Editorial 17th September 2020

 

Dear Parents,

 

Welcome, everyone, to the new academic year – particularly to those parents who are new to the schools.

 

We’d like to start by thanking each and every one of you who helped us to exceed our fundraising target last year.

 

Following that very successful campaign, we wanted to give you an update on how the money that was raised is being used.

 

As you can see in the table above, of around £4.3m of parental donations and fundraising last year…

… approximately £3.7m is being used to meet the running costs for the last academic year and to carry urgent and essential capital works at both sites, including roof work, new boilers and a comprehensive CCTV upgrade

  • Whilst the costs of the capital work far exceeds the school’s contributions, we have achieved this through winning additional grants from the Government and CST.

 

£250k is being used to enable us to take in extra Year 7 boys this year

  • Without this investment, these children would not have had a Jewish school to attend. The funds were donated specifically for this purpose.
  • £200k will pay for building work to create new corridors, extra toilets and reconfigure rooms.
  • £50k will pay for extra pastoral support and teaching costs.

 

Whilst the above funds had to be allocated in this way, as we raised in excess of our target, we are able to make some modest, targeted investments, as follows:

 

£160k will be invested in initiatives to raise standards of achievement in the sixth form

  • Appointing a KS5 raising achievement co-ordinator to boost results across the curriculum
  • Extra tutoring in key subjects
  • Recruitment and retention initiatives to attract and retain the very best teachers
  • Augmenting classroom learning using targeted digital supplements
  • Using blended learning initiatives to preserve a broad curriculum

 

£130k will be invested in informal education

The Informal Education team has been expanded have been brought on board to help our students realise the beauty of Judaism and that Torah is not just a Toras Emes but a Toras Chaim. The programme will include:

  • Yemei Iyun – themed activities
  • Volunteering
  • Shabbatonim
  • After school activities
  • Mentoring and 1 to 1 personal spiritual support for Year 7 girls
  • Cross-departmental links

 

£100k will be invested in blended learning

Lockdown has enabled us to fully appreciate the power of technology to offer wrap-around education.  Building on this enables us to seamlessly educate children through any future lockdowns and make the best use of our resources across the two sites:

  • Staff within departments will be given the time and resources to develop digital learning and digital resources in each learning area
  • Synchronous (real time) and asynchronous (pre-prepared/recorded) teaching will be blended
  • Digital supplements for a variety of subjects will be offered to give students access to the best online resources
  • We will also be partnering with other education technology lead schools to ensure we are at the cutting edge of this area.

 

Our need this year

This year we will need to receive £4.1m to pay for the running costs of the school.  We will be reporting on how well we are performing against monthly targets so that you will be able to see the progress that is being made against them.

 

Thank you to each and every one of you for your support last year… and thank you in anticipation of your support this coming year.

 

 

Gary Swabel – Chair, Hasmonean MAT

Andrew McClusky – CEO, Hasmonean MAT

Editorial 10/9/2020

Dear Parents,

It has been an absolute privilege and a great pleasure to welcome back students in all year groups at school over the past week. It has been wonderful to see classrooms filled with students learning and a powerful reminder of the importance of education on academic, social and personal development. We have missed our students immensely, and some have even been brave enough to admit that they have missed school over the past few months!

Of course, the school is operating in a very different way than we have done before.  I would like to thank the students, staff and parents for following the new guidance carefully and taking the important steps to protect themselves and others by reducing the risk of transmission.  As I have mentioned to all of the students, this is a form of secondary education which is very different than one they have seen previously. We are, by necessity, working in an imperfect world, as the Hasmonean Boys’ school building was simply not planned nor designed with a ‘bubbled’ system in mind.  We continue to refine our systems in order to keep the students and staff as safe as we possibly can.

I would like to personally thank you for the many messages of support which I have received before the term started. In this important and auspicious month of Elul, it is important to remind ourselves that the middot of gratitude, positivity, kindness and resilience as well as respect for our fellow human beings are vital attributes which we all – adults and children alike – need to be showing at this time.

Wishing you all a relaxing and healthy Shabbat.

Mrs D Lebrett

Headteacher

Hasmonean High School for Boys

Editorial 3rd September 2020

Dear Parents,

 

The Alshich explains that the essence of the mitzvah of bikkurim which features at the beginning of this week’s parsha is hakoras hatov, expressing gratitude. After months of hard work, ploughing, sowing, tending, pruning and harvesting, the farmer brings the first of his fruit to the Beis HaMikdash as an expression of thanks.

 

The Alshich continues that hakoras hatov is fundamental to our emunah and observance of mitzvos. That is why the mitzvah was carried out with so much fanfare and the farmer made a public declaration of thanks to Hashem.

 

Not only does the concept of giving thanks give us our name (Yehudi), the Midrash Rabbah at the very beginning of Bereishis tells us that the world was created for the sake of the mitzvah of bikkurim.

