The Ghamkol Sharif Madrasah is now open for registrations, please follow the link below to register your child.
The term Madrasah is an Arabic word for any type of educational institution. In the Islamic world it was widely associated with higher education, with a focus on jurisprudence. It is also widely believed its construct as a duplicable institution came around the eleventh century.
The word Madrasah’s literal translation is:
‘a place where learning and studying take place’.
In recent times a Madrasah has come to represent a broad spectrum of learning opportunities, dependent where in the world the Madrasah is located. In the U.K. it has become associated with a very basic level of learning with a focus predominately on Qa’idah and Qur’an teaching with some very basic Islamic Studies.
Probably the most damaging aspect of what a Madrasah is perceived as; is a place enshrouded in an outdated, backwards South East Asian, Indo/Pakistani culture of service delivery, that does not meet the needs of British born citizens. This negative perception is further compounded by mainstream media, in particular, but not exclusive, in the West as an institution that facilitates a narrow minded fundamentalist ideology.
This may or may not be true, but it is a perception widely held amongst local communities across the U.K. As a result Madrasahs have been rebranded on the whole as ‘academies’ or ‘education centres’, with little thought on changing the ethos of service delivery or developing curricula that meets the needs of local communities, young and old alike.
The traditional method of engaging and teaching children is not fit for purpose. It does not meet the learning needs of the third generation of Muslim children, who are educated in a secular environment during the day and then must attend religious learning during the evening.
With advancements in technology and the use of social media in children’s lives, a traditional Madrasah is a far cry from the expectations of our children and even parents today.
At Ghamkol Sharif, we have taken this problem on board, that we all face and therefore we have ensured that our Madrasah will:
- be relevant to the learning needs of our children
- be modern with clean facilities
- be welcoming and engaging
- have a range of interactive facilities
- have play and recreational facilities
- have extra-curricular activities as part of a child’s learning plan
- encourage religious and general education in core subjects such as maths, English and the sciences
- encourage social, personal and professional development
- work with other stakeholders such as health, police and youth services
- help prevent our children going into crime or anti-social behaviour
- offer a holistic educational experience
“To worship God as though you see Him, and if you cannot see Him, then indeed He sees you”
(Al Bukhari and Al Muslim)
One of the key areas Ghamkol Sharif will deliver will be the concept of Ihsan (to make beauty happen) in the children’s thoughts and actions, through proactive intentions. Supplemented by understanding the consequences of bad actions and how it destroys Imaan and the fabric of society.
Ihsan focuses on self-reflection on taking responsibility for one’s actions, helping children to understand and appreciate the gifts God Almighty has bestowed upon them and their duty of care to family and society. Teaching children how to behave with other human beings and how to look after their environment.
This teaching will be enshrouded by learning in depth about the Best of Creation, our Beloved Prophet (Peace and Blessings Be Upon Him).
Our approach is to be creative and innovative; as well as pushing the boundaries of what a Madrasah should deliver and its place in our community, through a holistic thought-provoking and engaging curriculum.
The Ghamkol Sharif Madrasah is not a place where parents and family members leave their children to be educated; instead it is a partnership of learning between parents, children and the Madrasah.
It is a place where children will be safe, will be allowed to be creative, to play and explore, to learn how to learn, while encouraging the desire and the love to want to learn.
To provide a safe and trusted environment which safeguards and protects all children from harm.
The Ghamkol Sharif Madrasah aims to inculcate ‘the love of learning’ by educating and preparing morally upright members of society. Children who will be an example of what can be achieved:
- in their professional or personal life
- in their family life
- intellectually and spiritually
- as leaders in their communities
Children who are:
- well-grounded in the Islamic tradition
- proficient reciters of the Quran
- acquainted with the cultural and critical ideas shaping modern society
- Muslim role models
The Board of Trustees at the Charity, wish to implement a transformational and a holistic change to service delivery, while pushing the boundaries on the range and depth of associated services and a range of educational opportunities.
Educational opportunities that can be delivered from or are connected with learning that is taking place in the Madrasah, thereby bringing about personal change in the life of the child and his or her family.
