Family & Education

North West London Jewish Day ranked outstanding for Jewish studies, Hasmonean Primary good

The latest inspection reports for Jewish studies at Jewish primary schools


North West London Jewish Day School in Willesden has been judged outstanding in all areas.

Pupils worked “enthusiastically” under teachers who were “passionate and relentless in their drive for excellence in Kodesh studies”, the inspection report said.

Standards of Hebrew reading were “very high” at all levels, the top two classes could decipher 80 to 90 per cent of unseen Chumash passages and the most gifted children were taught to read Rashi fluently.

The school, which devotes 30 per cent of the timetable to Jewish studies, supplemented by assemblies and extra-curricular activities, “provides a solid foundation for pupils to become confident in studying Jewish texts”.

The inspection was conducted by Rabbi Nathaniel Lieberman, head of Bnos Beis Yaakov Primary. While inspections of religious studies at state-aided Jewish schools do not have to be carried out by Pikuach, the Board of Deputies service has to be consulted about inspection arrangements.

Rabbi David Wilk, head of Kodesh at the school, said: “I am so pleased that the children’s hard work and achievements have been recognised and that we were able to showcase the fantastic work done by the children. Their love of Kodesh and dedication shone through.”

The school had benefited from a number of “high-level additions” to its Jewish studies staff. In year 4 Chumash lessons, pupils “were taught the same material at three different
levels by three outstanding teachers”. Rabbi Lieberman noted “superb” use of IT resources.

The school’s values are based on its Magnificent Middot (character traits) programme, which also involves projects in literacy, art and personal, social and health education. It supported 27 charities last year.

Nearly half of children at Hasmonean Primary School in Hendon are working above the expected level in Jewish studies, according to the Board of Deputies-run inspection service Pikuach.

They made good progress because teachers had secure subject knowledge and used a range of resources that “inspire and motivate their pupils”, Pikuach said.

The Orthodox primary’s Jewish education programme was ranked good overall with outstanding leadership and management.

Most pupils were “generally confident and display good Jewish knowledge, skills and understanding appropriate to their age, ability and background”, PIkuach said.

One parent who had moved their child to the school last year said, “My child can now read”, while another commented that Chumash teaching was “very good”.

Many of the lessons were made relevant to children, which “in turn makes their Jewish learning exciting and engaging”.

More than 80 per cent of children said they were encouraged to become involved in the wider community, with one new initiative a six-part course on “how to give” run by the charity Gift.

Inspectors noticed effective use of information technology in most lessons and pupils taking part in prayer with kavannah (“sincere feeling”).

Activities included monthly Torah sessions with parents and grandparents.

Leaders showed “a strong commitment to high standards of work and to pupils’ Jewish spiritual development”.

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