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Jewish Studies

The school’s Jewish Studies curriculum seeks to transmit skills, knowledge and understanding with Jewish values at its core. The curriculum content is built around five key modules which are: Ivrit, Torah, Jewish way of life, The Jewish year and Tefillah. The curriculum is developed by the school to meet the needs of its pupils. The school's curriculum has been enriched by its strong partnership with the Jewish Curriculum Partnership (JCP) with whom we are proud to work very closely.    

Aims

  • To develop in the children knowledge, skills, understanding and attitudes to enable them to function as committed Jews in everyday life as part of the Jewish community.
  • To achieve a moral and spiritual dimension, which will enable the children to be actively Jewish, perform good deeds, live honest and upright lives and to be proud of their Jewish heritage.
  • To ensure that children from all backgrounds can benefit from teaching, which is delivered in an inclusive and non-judgmental way, while upholding Torah values.
  • To develop a love and appreciation of Eretz Yisrael.
  • To ensure progression and continuity in the JS curriculum throughout the key stages.
  • To put children on a path for lifelong, continued Jewish learning.

Early Years Foundation Stage

  • Children learn Ivrit through the introduction of key words and phrases that link to other areas of the curriculum and they sing Hebrew songs. Children are introduced to the Hebrew letters and vowels in a phonetic way while linking the sounds of the letters to key vocabulary.
  • Children learn about the Shabbat, Chaggim and key Torah stories. They also explore topics about our Jewish way of life.
  • Tefillah is recited daily as well as the Brachot for fruits, vegetables, drinks, hand washing and bread. Birkat Hamazon (Grace after meals) is also recited every day in Reception.
  • Children participate in a weekly Kabballat Shabbat assembly.
  • In foundation stage much emphasis is placed on experiential learning and singing activities and the children's experience is enriched through various events that take place throughout the Jewish year that link to the Chaggim such as our annual Chanukah and Pesach presentations. Parents are invited to celebrate the Shabbat and key Chaggim with us by attending and enjoying the children's lively presentations.

Key Stage 1 (Years 1 &2)

  • The emphasis is on developing the children's Hebrew reading and building their vocabulary bank whilst introducing some language structures. Children also learn vocabulary linking to other areas of the curriculum. For example before Rosh Hashanah they will focus on the Hebrew words Shanah Tovah, Shofar, Selichah etc. 
  • The children learn all about the Chaggim and Shabbat and they develop an understanding of the weekly Parashah (Torah reading).
  • Tefillah is further developed and new Tefillot continue to be introduced together with more sections of Birkat Hamazon (Grace after meals).

 

KS1 children participate in various chaggim workshops. Parents are invited to celebrate some of the Chaggim with us. In Year Two the children receive their siddur in a very moving Chaggigat Siddur ceremony.

Lower KS2 (Years 3 & 4)

  • We introduce children to Chumash study in year 3. Children receive their first Chumash in a spiritual Chaggigat Chumash ceremony, learn how to use it and embark on a journey throughout KS2. Chumash study is text based which enriches their Hebrew language and grammar skills in addition to developing their skills, knowledge and understanding.
  • As children can now read Hebrew, the Ivrit programme is broader, incorporating reading, writing, speaking and listening.  Children learn to write Hebrew script in year 3 and integrate this throughout their learning.
  • Prior to each Chag, children learn about the chag and take their knowledge to a higher level as they learn about the chag from a spiral curriculum that has been carefully planned by our school to meet the children's needs. 
  • Children learn a range of new Tefillot as they grow through the school and the weekly Parashah is explored in more depth making it meaningful for the children at each stage of their development.

 

Upper KS2 (Years 5 & 6)

  • We continue to build on what has been learned previously.
  • In Monday assembly we introduce Kriat HaTorah (reading the Torah).
  • Jewish General knowledge gains momentum through the annual Etgar Quiz that our Year 5 children participate in.
  • The children become more independent in both their Ivrit and Chumash learning as their textual skills develop.
  • Our Year 5 children enjoy a Shabbaton residential and in Year 6 children learn about the Jewish Life cycle and the key factors of a Jewish community.
  • Children in Year 6 carry out a ‘Chesed’ project in which they are encouraged to carry out tasks of charity.
  • Children know the entire Amidah prayer by the time they graduate.
  • In year 6 we offer an extended text track program in which we learn Mishnah. This is designed to extend the children who are capable of learning on a more advanced level.
  • Our children are also encouraged to participate in extra curricular activities, which enhance the Jewish life of the school and extend their own Jewish experiences. Examples include a Rosh Chodesh club, Layning club, Choir, Israeli dancing, etc.