The ethos for our Madrasah, is to empower the individual child to take personal responsibility to want to succeed in whatever path they choose in life and not to have a narrow perspective in relation to opportunities. In particular nurture a child’s aspiration to realising his or her potential and raise the bar on what is possible in their life.
Hence the culture of our Madrasah is: ‘The love of learning’
To nurture in every adult and child a personal desire to want to learn by creating an environment and experience that touches one’s essence; to be a better human being by learning and practising what has been learnt.
Learning or seeking knowledge is only part of the equation, it’s application or proper use is also a very important ingredient; just as seeking knowledge is in the first place to bring about the first steps towards change. Our students must put what they are learning into practise, if they are to truly benefit from their time at the Madrassah.
This is captured by the great scholar Imam Abu Hanifa (May Allah have mercy on him), in these two succinct quotes:
“Practice what you have learned, for theory without practice is like a body without a soul.”
“A little action with knowledge is far more beneficial than a lot of action with ignorance.”
To embody this philosophy, our students will be constantly exposed to theory as well as practical leaning, better known as ‘Action Learning’ to help them excel in their learning goals. This may be achieved in group discussions, book clubs, extra-curricular activity such as team sports, field and residential trips or community based volunteering.
To embody this we will in partnership with parents, encourage family learning to take place at home and on-site, such as communal Qur’an recitation or reading Salah together.
“And I did not create the jinn and mankind except to worship (to know) Me.” (Qur’an: 51:56)
Ghamkol Sharif will develop a reasonable and emphatic appreciation in every child the personal application of this Qur’anic Verse.
To nurture in our students the practical understanding that the purpose of life and the reason why we were created, is to worship our Creator, not as and when we want to, but throughout our lives.
Another essential ingredient to the philosophy of our Madrasah and the application of the above Ayah, is to nurture a desire to want to continue to learn, better known as lifelong learning. For the student to take personal responsibility towards one’s own learning, even after the child has moved on from our Madrasah. We will inculcate a means towards a continuous journey of lifelong learning and equip each and every student with the right mindset to continue their learning at whatever stage they are in life.
Ghamkol Sharif has adopted four core principles that underpin the work we do and there relevance to the Madrasah is as follows:
The use of creative and innovative methods in accessing and supporting the educational needs of children
To listen and work with our children and their parents in the development of services that meet identified and mutually agreed learning needs
To help our children and their parents and thereby develop their capacity to take personal responsibility in their learning needs and embark upon a journey of lifelong learning.
Ensuring the learning needs and associated services are relevant and help the children bring about long-term sustainable change in their personal and professional lives.
At the heart of delivering effective and efficient education services is the staff who are tasked to reach out and to engage with a diverse range of students and parents.
Ghamkol Sharif will employ quality and well rounded teaching and support staff. Teachers and staff who do not see this as a job, but a service and a trust that they are accountable for on the Day of Judgement.
Staff who will lead and facilitate a broad spectrum of educational opportunities and associated activities, in particular extra-curricular provision to help bring about social and economic change to our students and parents and thus help improve the quality of life in our local neighbourhoods.
Staff who will be creative in their delivery methodologies, who will engage each and every child and do their best to help you their parents and family to realise the potential of your children.
Going that extra mile not just because we care, because it is the right thing to do.
To offer children excellent opportunities in their learning experience at the Madrasah, also means that we invest in the personal and professional development of our staff. If our staff have the opportunity to excel and strive towards constant improvements, this will ensure we can better meet the needs of our students, your children.
Why Choose Us?
- The Ghamkol Sharif Madrasah is conveniently located in the heart of several Muslim neighbourhoods. It has excellent car parking facilities and the educational facility is under the banner of one of the most beautiful and largest Mosques in the country.
- The Madrasah serves Muslim families living within Small Heath, Bordesley Green, Sparkhill, Sparkbrook, Alum Rock and Hodge Hill. Within a relatively short distance Muslim families can easily access the Madrasah either by public transport or by private means.
- The Madrasah meets the needs of daughters and sons separately, in two buildings.
