Currently responsible for Charity and Wellbeing at Lambrook, we thought it fitting in Children’s Mental Health Week, to catch up with teacher, Mrs Sayer:


How long have you been at Lambrook and what do you do?

This is now my second year at Lambrook. I teach French and English, I am a Form Tutor to Year 7, and I have recently taken over the responsibility for charity and also wellbeing while Mrs Wilkinson is on maternity leave.


Have you always been involved in teaching and schools?

I have been involved in teaching for as long as I can remember! I have always wanted to be a teacher – I used to play schools and take registers with my teddy bears when I was little, and it was the thing I did straight after leaving university. I’ve been involved in schools in one way or another since then, which is quite a long time!


If you were to learn another language what would it be?

I’ve got three languages that I’ve learnt – obviously French and I can get by in Spanish and German, but I would really like to get these back up to scratch,

I can get by in Spanish and German, and obviously French, but I would really like to get these back up to scratch, and I did start learning Vietnamese which is incredibly difficult. That’s the language that I would really like to be able to speak properly, but it’s also very, very unlikely as it’s so difficult!


Where in the world would you most like to visit (Covid aside!)?

I have always wanted to go to South America but I have never been. What I would like to do, is to get my Spanish up to scratch and then head to South America to travel around there.


What is your favourite thing about being a teacher?

The fact that I never, ever, ever, get bored! I love getting to know different children every year. I like the fact that they make me think about things differently. I love their enthusiasm and their ability to just discover and to do things in a new way. There are quite a lot of things that I like about being a teacher actually!


What has been your highlights since being at Lambrook?

It’s quite hard to say! I’m going to pick two – one was going to France with Year 7 when I had just arrived at Lambrook, because everything was new, but going to France and to the Chateau was something I had done before, so that was huge fun and I felt like I knew what I was doing and I loved being there with the children – that was amazing. And the second thing that was a massive highlight, was being in the Christmas pantomime with Mrs Williams (my sister), both of us as mermaids! I can’t remember ever appearing in a pantomime before so that was a lot of fun.


What is your favourite chocolate bar?

There are quite a few…If I am going to have a sneaky treat, it is probably going to be a twirl, but I am trying not to eat chocolate at the moment.


You are the School’s charity rep – what have you enjoyed being a part of charity-wise at Lambrook?

Being the School’s charity rep has been a really exciting role to take on and I love having the opportunity to do things outside of the classroom that get me to know different children. I was incredibly impressed by the Year 5 children who just set up and ran their own sale last term. I thought that was absolutely fantastic. I really enjoyed the Children in Need day and doing the workout with all of Year 7, with Joe Wicks and seeing all the teachers taking part as well.


Do you have some exciting charity ideas for the coming year?

The thing that I am most excited about, and this probably covers what my charity ideas are for the coming year, is the crisp packet project. One of the reasons I am excited about it, is that so many other people are excited about it, so children and staff have come and spoken to me about it and said what a great idea it is. And I am also really happy that it will enable us to do something that really makes a difference to other people’s lives. I am also really keen that we get involved as Houses, choosing charities that they would like to get involved in.

I am also looking into various ways that we can support those schools around us. I am really conscious that for children in schools that aren’t like Lambrook, over the last year, they have missed out on an awful lot and it’s been incredibly difficult. Having taught in local schools, I am really conscious that it is so important that we support them in any way that we can.


You are also looking after wellbeing at Lambrook – Why is it so important to look after our well-being at this time?

I have said this to lots of my classes, but we are living through extraordinary times. My mum had her 86th birthday yesterday, and we used to love to talk to her, to ask her what it was like growing up during the second world war and to hear her stories. I think that when we look back on the Covid crisis, we will see that we have been living through an extraordinarily important period in history, but because of that, it has been extremely difficult; not just for us, but for those around us; for those in the NHS, for the Government, and not just in this country, but globally. I think it is an unusual time and we might think that we have to carry on doing things that we have always done, but I think that it is so important to stay well and look after ourselves and eat properly, and exercise properly and sleep properly and get outside and smile and laugh and have fun when we can.


What do you do outside of school to keep fit?

I have a dog and many of my classes are familiar with my dog! I obviously walk her, but I also try to run when I can, and I sometimes do Pilates. What I am trying to do in this lockdown is trying to keep up with about five workouts a week, using the Joe Wicks online workouts, which I absolutely love.


Is looking after our physical health as important as looking after our mental health?

It is really important to look after both our physical and our mental health and I think the two are really connected. I know that if I don’t get outside and exercise, I can become more anxious and het-up about things. We shouldn’t neglect either of them and we shouldn’t take them for granted as we need to look after them both. We mustn’t be afraid to say if we need help.


This week is Children’s Mental Health Week – what have you been doing to look after your mental health during lockdown and remote teaching?

It has been great this week seeing children in my Tutor Group and those across the school, thinking about how to discuss mental health. In terms of looking after my own mental health, I have been trying to do as much exercise as I can, and I am not very good at cooking for myself, so I am trying to cook a proper meal every day which helps me relax, but I also try and take time every day to go for a walk and to enjoy fresh air and nature and also to read the Bible. Thinking about bigger things really helps me to keep a sense of perspective.

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