Family & Education

Ivrit boost at JCoSS

Rise in A-level students taking modern Hebrew at the cross-communal school


After the sharp drop in GCSE entries for Ivrit across the country this summer, one school at least has good news to report.

JCoSS has had the odd student taking A-level modern Hebrew in the past but now has a group of nine who have started the course this year.

Sara Levan, director of Jewish life at the cross-communal school, says the group are “predominantly from families with a background in Israel”.

But she credits their recruitment to the persuasiveness of Ivrit head Shai Grosskopf “who believes strongly in it”.

So committed are the students, she said, that “because of timetabling, they have had to do some lessons in their lunchbreak. So they really are keen.”

JCoSS, she says, is looking at strengthening its Ivrit offering throughout the school. “We have moved Ivrit out of the modern languages department into Jewish education.

“And in year seven, we will be making it more about the cultural context rather than learning the language in isolation.”

The school also introduces students to the possibility of studying Hebrew at university. Every year students doing exam courses in Ivrit or A-level religious studies have a trip to the Genizah Unit at Cambridge University, which also includes a visit to the Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies.

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