James Joseph Sylvester - the maths genius you could count on

By Patricia Rothman, March 1, 2014

Those who value the versatility of their computers and tablets, rely on encryption to keep their data confidential,and wonder at the many marvels of the modern world, may thank James Joseph Sylvester, one of the giants of mathematics, whose work made all these advances possible. Later this year we celebrate the 200th anniversary of his birth.


Book week: brain food… and food

By Jenni Frazer, February 27, 2014

Jewish Book Week opened with a bang on Sunday. Well, actually, with a flash.

At the instigation of Gefiltefest founder Michael Leventhal, JBW saw its first flashmob — 40 participants took to the stairs and balconies of Kings Place, the venue for the nine-day events, to sing and play spontaneous music from Fiddler on the Roof, to the delight of Sunday’s crowds.


School must do better

By Simon Rocker, February 24, 2014

The Lubavitch Boys' Primary School in north London has been told that it must do better after its first inspection since becoming state-aided in 2012.

Ofsted, which visited last month, said that the school overall "requires improvement" because the "quality of teaching is not yet good".

Pupils did "not make enough progress in some year groups, particularly in reading and writing", Ofsted rep


The tablet that altered the story of Noah's Ark

By Sandy Rashty, February 17, 2014

The story of Noah’s Ark has always captivated the minds of children. Many have walked animal miniatures two-by-two into toy boats, as they imagine the vessel that saved believers from 40 rainy days and nights of flood.


Brodetsky's 'good' show

February 17, 2014

Ofsted inspectors have marked the Brodetsky Jewish Primary in Leeds as a "good" school in a new report.

After a visit last month, the inspectors concluded that pupils left the school with above average standards in reading, writing and maths and that the quality of teaching was good across all key stages.


School criticised by Ofsted

By Simon Rocker, February 17, 2014

A Chasidic primary boys' school in Hackney has been criticised by Ofsted for giving pupils an inadequate secular education after an emergency inspection.

An inspector arrived unannounced last month at the Chaim Meirim school, which is run by the Visnitz Chasidic group for 230 pupils aged from five to 12.


Aiming higher on teacher quality

By Simon Rocker, February 13, 2014

Two training schemes for Jewish studies teachers are to launch in the autumn in a bid to raise standards in the profession.

Up to 10 graduates will be recruited annually for a year-long school-based programme backed by a consortium of Jewish secondary schools and run by the education agency, Partnerships for Jewish Schools (PaJeS).

The London School of Jewish Studies, meanwhile, is introduci


School passes key stage

February 13, 2014

South London's first Jewish school, the Mosaic Primary, has received the keys to what will be its permanent home in Roehampton from Wandsworth Council.

Subject to planning permission, the school - which opened in temporary accommodation in Wimbledon in September - will move to a purpose-built site by September 2015.


Want to speak Mandarin? Easy — just study Hebrew

By Rosa Doherty, February 13, 2014

AT only 17, Ariel Reingold has been named the best non-native Mandarin speaker in the country.

And his secret? He gained the language knack by learning Hebrew for his barmitzvah.

“It’s a very hard language to learn,” he said. “But my Hebrew lessons gave me a greater interest. It gave me a visual idea of how languages could be different.


Our schools aren't all that bad, Mr Gove

By Simon Round, February 7, 2014

I have some good news for Michael Gove. The Education Secretary has been calling for state secondary schools to provide a standard of education worthy of Winchester or Eton despite the cuts his government has imposed, which means they have to do so so on around £20,000 less per child than the top public schools.