Hamstead Hall Academy

"Success for All Through Hard Work & Harmony"

Ramadan Policy 2019

Introduction

Hamstead Hall Academy staff are not here to tell students and parents what to do, but to support them with whatever decision they make to ensure students are thoroughly prepared, well in advance of the exams in order that they perform to their maximum potential. We have worked with all of the secondary schools in the North-West area and in consultation with Birmingham Central Mosque have produced this guidance and support document for students and parents.

A typical day in Ramadan

Time

Action

~2.15am

Pre-dawn meal to close fast

~ 2:30am

Pre-dawn prayer

8:45am

Academy starts

3:15pm

Academy ends

~9:20pm

Iftar (breaking of fast)

~10:45 – 12:15am

Night Prayer at mosque

Key Dates

 Ramadan will start on approximately Monday 6 th May and will continue until approximately Tuesday 4 th June. The first GCSE exam within this period will begin on Wednesday 8 th May.

The Core Subject exams for the main exam boards (AQA, Edexcel and OCR) will take place on:

English Literature Paper One Wednesday 15th May Paper Two Thursday 23rd May
English Language Paper One Tuesday 4 th June

Paper Two Friday 7th June


Mathematics

Paper One

Tuesday 21st May

Paper Two

Thursday 6th June

Paper Three

Tuesday 11th June

 

Physics

Paper One

Wednesday 22nd May

Paper Two

Friday 14 th June

Biology

Paper One

Tuesday 15th May

Paper Two

Friday 7th June

Chemistry

Paper One

Thursday 17th May

Paper Two

Wednesday 12th June

For your consideration

The pursuit of education is a religious and moral duty for all Muslims with the Qur’an stating: ‘Seeking knowledge is compulsory for every Muslim, man and woman’ (hadith).

Good GCSE exam results are vital to your child’s future life chances and options. Exam grades will play an important role as they seek to move onto further and higher education. Future job opportunities will also be determined by these exam results.

Whilst fasting has many spiritual benefits its physical impact can lead to tiredness, low energy, dehydration, reduced focus, memory loss or inability to concentrate. A young Muslim is required to fulfil their religious obligations, however if this creates hardship and impacts upon their exam performance, it may have a significantly negative impact on their future education and employment options. If the necessary grades aren’t met for core subjects, they may have to re-sit their exams and risk missing out on their preferred choice of further education.

Hardship is an established principle in Islam that allows Muslims to delay or skip their fasting (Qur’an, 2:184). There are many Muslim scholars who believe that students sitting important exams can be exempt from fasting if they fear that fasting will negatively impact upon their performance. Under these circumstances students could choose to fast on an alternative date.

Scholars have a wide and diverse range of opinions on how to support and enable young Muslims to perform to the best of their ability in exams during Ramadan. These include:

  •  Parents and young Muslims will decide not to fast on exam days and to make it up after Ramadan.
  •  Parents and young Muslims will continue to fast on the days of their exams but will perform the night prayer at home.
  •  Parents and young Muslims will decide to continue to fast on the days of their exams and to perform the night prayer in congregation at the mosque.

The decision to fast or to delay remains with your family and with your child. We suggest speaking with your child to find out their views.

Whether your child will be observing Ramadan during the exam period or not you may find the following suggestions for their physical, mental and emotional well-being helpful during the exam period:

  •  Ensure your child gets plenty of sleep – 8 hours as a general guide
  •  Switch of mobile devices at night - the ‘blue light’ is proven to over stimulate the brain
  •  Create and stick to a revision timetable – your school will support you with this
  • Be sure to plan relaxation time – a relaxed mind and body is more effective
  •  Eat a balanced diet
  • Drink plenty of water
  • For those young Muslims who will be fasting, The Department of Health recommends drinking enough water prior to fasting to avoid dehydration.

Support/Guidance/Advice

1. Preparation leading up to Ramadan

Students Parents Hamstead Hall Academy
Work with teachers to develop a revision programme Develop self-discipline and motivation to abide by revision programme and engage in independent study To be fully aware of what the revision programme entails Ensure your child routinely follows the programme of revision Support with constructing a monthly programme of revision
Speak to your form tutor/ subject teachers/Head of Year for any further support Contact the Head of Year if you require any further support Support students and parents with the long term revision programme.
Attend all interventions and extra classes and come prepared with questions to further your knowledge, understanding and support Support academy by reminding and encouraging your child to attend all available interventions and revision classes Intervention and revision timetable organised and running since November 2016

 2. Routines during Ramadan/Exams

Students Parents Hamstead Hall Academy
Try getting a couple of hours of sleep after returning from school Allow your child some ‘quiet/rest time’ to refresh
Fit in your revision after your rest and prayers Encourage your child to engage in revision during the allocated times Optional support with constructing Ramadan revision programme
Ensure alarm is set early and arrive to academy on time Ensure your child has an alarm clock and ensure they get to academy on time Personalised timetable leading into exams
Arrive early for exams and related interventions Be aware of your child’s exam timetable and ask them about it a day or two before – it will keep them on their toes!

 3. Diet during Ramadan

  • Typical household consumes a relatively larger amount of fried, fatty and salty foods during Ramadan – more samosas, pakoras, biryanis are on the menu!
  • Raise awareness of the importance of hydration to maintain peak performance
  • Consume fruits with high water content
Students Parents Academy

Take personal responsibility to make the right choices with healthy options

 

Avoid asking for unhealthy options and DO NOT complain!

 

Understand that this is also a challenging time for your parents and support them in order that they can support you

 

Support your parents with deciding on what healthy options to have

Make an effort to adjust Iftar and Sehri (pre-dawn meal) menu to contain healthy options

 

Collectively decide as a family the alternative healthy menu options

Raise awareness of healthy eating with students, through :

  •  Assemblies
  • Form Tutor time
  • PSHE Days

 

Raise awareness of healthy eating with parents, through:

  •  Parental meetings