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Jewish Studies Department Focus

February 2017

The Jewish Studies Department has recently undergone some leadership changes.  Mrs H Simon has moved to the post of Head of Department and been replaced as Assistant Head of Department by Mr B Gordon.

It is good to see that solid progress has been made across the Key Stages since the beginning of the academic year.  Within KS3 the effort of a number of pupils has been awarded with a move to a higher set with all classes maintaining a stimulating and challenging environment where Jewish learning in all its forms is being promoted.

We have made a really good start to introducing and embedding the new style syllabus and assessment for Year 10.  The HPQ has introduced a number of topics beyond Judaism that the pupils are enjoying and they are also developing the specific study skills required for independent study.

Year 11 are working hard and have almost completed the RS GCSE specification ahead of their mocks.  Many of them have been achieving above their expected grades in their End of Unit Assessments and we hope that they will perform at this higher level in their final exams.

Year 12 A Level classes are getting used to the demands of the new specification and have also made a promising start to the academic year.

Warm congratulations to all our graduates so far from Catch-Up Hebrew Reading and Writing, run as part of our enrichment programme. They are Tayla Barnett, Allie Bohm, Sofia Forman, Katie Goddard, Sam Joseph, Naomi Lewis, Layla Berman, Zara Collins, Emily Keen, Annabel Sinclair, Jamie Smokler, Ariella Morris, Naomi Sella, Mia Cohen, Adar Canning Elms, Romi Trup, Jesse Kettle, Isabella Apfel, Damon Waks, Grace Broadbent, Morgan Yanover, Jesse Feeney, Harry Tredler, Ethan Garcia, Brayden Fifer.

A very recent innovation, which is already proving hugely worthwhile and popular, is the Catch-Up Hebrew Reading & Writing helper scheme.  Pupils from Y8 and Y9 BMT classes have started volunteering to assist the Year 7s and to boost their confidence with their Ivrit reading and script writing.  Sincere thanks goes to the first tranche of Sam Cohen, Davina David, Dylan Keizner, Jake Landsberg, Toby Mandel, Ron Cohen, Benjamin Moont, Noah Arazi, Joshua Myers, Ben Stankler.

Always looking to make the pupil experience even better, we have instituted some changes to Year 7 Mincha.  Twice a week, a group of pupils with less developed Hebrew reading skills have a separate Mincha at a pace that allows them to participate fully and to acquire background knowledge about the Tefillot (prayers).

In September 2016, Yavneh launched its first Adult Education event for parents which was arranged in advance of the High Holy Days.  The sessions were delivered by our own dedicated Jewish Studies department. Parents had the choice of a wide range of relevant topics from text based subjects to philosophical discussions.  Following on from the success of that evening, we offered a five-week Hebrew Reading Crash Course for parents.  This ran during November – December last year.  The Jewish Studies team is planning a further Adult Education evening pre-Pesach with a choice of two 45 minute lectures on a variety of subjects relating to the festival.

The success of the Jewish Studies department is due to the commitment of the staff working in partnership with you the parents to give your children the best possible Jewish education.