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An online teaching discussion which took place as part of the wellbeing day.

A first of its kind for the University, this event is believed to have led the way for other educational institutions, demonstrating great adaptability and a determination by the University to continue supporting both its students and staff under the most unusual of circumstances.

Led by the Faculty of Education and Children’s Services, the day was devised and delivered by Uná Meehan, Programme Leader and Acting Director of Partnerships and Executive Dean of the Faculty, Associate Professor David Cumberland. Following a successful similar event for students,  it took place using a video conferencing tool, which allowed large numbers of users to speak and interact with one another.

Uná said: “It is times like these that we need to celebrate the talent, resilience and adaptability of our staff. We have so many incredible colleagues and departments doing brilliant things and we felt this needed to be shared to help support the great community spirit that already exists within the University.”

The full day conference was opened by the University’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Eunice Simmons, and comprised a range of activities which focused on wellbeing, managing stress, practical support services and mindfulness.

A flow movement workshop from Lauren Tucker of Tuckshop Dance Theatre started the working day, and the Student Futures Wellbeing Team delivered two outstanding sessions that focused on the five steps to wellbeing and managing stress. Further sessions included a ‘finding calm session’ from Associate Professor James Holt; a masterclass in creating your own home studio from Canteen Create; and a group of colleagues from across the University shared the challenges and best practices of transferring lectures and seminars to digital platforms.

Uná added: “Planning this event enabled us to develop our online offer for students and school partners, and we really believe that video conferencing has been an invaluable way of staying connected during this lockdown. We hope that as confidence grows in using these tools to teach, more staff will share their best practice as part of future wellbeing days.”

David said: “As Dean, I would like to thank and congratulate staff both within the Faculty and the wider University who have contributed so successfully to this event and in bringing together colleagues, both academic and support and professional services, sharing good practice and exemplifying the community spirit that is so inherent at the University of Chester.”

The Faculty of Education and Children’s Services intends to run more wellbeing events, with the next one taking place in May.

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