- The Charity has made a considerable investment in upgrading the buildings and facilities, as outlined in other parts of this prospectus.
- Children are taught on tables and chairs as they experience in mainstream schools.
- Learning will take place in classrooms and there are open spaces for teaching in assemblies, for group creative learning and for general play .
- The Madrasah has an exceptional indoor soft play area for young children between the ages of 5 to 9.
- The Madrasah also has recreational activities for young people (10 to 18 years), such as pool tables, table tennis, air hockey and table football.
- There is a dedicated PlayStation gaming area for small and large groups with 60 inch screens.
- Children will participate in extra-curricular activities such as horse riding, swimming, archery, football, netball, badminton and much more.
- The curriculum is traditional and modern, meeting the needs of children and young people living here in the UK.
- The Madrasah will support children in their core mainstream subjects such as English, Mathematics and the Sciences.
- There will be practical workshops on cooking, science, engineering and creative arts.
- There will be active citizenship programmes to learn about other communities, the environment and about public bodies such as NHS.
- The Madrasah is open from 4:30 p.m. to 7:00 pm
- Session: Paid learning entitlement from 4:30 to 6:30 pm
- The Madrasah will work with other stakeholders, in particular with:
- The Police: to raise awareness and understanding on gang culture, drugs concerns, knife crime and anti-social behaviour.
- Health Service: to address health inequalities as poor diet, coronary heart disease, diabetes and dental decay.
- Careers Service: to raise aspirations, to explore career opportunities and further and higher education establishments.
A tried and tested method of student empowerment and self-development is the British school concept of a House System, that was prevalent in boarding schools.
A well created House System will develop a sense of community (Ummah), between children, as well as inspiring our children to excel in core areas, such as:
- team sports
- educational excellence
- community and charity work
- project work both philanthropical and entrepreneurial
A key area of work between Houses will be the development of communication skills through structured discussions and debates. This will help children learn the following:
- the skill of dialogue
- how to debate and disagree professionally
- how to research
- how to present their findings
- to learn to use logic and reasoning in their arguments
- learning elocution skills
- learning oratory or rhetoric skills
Each House will have a rotating House Master and a House Captain to develop leadership skills, team working and collaborative working with other Houses on agreed objectives.
The Ghamkol Sharif Madrasah House System will be vertically tiered, within agreed age groupings and not by teacher classes. This will allow children from slightly different age groups and teacher groups to come together on agreed objectives.
The naming of the Houses will be based upon Islamic giants and themes, these will include scholars or those who have made a mark in history in mathematics, science and astronomy or themes such as Adab or Sadaqah.
Throughout the Madrasah year, there will be numerous House events, where each House can gain points from participating and succeeding in the events. Events will be both competitive and collaborative, and they will be academic and recreational. For example a quiz event, story writing or a sporting event.
Students will also be able to gain points through individual and group efforts, such as behaviour, homework, mentoring, coaching and supporting other students, effort in work and so forth.
The reward system will be wide ranging from trophies and certificates to nominating a charity from fundraising activities to day trips to theme parks etc.
The Curriculum Ethos
The Madrasah curriculum is designed to instil a ‘Love of Learning’ in each and every student.
The Madrasah curriculum is a focused and a practical program to meet agreed learning aims. It is broad enough to make it engaging for children to capture academic excellence; creative enough to inspire personal responsibility towards learning; and aspirational enough to generate hope and desire to succeed in this life and the Hereafter.
The environment is conducive to learning and has been created to ensure the culture we are establishing and instilling in our children, ‘The Love of Learning’, can be delivered via a creative syllabus, the recreational activities we have on site, supplemented by the House System and extra-curricula activities.
This unique combination will foster curiosity, deliberation and a passion to learn in children.
The Ghamkol Sharif Madrasah will be broken down into two age sub-sets, as follows:
- Children between the ages of 5 to 10 – The Primary Years
- Young people between the ages of 11 to 18 – The Secondary Years
The primary years focus will be on studying core topics with an eye on developing the spring board to enhance and accelerate the children’s learning when they enter into the secondary phase of their learning.
