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BWJPS Children with Ice Cream celebrating Shabbat

Jewish Stuidies Policy

INTRODUCTION

This document is a statement of the aims, principles and strategies for Jewish studies at Bury and Whitefield. It takes account of the National Curriculum, the Early Learning Goals and the Code of Practice for the Identification and Assessment of Special Educational Needs.

This policy should enable everyone involved in the school community – governors, staff, parents and pupils – as well as outside agencies and visitors, to understand the approach to Jewish Studies at Bury and Whitefield.

PRINCIPLES

The school understands ‘JEWISH STUDIES’ as referring to the total Jewish experience of its pupils. It encompasses academic achievements as well as historical and cultural understanding. It provides a way of viewing and understanding the world from an Orthodox Jewish perspective and facilitates pupils’ individual spiritual, moral and social development.

Bury and Whitefield’s Jewish Studies Curriculum has recently been rewritten, with explicit learning objectives for the Foundation Stage, Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 classes as follows:

  1. The Jewish Year and Yomim Tovim,
  2. Jewish Way of Life themed projects,
  3. Chumash (KS2),
  4. Sedra,
  5. Hebrew writing.

The Aleph Champ scheme is used as the core resource for the teaching of Hebrew reading and is supplemented as appropriate.

Average ability pupils are expected to have attained the following levels of Hebrew reading:

  • End of Reception - Red Level Aleph Champ,
  • End of Y2 - Blue Level Aleph Champ,
  • End of Y4 - Unseen Texts with accuracy,
  • End of Y6 - Unseen Texts with fluency.

More able and less able pupils should attain levels more appropriate to their ability. Opportunities are being developed to provide an integrated curriculum and help develop Key Skills and Thinking Skills.

AIMS

  1. To instil in our children a love and understanding of Jewish learning, practise and values - by providing happy, interesting, challenging and inspiring learning experiences - To help children appreciate Hashem’s world and their part in it - By developing within our children, a caring, respectful and responsible attitude - By promoting high standards - By encouraging children to observe mitzvos and have good middos.
  2. To promote the school’s Orthodox ethos, reflecting religious, ethical, moral and cultural heritage - By creating a visibly Jewish school environment and developing an integrated whole-school approach to Jewish and secular studies. - To promote the celebration of Jewish worship and customs according to the tenets of local orthodox shuls.
  3. To give our children a sound and true foundation on which they can build a full Jewish life.
  4. To foster parental support for the Jewish Studies programme - By informing parents of the aims and objectives of the curriculum. - By regular communication through newsletters, day to day contact and Parents Evenings - By holding special activities to which parents are invited. - By encouraging parents to bring their children to synagogue on Shabbat and festivals.
  5. To staff the school with Kodesh teachers committed to the school’s orthodox ethos.
  6. To seek to influence further Jewish education and other Jewish activities among pupils. - By actively promoting, to parents and pupils, Jewish secondary school education. - By encouraging youth groups and communal organisations to publicise activities in school.
  7. To stimulate a love for, and knowledge of, Israel and the Hebrew language. - By teaching the history of the Jewish people and the geography of the land of Israel - By building up a vocabulary of Ivrit words and phrases
  8. To ensure that all aspects of school life, including the allocation of resources, have due regard to the above objectives.

