We hope that you had an enjoyable Shavuot and that you and your families are well.
Thank you so much to the very high number of parents who joined our Zoom meeting about online learning on Monday. It was very heart-warming to receive so many expressions of thanks for the effort our staff are putting into digital learning. While we know what we are doing is not perfect, we are certainly trying to offer the best education possible in the current circumstances and will continue to monitor and adjust our provision in the light of the feedback we receive.
On June 1st we re-opened both schools in response to the increased demand to educate vulnerable children and the children of key workers. We now have a small number of students in both schools who are being supported by our staff with their online learning timetables.
The government’s most recent advice in regard to the wider re-opening of secondary schools is as follows:
Face-to-face support [should] supplement the remote education of year 10 and year 12 pupils, which should remain the predominant mode of education during this term for pupils in these year groups. Our assessment, based on the latest scientific and medical advice, is that we need to continue to control the numbers attending school to reduce the risk of increasing transmission. Therefore, schools are able to have a quarter of the year 10 and year 12 cohort (for schools with sixth forms) in school at any one time.
Unlike many schools, and thanks to the generosity of our Trustees, Hasmonean is in the fortunate position of being able to ensure that all of our children have access to digital devices. The new online learning timetables also ensure that children in all year groups are benefitting from face-face teaching.
However, we are currently discussing amongst ourselves and with Headteachers from other schools how we can supplement our face-to-face provision for Year 10 and 12 in school. This is a far from straightforward process. Only one quarter of these year groups is allowed in school at any one time and class sizes will need to be very small to enable us to observe strict social distancing rules. We also need to ensure that we can sustain our online learning programme for students who continue to learn remotely so that they do not miss out. The government has also asked – for very understandable reasons – that a comprehensive risk assessment be undertaken before any wider re-opening is undertaken and for consultation to take place with the various unions, as well as with trustees and parents to ensure that children and staff are kept as safe as possible.
We will publish our plans so that you can see them in advance as soon as we are able to do so. However, in the meantime, please be assured that children will continue to follow the online timetables to ensure that they benefit from a high standard of education.
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