 

And perhaps that is why we begin each day with Modeh Ani, words of gratitude.

 

As ever, the messages of the week’s parsha are timely and timeless and it is with much gratitude and a feeling of enormous relief that we are thankfully back in school. After many months of online learning and with much planning, we are again able to pursue our noble passion of educating and inspiring the next generation.

 

We have tried hard indeed to ensure that the school is safe as can be. Please remind your child that masks need be worn in all communal places in school.

 

In Modim D’Rabbanan we say a remarkable thing. “Modim anachnu loch”, we thank you Hashem … “al she’anachnu modim loch”, for being able to thank you.

 

I am very grateful to have the opportunity to thank the all those people who have worked through the summer to help us get to this day and I hope and pray that the entire Hasmonean family, and people the world over, stay safe and healthy and that we are blessed with a successful year ahead.

 

Good Shabbos,

 

 

Rabbi J Golker

Menahel

 

 

Editorial 3/9/2020

Dear Parents

The Alshich explains that the essence of the mitzvah of bikkurim which features at the beginning of this week’s parsha is hakoras hatov, expressing gratitude. After months of hard work, ploughing, sowing, tending, pruning and harvesting, the farmer brings the first of his fruit to the Beis HaMikdash as an expression of thanks.

The Alshich continues that hakoras hatov is fundamental to our emunah and observance of mitzvos. That is why the mitzvah was carried out with so much fanfare and the farmer made a public declaration of thanks to Hashem.

Not only does the concept of giving thanks give us our name (Yehudi), the Midrash Rabbah at the very beginning of Bereishis tells us that the world was created for the sake of the mitzvah of bikkurim.

And perhaps that is why we begin each day with Modeh Ani, words of gratitude.

As ever, the messages of the week’s parsha are timely and timeless and it is with much gratitude and a feeling of enormous relief that we are thankfully back in school. After many months of online learning and with much planning, we are again able to pursue our noble passion of educating and inspiring the next generation.

We have tried hard indeed to ensure that the school is safe as can be. Please remind your child that masks need be worn in all communal places in school.

In Modim D’Rabbanan we say a remarkable thing. “Modim anachnu loch”, we thank you Hashem … “al she’anachnu modim loch”, for being able to thank you.

I am very grateful to have the opportunity to thank the all those people who have worked through the summer to help us get to this day and I hope and pray that the entire Hasmonean family, and people the world over, stay safe and healthy and that we are blessed with a successful year ahead.

Good Shabbos

Rabbi Golker
Menahel

Editorial 20/8/2020

Dear Parents,

It has been an incredibly unsettling and distressing time for all students who are expecting GCSE, BTEC or A Level results this year. However, we are pleased that most of the uncertainty surrounding the results has now come to an end and students can finally focus on the next stages of their lives.

We would like to congratulate each and every student for working hard throughout their courses to attain the very best results possible. They should feel very, very proud of their achievements. We are conscious that this year’s students have had a much more demanding examination season than would ordinarily have been the case.

GCSE and BTEC Grades
The GCSE grades which students now have access to on Bromcom are their final grades (either their Centre Assessed Grades or their Moderated grades, whichever is higher). However, this may not be the case for BTEC grades as Ofqual announced only last night that the BTEC grades are now being re-graded. BTEC grades, we have been assured, may go up or stay the same but will not go down. When we receive the final BTEC grades from Ofqual, we will let students know.

Details about how we will be managing enrolment onto A Level and BTEC courses was sent out to you yesterday.

Students who queries about their examination grades should contact the examinations officers at each school:
Hasmonean High School for Girls Exams Officer: Ms Nancy James n.james@hasmonean.co.uk
Hasmonean High School for Boys Exams Officer: Mrs Jane Leigh j.leigh@hasmonean.co.uk

Queries about entry onto A Level and BTEC courses in the sixth form should be directed to the relevant Head of Sixth Form:
Mrs Valencia: c.valencia@hasmonean.co.uk
Rabbi Cohen: m.cohen@hasmonean.co.uk

A Level and BTEC Grades
The A Level grades which students have now have access to on Bromcom are their final grades (either their Centre Assessed Grades or their Moderated grades, whichever is higher). However, this may not be the case for BTEC grades as Ofqual also announced only last night that the BTEC grades are now being re-graded. BTEC grades, we have been assured, may go up or stay the same but will not go down. When we receive the final BTEC grades from Ofqual, we will let students know.

Students should be aware that UCAS are planning to share their final A Level and BTEC grades with universities on Friday this week.

