Menorah Foundation School in Edgware has received a glowing report for Jewish studies, which rated it outstanding in all areas.
The Orthodox primary provided an “exciting Kodesh experience”, said the inspector Rabbi Nessanel Lieberman, who is head of another school, Bnos Beis Yaakov.
While Menorah Foundation’s Sunday morning classes had previously been “plagued with poor attendance”, under the new Jewish studies leadership team, that was now “virtually 100 per cent”.
The “artistic creativity” of teachers was highlighted with impressive booklets and crafts used to teach Jewish law and the festivals.
Parents were “overwhelmingly supportive” of the programme, with one remarking: “Kodesh has become as important as chol [secular lessons] at the school”.
Pupils made “outstanding progress during lessons due to excellent teaching by passionate and well-prepared teachers”, Rabbi Lieberman commented.
The children worked “at a fast pace… moving smoothly from one activity to the next”.
Friendly relations between Jewish studies and secular staff led “to greater exposure to, and deeper understanding of, Kodesh topics, he said.
For example, while children learned in Jewish studies about Isaac being blind, in their secular lessons they learned about guide dogs and tolerance for people with disabilities.
Older children could read confidently from the Chumash, the Haftarah and Rashi, while a Year 6 Talmud class was “proficient at answering a wide
range of questions”.
Lessons on middot (good character traits) covered fundamental British values, he noted.
Menorah Foundation headteacher Holli Hunter said the “boundless enthusiasm and commitment” of Jewish studies staff “shine through in their daily efforts, consistently surpassing expectations”.