Editorial 21.10.2021

Dear Parents and Carers,

I want to make you aware of some very exciting developments that we will be bringing to fruition during this academic year and the next:

– To affirm Kodesh at the heart of everything we do, we are working on how best to organise the school day to integrate our JS, Key Stage 3, 4 and 5 formal, informal and enrichment curricula at both schools
– We have created a new role, Director of Personal Development, the purpose of which is to ensure pupils feel safe, understand risks and dangers and that they have the skills and knowledge to confidently navigate the modern world. Mr Marcus, who has been appointed to this role, comes with a wealth of experience in these areas having worked in a number of senior leadership positions in a variety of Jewish schools
– We will be re-evaluating the key stage three curriculum at each school to enliven and rejuvenate it in a way that fully engages and inspires students. We’re looking into the very best practice across the country to enable us to create our own 21st Century dynamic curriculum for our youngest students
– To ensure that student feedback is taken into account in all areas of the school we are investigating new ways to elicit this important information to enable us to direct our attention and resources where they are needed most
– And finally, to support our staff to be the best they can be, there will be a renewed focus on their continuing professional development. The opportunities to improve subject knowledge, the understanding of pedagogy and pastoral care and leadership and management are all being mapped for all new and existing staff. We will invest in our team to increase the quality of teaching, strengthen succession planning, and improve recruitment and retention.

As you can see there’s a lot happening to ensure that Hasmonean is the very best place for all Jewish students (in the 21st century). I will provide you with updates on this exciting and dynamic agenda as things progress through the course of the year.

With kind regards,

Mr Andrew McClusky
CEO, Hasmonean MAT




Dear Parents and Carers,

Re: Communication Guidelines

Please be aware – if you are not already – that the MAT’s schools have guidelines to provide a platform for effective and positive communications between staff and parents/carers. Parents/carers are entitled to expect courteous and timely communications from school staff just as staff are entitled to expect courtesy and respect from them.

This extract from the guidelines outlines the rationale behind them:
Research consistently finds that children achieve more when schools and parents/carers work together. However, the unique relationship that a parent/ carer or teacher has with a child might at times lead to differences of opinion as to what is best for the child. Both parties need to appreciate and respect the special skills and insights that each brings to their relationships with a child and understand and appreciate each other’s perspective.

Tension in the parent/staff relationship can arise when both parties are strongly motivated to do the best for the child but occupy fixed positions about how to achieve this. The ability to voice differences of opinion, respectfully and with understanding, is key to a successful relationship and to minimising conflict.

A link to the guidelines, which have been shared with staff, can be found here: https://hasmoneanmat.org.uk/multi/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/Communication-Guidelines-Oct-2019.pdf

Staff have been asked to only contact you by their school email address or phone and to address you formally about school matters (even if they know you socially) and we would appreciate if you would do this same to maintain a clear division between the social and professional spheres.

We hope that all members of the Hasmonean community will find these guidelines helpful.

With kind regards,

Mr A McClusky, CEO, Hasmonean MAT
Mr Y Halberstadt, Chair of Local Governing Body Committee – Boys, Trustee of Hasmonean MAT
Mr S Blumgart, Chair of Local Governing Body Committee – Girls, Trustee of Hasmonean MAT