Students who have queries about their examination grades should contact the examinations officers at each school:
Hasmonean High School for Girls Exams Officer: Ms Nancy James n.james@hasmonean.co.uk
Hasmonean High School for Boys Exams Officer: Mrs Jane Leigh j.leigh@hasmonean.co.uk

Queries about entry onto university courses should be directed to the relevant Head of Sixth Form (see contact details above).
Information about re-sits and appeals can be found in the examinations sections of the schools’ websites:
https://hasmoneanboys.org.uk/exams-information/
https://hasmoneangirls.org.uk/exams-information/

With kind regards,

Mrs Debbie Lebrett – Headeacher, Hasmonean High School for Boys
Mrs Katherine Brice – Headteacher, Hasmonean High School for Girls
Andrew McClusky – CEO Hasmonean MAT

Editorial 13/8/20

Dear Parents,

We write to you in regard to this year’s A Level and BTEC results.

We are pleased to report that the vast majority of students have attained grades to enter university or embark on the next stage of their life and we will be supporting students who have not been awarded the grades that they were hoping to achieve.

You will have seen headlines in the media that a student’s mock exam results may be able to be used instead of the calculated exam results if the former are higher than the latter.

We will be seeking to appeal all A Level and BTEC grades that are lower than mock grades wherever possible. However, Ofqual have announced that they will not be able to give any details on what counts as a ‘valid mock’ until next week, meaning that we cannot yet tell students if they have a grounds for appeal based on their mock results. This delay and uncertainty will obviously be extremely difficult and challenging for students and it is regrettable that the guidance on this important matter has yet to be produced. As soon as we have that guidance from Ofqual, we will share it with you and advise students accordingly.

Students who wish to know their centre assessed grades or who have any other queries about examination grades should contact the examinations officers at each school:
Hasmonean High School for Girls Exams Officer: Ms Nancy James n.james@hasmonean.co.uk
Hasmonean High School for Boys Exams Officer: Mrs Jane Leigh j.leigh@hasmonean.co.uk

Queries about university places should be directed to the relevant Head of Sixth Form.

Information about re-sits can be found in the examinations sections of the school’s websites.

Please bear in mind that there will be many, many more queries to deal with this year due to the way in which examinations grades have been calculated and the late announcement about how appeals can take place. We will deal with students as soon as we are able to do so.

With kind regards,

Mrs Debbie Lebrett – Headeacher, Hasmonean High School for Boys
Mrs Katherine Brice – Headteacher, Hasmonean High School for Girls

Editorial – 24th July 2020

Dear Parents,

 

Thank you for all of your support during this difficult time.  Please can you take some time to read the new letters that have been posted on eNews as they contain important information about our return to school in September.

 

Kind regards,

Mr A McClusky, CEO, Hasmonean MAT

Mrs D Lebrett – Headteacher, Hasmonean Boys’ School

Mrs K Brice – Headteacher Hasmonean Girls’ School

Rabbi J Golker – Menahel, Hasmonean MAT

Editorial 16th July 2020

Dear Parents,

 

As you would expect, a great deal of thought is going into planning for how the full return to school in September can be managed as safely as possible. We are discussing our plans with staff tomorrow and will be sharing them with you next week.

 

Please note that the arrangements for the last week of term:

 

On Monday 20th, as was advertised in the calendar, there will be no teaching, nor will there be supervision in school until after break at 11:30. This is to allow for the traditional staff breakfast to take place where we thank staff for their hard work and say farewell to leavers.

 

Next week, we will be holding pastoral check-ins in school for all students as follows at both schools. Online lessons will not occur for year groups on the days when they are in school as outlined below:

 

Monday – Year 7 in school for their pastoral check-ins

 

Tuesday – Year 8 in school for their pastoral check-ins

 

Wednesday – Year 9 in school for their pastoral check-ins

 

Thursday – Year 12 in school for their pastoral check-ins – no live lessons for the whole school (see below)

 

Friday – Year 10 in school for their pastoral check-ins – no live lessons for the whole school (see below)

 

On Monday from 11.30am until the end of Wednesday, all other online lessons will be delivered as normal, with the exception of those outlined above.

 

Please note that the children of key workers and vulnerable children will continue to be supervised in school and pastoral check-ins will continue as scheduled throughout next week for all year groups except for Monday morning until 11.30am.

 

As previously mentioned, all staff who are not shielding will be coming in to school on the final two days of term, Thursday 23rd and Friday 24th July, to work in departments to prepare for September. They will therefore not be teaching live lessons on these days but instead giving students guidance to ensure they have completed all of the work covered during lockdown and will be signposting them to extension activities within the extension room on these final two days.

 

The Hasmonean High School Charitable Trust Kodesh programme will continue throughout next week as usual.

 

We are currently consulting on the Relationships and Sex Education Policy, the teaching of which is statutory from September 2020.