The learning methodology will be based around the concepts of child centred and action learning. The purpose of this approach is to help the child think on their feet and take personal responsibility towards their learning needs and develop a well-rounded foundation that allows the child to make steady progress regardless of ability or personal circumstances.
The secondary years will build upon this foundation and the young people will start to explore classical and traditional topics. An added focus will be understanding the society we live in, what it means to be a British Muslim, addressing contemporary and global issues, including relevant geo-political factors.
The secondary curriculum places an emphasis on personal and intellectual development through subjects such as rhetoric and philosophy. This will empower the students to take ownership of their futures and make informed decisions that they are committed too and will succeed in.
Children and young people throughout their time at the Madrasah will be supported on their mainstream education, with a focus on English, Mathematics and the Sciences. During the secondary phase of learning, there will be greater intervention in helping young people in succeeding in their mainstream exams as well.
The Curriculum Offer
The principal focus of the curriculum will be to ensure all children and young people have an excellent and practical grounding in the fundamentals of Islam, in line with our vision, the Qur’anic Ayah 51:56, and in line with our ethos, The Love of Learning.
The curriculum subject headings are listed below in the Core Curriculum Offer, and will be delivered according to age and ability.
Core Curriculum Offer
- Tajweed, Qaidah and Quran
- Essential Memorisation
- Fiqh – introduction to Salah, Taharah
- Aqeedah – Who is God? Prophets, Angels.
- Seerah – Introduction to the Shama’il, Stories of the beloved Prophet (peace be upon him),
- Arabic – Foundation arabic words and sentences
- Islamic history – Stories of the Prophets and companions
- Tasawwuf – Introduction to spirituality, and getting closer to God
- Adab – Good manners, Respecting others
- Contemporary issues – Climate, Social, and health
- Tajweed, Qaidah, and Qur’an – (Intermediate and advanced level, Introduction to and study of juz 15; nazarah, translation, synopsis. Revision of Juz 30, Intermediate Qur’an words and sentences.
- The study of the Qur’an: History, Lessons from Prophets (peace be upon them), This life and the hereafter etc.
- Intermediate Islamic studies – Fiqh, Aqeedah etc.
- The study of Seerah – Intermediate and advanced
- The study of Shama’il – Intermediate and advanced
- Lessons from the lives of the noble companions
Additional Curriculum Offer
To ensure children have an excellent experience and a desire to want to learn we have complemented our Core Curriculum Offer with additional offers in mainstream and relevant subjects, supported by recreational activities and an extra-curricular offer.
- Introduction to Urdu
- Introduction to Naat khuwani
- GCSE Arabic
- GCSE Urdu
- GCSE Islamic studies
- Introduction to Philosophy
- Introduction to Logic
- Introduction to Rhetoric
- Islamic history – Early and Medieval
- Revision support in English, Mathematics, Chemistry, Physics and Biology
Every child and young person is entitled to and will receive the Core Curriculum Offer. Ghamkol Sharif Madrasah will endeavour to deliver the Additional Curriculum Offer, recreational activities and extra-curricular activities at its discretion; this is not an entitlement of enrolment.
Madrasah Opening Times
|Core Curriculum Offer entitlement
|5 to 18 years
|4:30 to 7:00 pm
|4:30 pm to 6:30 pm
- Ghamkol Sharif Madrasah will be open from 4:15 pm and will close at 7:15 pm.
- Children and young people can be dropped of from 4:15 pm to play
- The mixing of ages, coming in earlier or staying later is at the sole discretion of the Charity and will be subject to operational logistics and safeguarding requirements.
- The Core Curriculum Offer entitlement will mirror the Birmingham City Council Local Authority school year.
- At the discretion of the Charity, the Core and Additional Curriculum Offers, including recreational and extra-curricular activities maybe offered during the school holiday breaks throughout the year.
- Parents, careers, children and young people will be informed in advance of what is being offered during school holiday breaks and the timings.
