Jewish Studies Intent, Implementation & Impact
We seek to provide a Jewish education that blends an authentic, immersive and enriching experience with a sensitive understanding of the wider culture in which our pupils live.
Through daily Tefillah, weekly Parashah lessons, weekly Oneg Shabbat events and periodic celebrations of Chagim, pupils have many opportunities for spiritual development. We enable them to engage in self-reflection in order to forge their own relationship with G-d. Our curriculum aims to develop an appreciation of G-d’s role in people’s individual lives and in history, to develop a sense of belonging to a community and to cherish a connection to Israel.
The school’s Jewish Studies curriculum seeks to transmit Jewish values, knowledge and skills, thus ensuring that pupils are well equipped and motivated to continue their studies and their Jewish way of life. This is achieved through both formal and informal learning.
The formal curriculum comprises the study of four areas of learning which are: Hebrew Reading, Torah, Jewish Living and Tefillah. Coverage is closely tracked to ensure progression throughout the school.
Hebrew Reading, Writing and Language (using modern Israeli pronunciation)
- In EYFS, Hebrew language is introduced through song, games and activities.
- In Reception and KS1, Hebrew Reading is taught using the Aleph Champ programme.
- In KS2, a progressive succession of different established programmes and resources is used to enhance Hebrew Reading.
- Nursery – Year 6 learn the weekly Parashah and its related middah, as specified by the JCP.
- In Chumash Studies, Years 3 – 6 learn from Chumash Bereshit; lessons are planned using the JCP Curriculum and guidance.
- This includes Chagim, two Jewish Living Skills Weeks (one on Kashrut and one on Shabbat), and an array of informal experiences provided across the school from Nursery to Year 6.
- The formal aspects of Jewish Living are taught using Curriculum Maps and material written and developed by department staff internally within the school.
- This includes daily morning prayers and daily Birkat HaMazon across the school, from Nursery to Year 6, using a Curriculum Map and a set of Learning Objectives written and developed by department staff internally within the school.
Jewish Studies at Sinai is the heartbeat of the school - we seek many ways to instil a love of Judaism as well as to provide practice in the skills that pupils will need to participate in Jewish rituals.
In addition to our formal learning, informal learning experiences and celebrations enhance the Jewish life of the school and extend and enrich our pupils’ Jewish knowledge and understanding. In addition to Informal learning experiences for pupils, parent engagement is highly valued and at Sinai, we hold additional events for Family Education over the course of the academic year.
Children at Sinai will have a thirst for learning. They will be enthusiastic and actively participate in both their formal and informal learning experiences and will develop detailed Jewish knowledge and skills throughout the curriculum.
Sinai pupils will have good Hebrew Literacy skills and will be able to independently apply their skills to all areas of their Jewish Studies learning.
Sinai pupils will have a strong spiritual connection and be able to articulate their thoughts and beliefs clearly and confidently
Sinai pupils will display strong qualities of leadership and will be actively involved in religious and charitable work. They will be actively engaged in the community and be prepared for their next stage in learning.
‘The Jewish Studies department of Sinai School is good overall with some outstanding features. There is a strong commitment to continue improving the quality of Jewish education.”
Pupils are happy at the school and feel secure and an overwhelming majority of parents indicate very strong support for the school.
The school places great emphasis on improving the standards of Hebrew reading and writing and is succeeding in this aim due to the considerable resources it invests in teaching these important skills.’
Pikuach Report 2022
Reading and Writing in Hebrew
The children begin to recognise the shapes of the Hebrew letters and to get familiar with their names from the moment they begin the Nursery.
When they start Reception, the children begin to build their knowledge, skills and understanding of how to blend letters and vowels into words using Aleph Champ program.
As the children progress through the school, they will be able to read Hebrew accurately, fluently and with confidence from a variety of Hebrew texts (Chumash, Siddur, Navi, Haggadah, Megillah) and this includes both script Hebrew and Rashi.
As the curriculum progresses through key stage 2, the children have further opportunities to access different texts in Ivrit using Tal Am program and will increase their knowledge of Ivrit while further improve their Hebrew reading skills, their love and connection to Israel by reading a children’s newspaper brought from Israel.
Furthermore, each Year group has a special reading programme for all levels and abilities of children. In a similar way, the children are introduced to Hebrew writing in Reception and this reinforces the children’s Hebrew reading, which includes script handwriting, introduced to the children in Year 3.