Family & Education

Independent Jewish Day School rated outstanding for religious studies

‘You can feel how special it is, the moment you walk through the door’


Independent Jewish Day School pupils in front of welcome mural

A Jewish primary school which teaches Jewish studies in Ivrit has been rated outstanding in all areas by Pikuach, the Board of Deputies-run inspection service.

The Jewish ethos of the Independent Jewish Day School in Hendon “pervades every aspect of life at the school”, said inspectors who were told by one pupil, “You can feel how special it is, the moment you walk in the door”.

Pikuach praised its “outstanding” new headteacher Yosh Radomsky, who arrived last September, for his “clear vision” for the school’s progress over the next few years and its “excellent” development plan for Jewish studies.

Inspectors found “very high levels of teaching and learning across the school”, where pupils spend about 40 per cent of their time on Kodesh (Jewish studies).

One year-6 student told them,” “It’s great, because you get familiar with Ivrit, your brain gets used to it, and I have friends in other schools who cannot speak Hebrew fluently.”

Another said, “The teachers make Kodesh learning fun and give us some great interactive activities during the lessons, which help our understanding of what we are learning.”

The amount of work pupils got through was shown by the large number of books they had, while their responses demonstrated “deep understanding” of what they had been taught.

In an “inspiring” question and answer session with the school’s principal, Dayan Eliezer Zobin, which inspectors witnessed, year-5 pupils asked “challenging questions” such as “What will happen to non-Jewish people when Mashiach comes?” and “Why does Hashem want us to do certain mitzvot we don’t understand?”

An “excellent” answer to the second question “gave the analogy of going to see a doctor, where we would not always understand the information given, but we would still follow the instructions”, inspectors reported.

They were especially impressed with the “concentration and enthusiasm” they observed at prayer and the kedushah [holiness} experienced by pupils.

Memorable experiences included an Israeli theatre festival and sessions of children and parent learning together.

The school’s closeness to and empathy with Israel was visible in the Acheinu prayer — for the release of captives — placed “ beneath yellow flowers for the hostages strategically placed on a staircase”, inspectors said.

Radomsky said the recognition was “a testament to our dedicated staff under the leadership of Rabbi [Yaakov] Singer, our engaged parent body and our hardworking students”.

Chair of governors Rachel Stafler added: “This outcome not only recognises the high educational standards at IJDS, but also reinforces our mission to cultivate a community where each child can thrive both spiritually and academically."

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