Wemms Social Enterprise Week

During the last week in May 2021, Wemms held a whole school Enterprise Week. The aim of the week was to give students the opportunity to develop their problem solving and team working skills. They were given the opportunity to develop their understanding of what ‘enterprise’ is – in the context of understanding different types of jobs, developing new ideas, how money is spent in designing and making products, and primarily, how they can contribute to a range of activities that help them to become more enterprising. The week culminated in a spectacular Enterprise Fayre which was open to all parents, students, staff, and which raised nearly £1600! The funds raised will be donated to the Toilet Twinning charity, which seeks to build essential toilets in less affluent countries, which desperately need them for their communities. 

The students were divided into vertical year-group teams in such a way that each age group was fairly represented in each team.  Since one of the aims of the week was to teach our students to work in teams that comprised members from all different age groups, Year 7s learnt to work together with Year 11s as well as all the years in between, and vice versa!  The sixth formers were given the difficult yet important job of sorting out the logistics for the week, such as making sure each team knew what they were doing, and how much profit they expected to make, organising and ordering food for the BBQ and generally floating around to make sure everything was being taken care of.  Nicknamed the WETs (Wemms Enterprise Team), they certainly rose to the occasion, working hard to make the Fayre a success. 

The students had some wonderful ideas, and different groups approached the project in very different ways. Pupils were given the opportunity to think up ideas of their own, or adapt existing ideas to their own designs. Some of the most creative ideas saw fidget toys, jewellery being made out of Hama beads, sensory jars, seed bombs, decorated handbags, pompom or tassel-decorated keyrings and a variety of dreamcatchers/mobiles being created.  One group even wrote and recorded their own song! There was so much creativity going around that the school was buzzing! 

Once we had decided which products to make for the Fayre, as well as our team names and which role and responsibilities each team member would have, we spent the week making our designs a reality.  Each team also worked on posters advertising their products that could be displayed around the school, as well as designing a PowerPoint presentation. 

In a pseudo “Dragons’ Den”, each team also had to present their ideas to a panel made up of members of the SMT who quizzed everyone on their ideas, finances and marketing. We also held focus groups to get potential customer feedback and testimonials for our products.  

At last, the day of the Enterprise Fayre arrived!  Students and staff looked forward to finally getting the chance to sell the products they’d worked so hard to create, and seeing if anyone was prepared to buy them! At the Enterprise Fayre on Friday, all the parents and their families, plus friends, were warmly invited to come and enjoy the stalls and special BBQ (COVID-secure, of course).  

Message from the Principle  

The day of the Enterprise Fayre started off with each group presenting PowerPoints on what they had been doing during the week to the school leadership team and setting up the stalls. The leadership were incredibly impressed with various students’ creativity, video productions and presentation style. It seemed that each student had found their niche in the groups and made the most of their talents.   

Students helped each other get the final touches in place: a stall set up here, some final products made, a sign put up there, etc.  There were plenty of sneak previews of merchandise going on around the school, with some team members guarding their products from eager eyes with the protectiveness of a tigress defending her cubs! 

The Fayre opened as students and their family members came round to view and buy the products.  Surpassing some of team’s original expectations that dreamcatchers just wouldn’t sell, they sold out of dreamcatchers within half an hour of the Fayre opening.  The other teams did really well too, selling a variety of goods to the enthusiastic parents and other family members. This included our very own Wemms-crafted single, recorded by the music team and put together especially for this task entitled “Here To Stay”.  

– Joy Wemms 

Message from a Parent  

Everyone seemed to really enjoy it!  There was popcorn and candyfloss for those with a salty or sweet tooth and the sixth formers cooked a brilliant BBQ, selling a range of food guaranteed to satisfy every dietary requirement, including vegan and gluten-free options. Shouts of laughter could be heard amidst the chatter in the playground as students got to ‘Pie-face’ teachers who had bravely volunteered to have cream plastered all over their faces! 

The Fayre has been a really special experience for everyone involved.  It was really lovely meeting some of the parents for the first time. It was also amazing seeing everyone socialising with each other and enjoying themselves (in a socially distanced manner). Just to see so many people having fun together was fantastic after 14 months of minimal visitor interaction with the Wemms community bubble. 

The whole enterprise week was huge fun, and the students learned a great deal through taking part. We are already planning a similar event for next year. Many thanks to all the staff at Wemms who took part, and especially to Joy Wemms, our esteemed Principal, who coordinated the week. 

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