STRATEGIES FOR TEACHING

  • Specialist Jewish Studies teachers are employed as follows: A part-time Head of Jewish Studies A part-time JS teacher for Foundation Stage Two part -time JS teacher for KS1 Two part-time JS teachers for KS2 A part-time Hebrew reading teacher and a Part time supporting teacher,
  • Jewish Studies may be taught in group, whole class or whole school settings.
  • The Aleph Champ reading scheme as set out above,
  • Assemblies are used as a forum for teaching tefillah and an understanding of it.
  • Throughout the year, practical activities are utilised as important tools for teaching about Shabbos and Yomim Tovim.
  • Pupils with SEN are given additional support and written work is differentiated appropriately.
  • Parents and grandparents are invited into school to participate in celebrations for Shabbos, Chanukah, Purim, Pesach and Siddur and Chumash presentations.
  • Reading homework is used to support progress in Jewish Studies
  • Wherever possible, Jewish Studies is used to enhance skills, knowledge and understanding across the curriculum;
    • English – Jewish Studies provides many opportunities for pupils to develop the language skills of speaking, listening, reading and writing. Pupils are encouraged to talk and listen to each other about Jewish issues, to write about their feelings and experiences and to read a variety of texts to inform their learning.
    • Mathematics – Jewish Studies provides many opportunities for the teaching and reinforcing of mathematics. These include: the Jewish calendar, Hebrew numbers and Biblical weights and measures.
    • Science – Areas for integrated work include: Hashem as Creator, the lunar calendar, fermentation of dough on Pesach, mitzvos involving the 5 senses and care for plants and animals.
    • ICT – Pupils will have the opportunity to use the Internet to access information about Judaism and Israel, to utilise Jewish Interactive software in their studies and to enhance their presentation of work through word-processing skills, PowerPoint, publisher etc.
    • Art, Design and Technology – Pupils will have opportunities to design and make artefacts connected with their Jewish Studies. Pupils will have many opportunities for observational drawings of Jewish symbols and for interesting paintings, collages, etc. linked to the festivals.
    • Food technology, hygiene and surrounding safety issues are an integral part of the teaching of various Yom Tovs.
    • History – In addition to studying Jewish History, pupils will be given a Jewish perspective as they study the general history curriculum e.g. Ancient Egypt/Pesach, Ancient Greece/Chanukah etc.
    • Geography – The geography of Israel and Jerusalem. There are links between the study of the impact of natural disasters such as drought, famine and floods and the study of the history of the Jewish people. The cycle of farming and harvest is an integral part of festivals.
    • Music – Hebrew songs as well as English songs on Jewish themes will give an added dimension to pupils’ appreciation and experience of music.

STRATEGIES FOR PROGRESS

  • The Headteacher takes overall responsibility to promote Jewish Studies and cultivate the Jewish ethos of the school
  • The Head of Jewish Studies takes the lead in policy development and the production of the school’s Jewish Studies Curriculum. She acts as advisor to staff in their development of detailed work plans, their implementation of the curriculum and in assessment and record keeping activities. She monitors progress in Jewish Studies across the school and is responsible for the purchase of resources.
  • Staff meetings are utilised to review the planning and teaching of Jewish Studies and to prepare for whole school projects such as festival celebrations.
  • Staff will be encouraged to attend courses, review resources, liaise with other agencies and update themselves on information and approaches in the field of Jewish Education.
  • Pupils are encouraged and motivated through; Displays of work Effective marking of work Reward, praise and positive comments Participating in enjoyable practical activities

PLANNING

  • Long term curriculum plans show what has to be taught to each class throughout the year. Learning outcomes are clear for each year group and give more detailed guidance and provide a framework for Jewish Studies teaching throughout the school.
  • Weekly plans are produced by each teacher, outlining objectives, lesson content, differentiation and cross curricular links, with evaluation being an integral part.
  • Evaluation is used to inform future planning

ASSESSMENT, RECORDING AND REPORTING

  • Assessment is carried out by; Informal formative assessment by means of discussion and observation Formal assessment of progress through the reading scheme Formal summative assessment at the end of topic/unit
  • Records are kept by means of; Teachers’ notes Evidence of pupils’ written work Photographs of activities
  • Records consist of; Discussions with parents at Parents’ Evenings Annual written reports

RESOURCES

  • All classrooms and the school hall have Jewish Studies displays.
  • The school has a stock of resources.
  • The School Library contains a borrowing section on Jewish interest for pupils and computers are available in school for study and research.

EQUAL OPPORTUNITIES

  • All pupils have access to the Jewish studies curriculum regardless of gender or ability. Pupils with SEN will receive extra support in the classroom in accordance with their needs. The school aim is for all pupils to reach their full potential, having a positive self-image and awareness of their equal but different role in orthodox Judaism.
  • Pupils are taught that they must respect other faiths and they are regularly reminded about the Talmudic teaching that all good people, whatever their faith, have a share in the World to Come.

HEALTH AND SAFETY

Health and Safety is the responsibility of all members of staff and care must be taken with the storage and handling of all apparatus. Staff are required to read and abide by the procedures outlined in the school’s Health and Safety Policy.

REVIEWING THE POLICY

This policy should be monitored and reviewed on a regular basis and will be further developed as necessary.

Louise Lewis
Head of Kodesh
October 2017