JFS School Notices 17/12/21
I would just like to thank everyone who has been in touch over the last fortnight and helped shape my understanding of JFS and the broader community. Along with the invaluable support of students, staff and the leadership team, we head into the break with a very clear idea of what needs to be done to build on all of the good work already in place and secure the school’s future as an outstanding one.
I would like to take time to discuss the behaviour system in detail so that both parents and students alike are clear on what to expect upon our return in January. At the moment, there are over one hundred teachers making decisions about sanctions for students and it means that variability is, as you would expect significant. Every teacher is doing what they think is right but the inconsistency in sanctions can often lead to a sense of unfairness. In order to bring greater oversight and increased moderation to our behaviour processes, teachers will continue to use our three warnings system but, where a student’s actions do not meet with our high standards, they will simply be asked to make their way to the inclusion centre where the following will occur:
- Students will be able to write a statement detailing what they think has happened
- A senior member of staff, myself or one of the deputies, will speak to the student and make an informed decision taking into account both the staff statement and student statement.
- Where a resolution is not immediately obvious or involves a wider number of people, the senior member of staff will investigate the situation further. I cannot promise that we will get it right every time, but I hope that our collective experience will mean that those cases are rare.
- Once a decision has been made, a phone-call will be made home to the parents to explain what has happened and the outcome.
- Where a student is asked to remain in our inclusion centre, work will be made available to them.
- It is important that we explore underlying causes of behaviours not aligned with our ethos and as part of the inclusion centre will be a separate space in which students will be able to access a number of different interventions such as paired reading, mental health first aiders and anger management.
- In the same way that the inclusion centre means that decisions can be taken separate to the initial point of incident, no decisions regarding multi-day sanctions will be taken during the working day to allow the appropriate thinking space. The behaviour team will meet nightly to discuss all incidents that have taken place and should any require further sanction then these will be communicated to the parents through a phone-call after that meeting.
The driver behind this is to ensure calm and ordered classrooms for the children who just want to get on with their work. It also means that we will be able to build up an accurate understanding of how we interact with neurodiverse children and be better positioned to work with teachers to make reasonable adjustments to limit future issues. Centralisation of phone-calls and detentions will also mean that the administrative aspect of following up behaviour is removed from teachers so they can concentrate on planning and delivering excellent lessons.
I just want to make it clear that there is a complete understanding that no child is perfect, and we approach this with the knowledge that, upon calm reflection and with hindsight, all of our children would always choose to act in a manner commensurate with our values.
I hope that these changes will go some way to allaying some of the concerns that parents have expressed about disparity of approach. In terms of our approach to the whole range of misdemeanours that our children can dream up, the details of these are something that I will share upon our return to school next term.
In addition, I will also share our reformed approach to SEND in the new term, but the systems we are putting in place should mean much clearer monitoring of review and follow-up with a greater opportunity for parental input.
Lastly, I would like to offer my heartfelt congratulations to the newly appointed Head Girl and Head Boy team. The campaigns have been an absolute credit to the school and I cannot wait to work with them going forward.
As we close for the break, I sincerely hope that both you and your family have the opportunity for some wonderful family time together. At the heart of this community is the close-knit care that we have for each other and I wish you both health and happiness.
With warmest wishes and Shabbat Shalom
Dr David Moody
Parashat Vayechi Genesis 47:28–50:26
In the Torah portion this week, Jacob gathers his sons around his death bed. This group of people was comprised of Joseph and the brothers who sold him into slavery. Jacob wanted his son Joseph to forgive all his siblings for plotting against him and leaving him for dead. The very fact that one of Jacob’s last requests was to have his sons around him in unity, as he was about to pass on, teaches us a valuable life lesson and is a crucial issue for our time. People are very different from one another in many ways. But if we all realise how important it is to have unity, this will in turn bring about a love that transcends the specific complaints one person has against another. Rather than there being a disconnect that only serves to encourage conflict amongst peers, it is far better to have unity and a mutual respect.
Head of Faculty for Jewish Education
Whole School Letters and Notices
Year 7 Information:
Year 8 Information:
Year 9 Information:
Year 10 Information:
Year 11 Information:
Year 12 Information:
Year 13 Information:
- The last day of the Autumn Term – Tuesday 21st December 2021 (will be a Winter Friday timetable (contrary to what was previously advertised).
- Beginning of Spring Term Wednesday 5th January 2022 at normal start time NOT 9.30 am as previously stated.
- The last day of the Spring Term – Tuesday 12th April 2022 (will be a Winter Friday timetable (contrary to what was previously advertised).