This is achieved through both the Chol and Kodesh (Jewish Studies) curriculum and the School’s ethos, “Torah Im Derech Eretz”. In addition, British Values complement the Jewish Values (Middos) that are incorporated in all aspects of school life, during assemblies and through school events. For example children are photographed with the “golden frame” when they display our Middoh (value) of the month. Our PSHE curriculum is based on best practice recommendations from the PSHE subject association and is based around the core strands of: Health and Wellbeing, Relationships, and Living in the Wider World (which includes Economic Wellbeing and being a Responsible Citizen).
Democracy is promoted through teaching an understanding of what a democracy is, how it works and by discussions and modelling voting. Children enjoy holding their own ‘elections’ and these have included mock national and local government votes and even the EU/Brexit referendum. Pupils prepare speeches, canvass on many issues, cast votes and are excited to announce results.
We take our Y6 to the Houses of Parliament most years in the summer term. Children are encouraged to know that their views count and are valued by having the opportunity to vote and become members of our school council.
A crucial part of our government and democracy is The Sovereign. Hasmonean Primary children were hugely excited to celebrate the Platinum Jubilee with a ‘street party’ in our playground and everyone came to school in red, white and blue. More recently, children wrote letters to the Royal Family expressing their condolences on the passing of Queen Elizabeth and we spent a week focusing on important aspects of Queen Elizabeth’s reign, with a display in our school hall of some of the learning. During the year classes will continue to learn about changes that will take place in Britain with the accession of King Charles to the throne, and we look forward to celebrating the coronation when it is formally announced.
Tzedaka (Charity) is an important feature in our school and children are encouraged to be charitable and bring a small amount to give each day. We have supported many national charities e.g. the British Heart Foundation, Great Ormond Street Hospital and Make a Wish. Our School Council vote each term to select which charity we will support based on recommendations from their respective classes and Year 6 prefects announce the total weekly amount raised in assembly.
Mutual Respect and Tolerance of Different Faiths and Beliefs is promoted in both Chol and Kodesh lessons. We encourage children to learn about other families, cultures, traditions, and communities. We have held termly multicultural weeks to promote solidarity with immigrant groups in the UK – these have included Indian, French and Polish weeks. We also held a UK week to celebrate the Queen’s 90th birthday.
Every week, teachers select a child to sit on the ‘golden chair’ in assembly. These children are celebrated for their contributions and and children take home a certificate.
We promote the ancient Jewish teaching that, “The Law of the Land is the Law” and that, “All righteous people have their share in the World to Come”. This teaches our pupils that we must respect everyone whatever their lifestyle and cultural traditions.
At Hasmonean Primary School we promote the Rule of Law by demonstrating a need to help to keep our school community safe and happy. We encourage children to work together to create class rules and teach children to understand how their own and others’ behaviour has consequences. We have also developed links with TfL, the local Police liaison officer and Streetwise to develop children’s understanding of safety and mutual respect.
Our school council discusses how class and school rules should be administered fairly. During Kodesh and PSHE lessons children are supported in understanding how to distinguish between right and wrong. In many cases this will be through discussing a social/emotional dilemma and asking the children for their thoughts.
Within school, children are actively encouraged to make choices, knowing that they are in a safe and supportive environment. Our pupils are taught to know and understand their rights and personal freedoms and are taught how to exercise these safely during e-safety and PSHE lessons.