Welcome from Kate Baum (Headteacher Designate)

Article posted on Thursday, November, 15th, 2012 at 9:00 pm

Dear interested parents/carers and families,


It is traditional in the Jewish community to say the Hebrew Shehecheyanu blessing at any time that one experiences something new or wonderful.

There is no doubt that the first meeting for future parents and carers with the head teacher of the first Jewish Primary School in South London in over 70 years is a momentous occasion. As I embark upon this incredibly exciting journey with you all, I look forward and imagine all the Shehecheyanu blessings that we will share together by this time next year.

Of course, vision does not become reality without huge amounts of forward thinking and planning. To this end, despite my still being in post in my current school, I have begun to look at a number of aspects of the school’s development. Although much of the framework has been outlined in the 400+ pages of the School’s government approved application, now we have to turn this into reality! In addition to looking at design briefs and technology requirements, I am involved in the key areas of resourcing and curriculum planning so that we move forward rapidly in ensuring the very best start to your child’s education.

Starting school is a big step for children and their parents. Once your child has been offered, and you have accepted, a place at the South London Jewish Primary School, you will receive a letter inviting you to an induction morning.  This will be an opportunity for you and your child to meet their teacher and the staff that will be working with them. Time will be spent exploring their classroom environment and many of the resources that will be part of their learning in their first year at school. In addition a home visit will be arranged with the class teacher for early in September. By getting to know your child in the environment in which they are most comfortable, we are able to make their first days at school that much more engaging and exciting.

The contribution that parents, carers and families make in helping their child achieve and learn is something we value highly. We will be placing great importance in building strong partnerships with parents. You will be kept well informed about life in the school through weekly newsletters and an up-to-date website. I am aware that for some parents this will be their first child going to school and they may be unsure how best to support them. We strive to support the whole family on this journey. Termly parent consultation meetings will keep you well informed with regard to your child’s progress and workshops for phonics and maths, amongst other topics, will help you to understand your child’s learning and how you can support them best.

I am determined to create a culture of excellence through positive partnerships with parents, governors and across the South London Community both Jewish and those of other faiths, beliefs and none. Every parent and carer will be a member of our parent & teacher association and I look forward to working with you all.

It will not be long before we are welcoming the Sabbath at the end of the first school week, by sharing our first Kabbalat (Welcoming) Shabbat together as a school community. We will be using our own Shabbat candlesticks and a very special cloth to cover the challah (plaited loaf) which, I envisage, will be embellished with the school emblem, which is currently being designed. I hope that many of you in this room will join us for the journey that will take us to that special Friday and beyond to build the school your children deserve.

Kate Baum
Headteacher Designate
South London Jewish Primary School

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