Chasidic school impresses Ofsted


An independent Chasidic school in Stamford Hill, north London, has received a glowing report from Ofsted.

Talmud Torah Machzikei Hadass, which is run by the Belz Chasidic group with 533 boys aged from three to 16, was rated good overall.

The behaviour of pupils as well as the schools’ attention to their care and safety was ranked outstanding, as was its early years section.

Inspectors commented that “good teaching ensures that pupils acquire knowledge and skills quickly and provides a variety and breadth of suitable learning experiences.”

Basic skills in English were taught well and maths solidly, they said. Both were taught separately, as was maths and PE, while other subjects were taught in a cross-curricular way.

Inspectors noted that “the pace is good and lessons are presented in a way which encourages pupils to reflect and analyse.This is exemplified within a Year 11 Gemara lesson when pupils were gripped by the thrust and parry of analytical discourse and debate, and in a Year 6 science lesson where pupils carried out a scientific investigation into how liquids with different densities have different properties and uses.”

British values were, inspectors said, “continuously being reinforced within Kodesh [religious] and Chol [secular] lessons and pupils are very involved in charity work. “

While a number of other Charedi schools have received critical reports from Ofsted, this latest inspection shows it is possible to maintain a strictly Orthodox ethos while meeting state requirements.

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