The policy can be found here: https://hasmoneanmat.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/Hasmonean-RSE-policy-DRAFT.pdf

 

If you wish to comment on the policy, please do so here: https://forms.gle/BJFbtBhwDzTM29UB6 .  Comments should be submitted by 5pm on Monday 10th August

 

 

Good Shabbos to all,

 

Mr A McClusky – CEO, Hasmonean MAT

Mrs D Lebrett – Headteacher, Hasmonean Boys’ School

Mrs K Brice – Headteacher Hasmonean Girls’ School

Rabbi J Golker – Menahel, Hasmonean MAT

Editorial 9th July 2020

Dear Parents,

 

Please click above link to watch a video from the staff, governors, trustees and members of the Hasmonean 2020 fundraising committee to thank you for all your support with the campaign which has enabled us to ‘Preserve What’s Precious’.

 

With regard to our plans for September, we are currently working our way through extensive risk assessments and having discussions with other Barnet Headteachers and the local authority to ensure that the return to school for all students and staff is as safe as possible. Once we have finalised our plans, we will share them with you, as well as with unions, governors and the local authority.

 

We intend to do this before the end of term. However, please do bear in mind that guidance from the government may change over the summer holiday and our plans may be subject to change. If this is the case, we will let you know by email and via our website.

 

Wishing you a good Shabbos and a relaxing weekend,

 

Mr A McClusky – CEO, Hasmonean MAT

Mrs D Lebrett – Headteacher, Hasmonean Boys’ School

Mrs K Brice – Headteacher Hasmonean Girls’ School

Rabbi J Golker – Menahel, Hasmonean MAT

Editorial 2nd July 2020

Dear Hasmonean Community,

 

We did it! We have exceeded our £1.6m target!

 

On behalf of everyone at Hasmonean, thank you so much, so much.

 

The collective power of the Hasmonean community never ceases to amaze, a power that is in its achdut.  To witness the tremendous vision, skill and conviction within our Fundraising Committee, composed mainly of governors, trustees and parents, utterly focussed on safeguarding this amazing institution, is truly humbling. We are so grateful to all of the parents, staff, students, alumni, governors and trustees who played their part in this communal effort.

 

Our families, communities and alumni have risen to support us in our time of need. They have demonstrated the value that they put on a good education and the trust that they have in Hasmonean to deliver. We stand in awe of their kindness and support, give thanks that we can continue to provide for our children’s futures, and pray that we will now move from strength to strength, offering every child what they need to grow to become inspired and upstanding members of Am Yisrael.

 

Our sincere thanks to the matched funders, the pillars of the Hasmonean community:

Simon and Louise Abraham

Families Goldberg

Sharon and Daniel Green

Investream Charitable Trust

Shuli and Feigy Lerner

Family Noé

Katie and Ben Shooter

and those who wish to remain anonymous

 

Our deep thanks to the core Fundraising Committee who are governors/ Trustees or Members of the MAT: 

Mrs Jacqueline Benjamin – co-leader of last year’s campaign and lynchpin of this campaign

Mr Steven Blumgart – tireless supporter and preserver of all that is precious about Hasmonean

Mr Jonny Feinmesser – co-leader of last year’s campaign and lynchpin of this campaign

Mr Daniel Green – tireless supporter and preserver of all that is precious about Hasmonean

Mr Yossi Halberstadt – tireless campaigner for Hasmonean

Mr Maurice Klajman – tireless campaigner for Hasmonean

Mr Daniel Lyons – media strategist and tireless supporter of the schools

Mr Ben Shooter – Chair of The Fundraising Committee who has now raised an incredible £7.3m for Hasmonean

 

Our sincere thanks to parents, staff and alumni:

Mrs Jodi Benaim – Preserve What’s Precious Campaign Chairperson who has worked tirelessly on this campaign

Mrs Julie Goldberg  – new member of the committee who has who has given so much for this cause

Mrs Miriam Landau – new member of the committee who has who has given so much for this cause

Mr Joshua Lyons – media strategist

Mrs Dawn Murray – our tireless and wonderful co-ordinator upon whom we all depend

… and the whole team including Mr Yiannis Oskis and Mrs Harris Ellis who helped behind the scenes.

 

Our heartfelt thanks to all of the ambassadors, team leaders and donors. Without your energy, enthusiasm, commitment, none of this would have been possible.

 

Our genuine and long-lasting thanks to:

Our Elector Rabbonim Rabbi Greenberg and Rabbi Bixenspanner and to all the communal rabbonim who supported our campaign.

 

Special thanks to:

Rabbi Greenebrg, Rabbi Zobin and Mr and Mrs Kanzen who spoke at our launch event.

 

Together, we have preserved what is precious.

 

With sincere, deep and heartfelt thanks to all,

 

Gary Swabel – Chair, Hasmonean MA

Andrew McClusky – CEO, Hasmonean MAT

……………………………………………………………………..

Reminder

This is a reminder that next Thursday, 9th July is a Fast Day and school will finish for all students at lunchtime.