- The Charity reserves the right to bring about changes to any aspect of the Madrasah for effectiveness, efficiency and operational reasons. Any such changes will be communicated with parents and students, within a reasonable period of time.
Setting and Completing Homework
The importance of children and young people continuing their learning at home is well documented and an established fact to higher achievement and a means to developing a range of skills.
The completion of homework further strengthens the bonds between parents and children and setting and completing Islamic homework will help establish a better Islamic environment in the home, as children and parents discuss the homework. The added benefit will also ensure that parents and other family members are in themselves improving their knowledge and practise of Islam.
Ghamkol Sharif Madrasah will ensure children and young people are set regular homework and we will work with and support parents and carers to ensure homework is completed to a high standard. For example, if there is essential memorisation homework and parents and carers do not know this themselves or are unsure, we will provide additional adult tuition to meet this need.
Children and young people learning about Islam, is first and foremost the responsibility of parents and carers. Ghamkol Sharif Madrasah’s role is to help facilitate this responsibility and ensure it is delivered in accordance with the teachings of Islam.
By sending children and young people to a Madrasah, parents and carers do not absolve themselves of this responsibility, and are still accountable on the Day of Judgement in the trust God has bestowed upon them.
A Partnership with Parents
‘It takes a village to raise a child’ (African proverb)
A City like Birmingham, has no resemblance to a village, however, the essence of the proverb is still applicable.
Ghamkol Sharif Madrasah will endeavour through its creative and innovative methods, to develop a sense of community (Ummah) amongst children, teachers and other stakeholders. Concepts like the House System, the extra-curricular activities and the play and recreational facilities will go along way to develop a collective responsibility to help our children and young people to be better learners.
However, an essential ingredient in this work, is the relationship and more importantly the Partnership between Ghamkol Sharif Madrasah and the child’s and young person’s parents and careers, including other significant family members, such as grandparents and uncles and aunts.
The Madrasah places significant importance on partnership working with parents. Research has shown parental involvement in children’s education from an early age has a significant effect on educational achievement and continues to do so into adolescence and adulthood.
An entry and acceptance condition for children and young people to the Ghamkol Sharif Madrasah is based upon the desire and expectation that parents, careers and family members will freely and willingly engage and be active in their child’s learning.
What students learn is not limited to the classroom, the teachings of Islam should be embodied by students throughout their life and in all situations, including their home life. Parents and careers are best placed to achieve this.
A close working partnership between the students family and the Madrasah will allow the student to flourish in their learning goals.
Parents play a vital role in supporting their child’s development in a number of ways, including;
- Motivating their children by exemplifying what they learn
- Cultivating their children to do more, and to be more, to do their best to reach their potential
- Raising aspiration through dialogue and support, via encouragement and setting new goals
- Recognising and rewarding achievements, celebrating even the small wins
- Monitoring progress by engaging with the child’s Madrasah reports, openly discussing the child’s education with teachers, taking an interest in what the child is doing, including supporting their homework.
- Ensuring simple essentials are always a very high priority and actioned, such as:
- Attendance, aiming for 100%
- Arriving on time and picking the child on time
- Ensuring homework is completed
- Ensuring the child has the relevant stationary and resources
- Ensuring the child is in uniform
- Ensuring the behaviour and adab of the child is exemplary
- Always attending official meetings and events
Adab: Behaviour, Attitude & Mindset
At the heart of a child’s learning journey at Ghamkol Sharif Madrasah is their adab. If there is one quality they can assimilate and carry throughout their life it would probably be adab.
“The perfect believer in respect of faith is he who is best of them in manners.”
(Sunan Abi Dawud Book 41, Hadith 4665)
Adab first starts with oneself and the Ghamkol Sharif Madrasah will practically teach children the importance of this quality. First and foremost it must be present in the behaviour, attitude and mindset of the child, it must run through their blood.
If the child learns to model himself or herself on the Best of Creation (Peace and Blessings Be Upon Him), then they can easily take this skill and apply it to society in general, in their homes, in their everyday lives, eventually in their work places.
