JCoSS head Jeremy Stowe-Lindner was moved to tears on Monday as the UK's first cross-communal Jewish secondary school welcomed its initial 148 pupils in Barnet.
"I have to admit that a small tear welled up in my eye when the first students walked in," Mr Stowe-Lindner said. "I am so proud of what we have achieved here already, completing the building in just 18 months so that we can offer some of the very best facilities in the country.
"We have assembled an incredible team, a fantastic building and, from what I have seen, an energetic and enthusiastic group of students."
Two-thirds of the first intake attended non-Jewish primaries. The remainder represent almost every Jewish primary in the capital, with the largest contingents from Akiva and Wolfson Hillel.
There are Orthodox and Reform students in equal measure and some will be travelling significant distances - for example, from Redbridge and St Albans.
"The community as a whole has bought into JCoSS," Mr Stowe-Lindner added. "Everyone who comes into contact with the school wants to be a part of something special - high-achieving, cross-communal, respectful, the best."