What’s in a staff development day?

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What’s in a staff development day?

Sleepy Hollow Staff Development Day 2020  part 1/4


If you follow any of our social media sites you will know we held a staff development day on 29th February with (almost) the entire Sleepy Hollow Team.

We had a few absentees who have been off ill or on maternity leave.   In saying that one of our Managers who has a six week old baby and another who is still on crutches recovering from surgery came in and surprised us by attending for the full day – now that IS dedication for you.

There is too much to cover the entire day in one blog post so we will break it down to four parts over the month of March

Welcome and Registration

We wanted to keep this very much like a business development day to give staff the experience that we have when we attend for example an Early Years or Playboard NI conference.  The timing of such sectoral conferences, our requirement to meet staffing rations and the sheer costs precludes us from sending the entire team to these conferences.

So a very important part of the morning was registering and teas/coffees on arrival.  Staff didn’t expect it to be so formal but we wanted to set the scene and give staff a REAL conference type experience – allbeit it wasn’t in a hotel setting.

With over 100 in attendance we managed to get everyone seated and on time for kick off at 10am sharp,

We did brief housekeeping rules and set the scene of the day by asking colleagues to ensure they were sitting together at tables alongside the colleagues they work with at (the reasons for this will become apparent)


To set the scene we started off with an icebreaker – the rules were simple :-

So within minutes we had the loudest room in history and animals were herding together.  It was funny to watch to say the least – the scene was pretty much like this :-


So we had a few animals to choose from but they key was to make the sound of the animal written on the photo

So we had cats, ducks, elephants, dogs and lions when we herded together after two minutes but not one mouse …. why everyone asked no-one had been given a picture with a mouse on it.  We asked everyone to sit down and look at their animals again –  in small writing on the corner everyone had the following

So the moral of the icebreaker is attention to detail – something very important to us in Sleepy Hollow.

That said Bronagh and Diane took part in this very task at another event they attended which was on a much bigger scale and there was only one person in that group who was a mouse – so its something we could all take away from the day.   It certainly set the scene for attention to detail for the remainder of a very dynamic day ….

Check in next Monday for part 2.




Awards & Recognition