The importance of good manners cannot be under emphasised and starts with basics, like dress code, speaking with respect, coming on time, excellent behaviour to other children, respecting your surroundings, amongst many other everyday characteristics and qualities sadly so many of our children no longer value.
Adab is best learnt by example and enhanced by teaching it. The best examples for teaching adab by living it are parents, carers and family members of the children.
Individual Learning Plan (ILP)
At Ghamkol Sharif Madrasah we take pride in knowing how we are going to help a child during their learning journey. It is no acceptable to believe we know, or for us to place our hope ‘on a wing and a prayer’.
As a parent or career you have a right to know how we will measure the success of your child’s learning goals. To do that we must articulate in writing what those goals are, without goals we cannot develop a plan. There can be no plan to meet the child’s learning goals, if we have not assessed the learning needs of your child at various intervals.
Each child will have an organic Individual Learning Plan, that will be developed from formal and informal assessments. Assessments may include oral and written presentations, interviews, observations, written test, speaking tests, group work, role plays and quizzes.
ILPs will be discussed and shared with students, parents or careers. Every person will have ownership of their ILP.
Our Parental Community
In line with our Partnership with Parents approach, the Ghamkol Sharif Madrasah will have a Ghamkol Sharif Parent’s Council.
The Ghamkol Sharif Parent’s Council is a group of parents who are selected by all our parents. Simply speaking the Parent’s Council is a mean to all round improvements to the Madrasah community and ultimately meeting the educational and learning needs of our children.
- Work in partnership with the Madrasah to decide on the key priorities to take forward
- Provide a voice for parents in the Madrasah and in the local community on issues that are important
- Improve the Madrasah’s understanding of how to engage parents in their children’s learning and their experience
- Support the Madrasah to develop strong home/school partnerships
- Communicate regularly with parents to both hear their views and keep them informed
- Help make links with the wider community
A healthy and varied extra-curricular offer is an essential ingredient for effective learning, growth, personal development and developing the right attitude and mindset. Other benefits include exercise, team working, improved mental health and nurturing the culture for ‘The Love of Learning’.
Students will be encouraged and supported to participate in extra-curricular activities (additional curriculum offer) to help develop relationships and stay physically active and fit. There will be a range extra-curricular activities in sports such as, archery, horse riding, swimming, football, volley ball, net ball and cricket, all to help to keep students highly active and develop skills. There will also be opportunities to volunteer, carry out community based projects, chess, and discussion groups on shared interests.
Healthy blood circulation controlled weight, proper blood pressure, and sugar levels are maintained with the help of an extra-curricular activities. This in return helps improve learning, behaviour and nurture a sense of community and belonging.
Extra-curricular activities provide students a break from their regular classes, study pressure, and stress. By meeting their friends and other people while performing extra-curricular activities, students feel mentally better and active. A change from a stressful environment into an enthusiastic one will help to improve the mental fitness of students.
An environment that allows students to participate in extra-curricular activities improves communication and collaboration among the learners. For group activities such as playing volleyball and basketball, allows students to discuss the games, ideas, and plans for success. This improves their communication.
As part of the provision offered by the Madrasah (additional curriculum offer), students will be taken on trips throughout the year to supplement their learning. Well-managed trips and outdoor activities are a great way to bring the curriculum to life providing deeper subject learning. The trips are a great opportunity for the students to develop risk awareness, preparing them for future working lives. These will include local attractions and further afield.
The purpose of such trips will be to enrich their lives with new experiences or to just to celebrate their individual and group successes.
Students who make excellent progress, and show a great impetus for learning will have the opportunity to travel, such as making the lesser pilgrimage (Umrah), supported by Ghamkol Sharif.
Ghamkol Sharif will be developing international tours on an annually basis to different historical places for Muslims, and our Madrasah students will be offered the opportunity to participate.
School Holiday Camps
During school holidays the traditional Madrasah education programme will be suspended, allowing the Ghamkol Sharif Madrasah to offer other opportunities to learn and have fun.
All our registered Madrasah students will have the opportunity to participate in a varied and exciting programme of activities during most school holidays. Most programmes will be around 5 hours and be available throughout the week, including weekends.