-old retired guide dog Texas, 6-year-old golden retriever Sunny, 3-year-old black labrador Harry and 2-year-old pug beagle cross Phife were extremely popular in the staffroom.

A range of exercise classes formed a key part of the week, as the school’s ‘sport for all’ policy isn’t just for the students at St Mary’s. The weekly staff running and netball clubs are well-attended – several members of staff took part in the Cambridge Half Marathon and school nurse and school alumna Vicky Knight actually won the women’s race on Sunday 3 March! During the Well-being Week staff took part in Zumba classes as well as Nordic Walking, running and netball sessions and even a jive lesson. Sports massages provided by PostureWorx helped the teachers to return to classes relaxed and rejuvenated. Staff later connected with their inner ‘crafter’ by taking part in a ‘knit and natter’ session.

A cookery class in which staff whipped up healthy vegetable flatbreads went down a storm. Rebecca Landshoff, the Food and Nutrition teacher who led the session, commented: “Cooking can be a very therapeutic activity and developing this important life skill sets up our staff and students for healthy and happy lives.”

On International Women’s Day Dr Imogen Shaw came into the school to talk to staff about the menopause. Dr Shaw has particular expertise in women’s health around the menopause and was a member of the committee involved in writing the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) guidelines for menopause in 2015, so staff were keen to hear her tips for dealing with the effects of the menopause. Staff found the talk very enlightening and enjoyed discussing openly a topic which is too often considered to be ‘taboo’.

Charlotte Avery, Headmistress of St Mary’s School, Cambridge, said: “The well-being of our staff and students is of utmost importance at St Mary’s. The Well-being Week has been a fantastic opportunity to build on our year-round focus on well-being which enables our staff to have fun and relieve stress through exercise, healthy eating and relaxation.”

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