While the students enjoyed an extra three days of holiday, the staff began this term with the annual Wemms conference, held at the Gorse Hill Hotel in Woking. From the first morning, the coffee room spilled over with excited existing staff members swopping summer stories and new staff members finding their feet as they were welcomed into the Wemms family and our informal way of doing things. At 9am sharp, we moved into the conference room. Sitting largely in our departments, we received detailed training on safeguarding, led by our amazing Gail, which covered all aspects of keeping children safe in education, followed by a quick update on SENCO, what they do and how to add to Annual Reviews.
The most fun part came with the event of the formal dinner held on the first and only night of the conference. Everyone looked dazzling in evening dress as they enjoyed a three course meal. Chatter and jokes overflowed from the tables, almost as quickly as the drinks. Jeremy regaled us with a quick, humorous trip through the previous year, which had everyone in stitches and Joy gave a speech that was concise, encouraging and very well presented.
The next day dawned far too early for some of us, but saw many people getting to know each other better over breakfast. We kicked off with an engaging presentation from Neil and Kevin about the use and dangers of drugs (including alcohol) and awareness of how to deal with those issues in school. Next was the second part of the safeguarding, followed by a break for lunch, when the sun finally decided to come out and join in the fun! The afternoon was taken up with a course on Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD). Our Chair of Governors closed proceedings with a motivating talk, then we made a speedy exit, due to the hotel needing to host another conference.
The conference was over; now let the real fun begin