Editorial 26/11/2020

Dear Parents,

I am delighted to announce that, after a long wait, our Chromebooks have started to arrive. A global shortage of these devices meant that we had to source new suppliers for many of the devices. Had we not done so, we would have had to wait until February for most of them to arrive from our original supplier. The additional costs incurred for the same devices with the same specification have been covered by the schools. Heartfelt thanks to those parents who paid for some of the children whose families could not afford to buy Chromebooks to receive them. If other families would like to sponsor further Chromebooks, please do contact the Headteachers to let us know.

We should have all of the Chromebooks that have been ordered in school by the end of this week and we will be spending next week registering them to their new owners and uploading software onto them. We hope to be able to hand them over to students very soon.

Once students have their devices, teachers will then be able to start using them in lessons to experiment with new pedagogical approaches and to introduce a variety of different apps to enhance students’ learning and augment more traditional approaches to classroom learning. It will also mean that students are well-equipped to access learning from home both outside of school time and during school time should they need to self-isolate.

We are also now about to advertise roles to take charge of and implement our digital learning strategy. The aim is to:

1. Harness the very best practice from other schools in this country and abroad
2. Cascade blended leaning through our learning areas
3. Curate a bank of digital resources within each learning area
4. Support all staff members with training and development

This will, with further staff training and development, enable us to build on our learning during lockdown and, over time, achieve our ambition of transforming our provision.

On a separate note, I would like to apologise for the frustration that some parents had at the online Year 12 and 13 Boys’ parents evening. The provider of the platform to enable parents and teachers to meet experienced a technical glitch which regrettably prevented some teachers from joining meetings for part of the evening. Alternative meetings are being arranged to ensure that those parents can be updated about their children’s progress. We are also reviewing the meetings to ensure parents and teachers have a sufficient time for discussion.

With kind regards,

Andrew McClusky
CEO, Hasmonean MAT