Making a difference through our People

April 19, 2018 | Campus | Author: Kim Urquhart

Saints is one of the few schools that has a Human Resources department. Much of what we do happens behind the scenes: this is our opportunity to share some of the projects that the HR team have driven during Term 1 of 2018.

Welcoming new staff to our community of belonging

In January we welcomed 42 new staff to the Saints family. Our commitment is to create a community of welcome and wonder for students, parents and staff and our staff induction is one of those events where we endeavour to do just that.

Hengie McInnes welcoming new staff

We know that our environment is challenging and has been described as “drinking from a fire hydrant” so it is important that staff feel that they have time to get to know each other and learn more about the College before the academic year starts.

The focus of the campus induction is to introduce staff to the College and allow them to gain insight into the overall strategic intent and the workings of the various campus departments before they become part of their specific school community.  We also provide them with the opportunity to explore the campus on a walk about and to engage with the College leadership team. This year the staff induction was ably run by my team of Gareth Low and Hengie McInnes and took place over 3 days to help staff assimilate to the overall Campus and their school community

New staff and their partners were also invited to a welcome cocktail party hosted by the Rector and his wife at their home where staff got to meet and interact with other new staff as well as meet the Heads and Deputy Heads of all schools and campus departments.

Some comments and feedback we received from new staff following induction:

“I felt extremely welcome and it was a relaxed, friendly environment which is exactly what new staff need.”

“I feel like I am definitely part of the Saints family”

New staff engaging with members of our EXCO

“I have never come across a school that is so professional, well organised and well-prepared. This is such an amazing experience for me and I can't wait to start working at the school.”

I really enjoyed the whole orientation process and the fact that Saints makes you feel so welcome and part of the family

“I am truly grateful for the care, preparation and time that went into making this a wonderful induction programme! I was made to feel welcome and at home from the second I got my contract in my email.  Thank you to all involved and especially to Hengie, Gareth and Kim! #SaintsExcellence “

As we welcome new staff to the Saints community it is with excitement that we watch them grow and develop and make their unique contributions within our community.

Supporting the CANSA Shavathon

The Campus administration team, supported by our various school based staff and interns, once again volunteered in the annual Shavathon in support of CANSA on Thursday 1 March 2018. 

As always, many staff and pupils came out to show their support for this worthy cause, which is also such a fun day for all.  On 26 March 2018 the College paid a whopping R133 000-00 over to CANSA.  The students raised an amount of R124 510-00 and staff raised R8 490-00. 

Scenes from our 2018 Shavathon

Saints is especially proud that this figure is in excess of what shopping centres manage to raise. This event is always well supported and thoroughly enjoyed by all the staff that give up their time to spray and shave hair on the day. 

Scenes from our 2018 Shavathon

We would like to take this opportunity to thank students, staff and parents for their whole-hearted support, and we would also like to thank the volunteers for giving up their time to spray or shave approximately 2600 heads in less than 4 hours.

Caring for our Staff Wellness

On 20 March 2016, our 11th annual staff Wellness Day was held in collaboration with Discovery Health.  One of our strategic focuses is to encourage balance and wellness among our staff. The purpose of the day is to encourage all staff (both those on medical aid and the uninsured), to complete the various screening tests available.  Over 400 staff are invited to participate in the Discovery Wellness Experience which included assessing their blood pressure, glucose levels, cholesterol and body mass index along with the option to complete HIV testing as well.  201 staff took advantage of the day which was held in Mears Hall.

Gareth Low (left) and Hengie McInnes were the friendly people who welcomed staff to the Wellness experience

Over and above the various screenings, a number of exhibitors were present to provide information and support to staff, these included an optometrist, an iridologist, a chiropractor, masseuses who offered staff a free back and neck massage, Virgin Active - Bryanston, Interface Financial Services – who offer advice and support to staff on all aspects of finances, Inside Active, Coachman’s Pharmacy who was there to give staff flu and vitamin B jabs, JLT Healthcare Consultants, Honey Jewellery and facial beauty products.  After staff had had their assessments they were treated to a smoothie to take away with them.  There were also twenty lucky draws which staff could win.

We are privileged to work in a beautiful environment which supports our wellness initiatives.  The College is very much a community based school whereby staff have access to use the various facilities available including the Aquatics Centre, squash courts and exercise tracks, many of which are at no additional cost.  Parents also have access to these facilities at a nominal fee.  We encourage our community to take advantage of the facilities available to them.

Through our relationships with service providers like JLT, Interface and our in-house counsellors and psychologists, and onsite clinic, staff have access to a range of wellness services at no cost to them directly.

It is important to not rest on our laurels and to continue to find ways of ensuring our programmes best suit the needs of the various categories of staff and continuously improve on what we currently do and better harness the amazing environment we call our office.