Wellness a pillar at St. Anne's School

Wellness is front and centre at St. Anne’s School. It is integrated into our weekly Community Gatherings and advisory to promote student well-being. We host workshops and guest speakers. We practice mindfulness and yoga to promote physical and mental health for students and staff. We provide faculty with resources for social-emotional learning and mental health awareness in classrooms.

When St. Anne’s School opened its doors in September 2023, we started with a vision to create a culture where wellness is an integral pillar through a multifaceted program that involves all members of our school community. This program is modelled around an understanding of girls’ social and emotional development and is integrated into the life and culture of the school.

In mid-February, the Middle School paused their regular academic programming for an afternoon of wellness, the first since the campus came to life in September with the opening of Dunin House.
The Grades 5 to 8 students chose from a variety of workshops centred around learning new skills for their mental well-being. Teachers, staff, and guests hosted various activities that taught wellness strategies that students can use at home. The afternoon started with an assembly where students learned the benefits of each activity. They were greeted by Head of School Sabrina D’Angelo, a wellness enthusiast herself, and shared in a self-care mindfulness moment.

They then hurried to their sessions: a mala bracelet class where they learned about the properties of the gems and setting positive intentions; a knitting tutorial where they shared in the meditative practice of each small stitch; a dance class where they released endorphins; outdoor activities where they burned off steam and took in some Vitamin D; a calligraphy lesson; and a sketch noting session where they used their artistic imagination and formed affirmations on a pottery tile.

“It was important for us to teach the students that they can practice self-care through many different ways, ranging from movement to art to creation,” said Whitney Elliott, Wellness Coordinator and Grade 6 core teacher. 

Whitney took note of Michelle Obama’s book, The Light We Carry, in which the former First Lady of the United States shared how she took up knitting to help channel her anxiety during the pandemic.
“It’s the idea that narrowing your focus into a small, seemingly insignificant task can remind us of our own agency. It shows us our own ability to build, create, and succeed. I truly believe that when you know you are capable of small tasks, it makes the bigger ones feel easier. In this case, every small stitch builds into a bigger purpose,” Mrs. Obama wrote.
The Middle School wellness day and other initiatives at SAS emphasize the values of gratitude, healthy lifestyle choices, and the importance of fostering positive interpersonal connections. These values create an environment where students thrive academically, socially, and emotionally while building lifelong skills to help them make meaningful connections within SAS and the broader community.

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306 St. John's Sideroad, Aurora, ON L4G 4B4
Email: info@stannes.ca | Tel: 905-727-2008