Jewish Studies

Hebrew and Jewish studies underpin the whole educational character of Sinai school.

Children spend 25% of their timetable studying and living their Jewish religion. Jewish Studies is taught both as an independent subject and integrated into day-to-day lessons. 

We are taught that ‘The world stands on three things; Torah, Avodah (Prayer) and Acts of kindness.’ Without one of these three things, the world would be like a tripod trying to stand on two legs. Therefore, the Jewish Studies Curriculum aims to incorporate all three areas into the daily lives of all the pupils at the school. Promoting Belief in Torah, giving pupils the opportunity to understand and appreciate the power of prayer and instilling a kindness of all living things, enables pupils to see the world with an open mind. 

The Jewish Studies curriculum aims to make children proud of their Judaism, with the necessary skills and knowledge to play a full part in the Jewish community. We aim to create in every child the desire to continue with their Jewish studies throughout their secondary education and on into adulthood. 

We have 12 members of staff in the department, who make it their responsibility to impart a love for Judaism and a love for Israel in all their teaching and who work closely together and integrate appropriately with the Secular Department enriching the secular studies across the school. Positive identification with Israel is constantly reinforced, both in and out the classroom. 

There are many opportunities for pupils, parents, staff and governors to participate in both regular and extra curricular activities which enhance the joyous realities of our religion. Many of our programmes are organised in conjunction with SEED and these include educational fun days, shiurim for parents, Hebrew reading crash courses etc. 

To paraphrase the Pikuach under ‘Overall effectiveness of its provision for Jewish education’, 

‘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 on Sinai

Jewish Studies Curriculum at Sinai School

The Jewish Studies curriculum aims to help every learner develop their knowledge, skills and understanding of each subject area within Jewish Studies. The school has been involved with the Jewish Curriculum Partnership for over 10 years, contributing material which has given children at Sinai a coherent, flexible and enriched curriculum. In addition, we have been developing our own curricula, ensuring each child is provided with a broad and solid Jewish experience and the opportunity to engage in Jewish texts, with Assessment and Monitoring of children’s progress and attainment a key part of this provision.

Assessment

In Jewish Studies, it is essential to assess the children’s progress and achievement in order to ensure that the needs of all children are met.  Hebrew reading assessment has been established for a few years in the school and has shown that children’s reading , fluency and accuracy, has improved year on year. The department is now embarking on Chumash assessment, based on the JCP Chumash curriculum. The key areas focus on Chumash skills, knowledge of the text and understanding of the chronology of the Torah.

Chumash:

The children start to become familiar with a Chumash in Year 2 when they begin the Chumash Readiness Programme.  This is part of the JCP Chumash Curriculum which is followed throughout KS2. The programme covers the lives of the avot (Avraham, Yitzchak and Yaacov) and the imahot (Sara, Rivka, Rachel and Leah). The aim of the programme is to enable children to become analytical and reflective learners and thereby achieve a passion for and competence in learning chumash for themselves.

Charity starts…at Sinai!!

As part of our commitment to educating children, it is our firm belief that every child should be given the opportunity to learn about caring for and showing compassion towards others who might be less fortunate than themselves. In so doing, we encourage the children to collect money for different charities and together with their parents, voluntarily give of their time to raise charity at the end of the school day by selling a variety of products. Charities which have been supported in this way include; Camp Simcha, Kids Company Charity, Great Ormond Street Hospital, Noah’s Ark Hospice, Cancer Research UK, Chai cancer care , NSPCC, Comic/Sports Relief, Aspire Peace Hospice, Brittle Bone Society to name but a few.

Family education

Sinai offers and promotes Jewish family education and enhancement activities in conjunction with SEED.

This year we have successfully offered a wide range of activities for both children and their parents. Themed festival workshops include: Pizza in the Hut, activities at the PSA Chanukah gift fair, Tu Bishvat and Purim craft workshops and model sedarim which are attended by the children together with their parents.

Just before Shavuot we run a parent and child interactive learning session entitled Generation Sinai, which linked into an international joint learning venture.

All these activities have been well attended and have been a successful learning medium for both parent and child alike. They have been well planned, fun to participate in and delivered in a warm nurturing environment.

Festivals – ‘Chaggim‘

Festivals ‘Chaggim’ are celebrated at Sinai in a wonderful and meaningful way, leaving the children with an everlasting impression of that Festival. Before every Festival we prepare the children with all the  information they need to know for the upcoming Festival, and the children are taught songs in music lessons and Jewish studies lessons. The younger children participate in making beautiful art items  which they take home to show their parents.

Celebrations take place throughout the year at Sinai. We celebrate Chaggim, children’s achievements, special Israel days, charity awards, Sinai has talents days etc etc. Parents are invited to invited to come in and participate as often as possible. Perhaps the highlight of the year is Chaunkah where the whole school comes together to sing songs and light up the giant Chanukiah. More recently we have invited Parents  at Pesach time to come and experience the model Sedarim with their children which has been met with tremendous success. We also partner- up with SEED to give the children and Parents a very rewarding Jewish experience.

Reading and Writing in Hebrew & Ivrit

The children begin to recognise Hebrew letter sounds and vowel sounds 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 in to words.

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/K’tiv and Rashi.

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 2.

Ivrit

In Early Years and Key Stage 1 the programme Chalav UD’vash focuses on Listening, Speaking and Reading. A clearly structured programme of study with key basic words is taught to the children from the nursery until the end of Year 2. From Year 3 – Year 6 the children continue their conversational Ivrit which gets progressively more challenging.

Our strong bond and connection to Israel is expressed through the Ivrit conversation via song, dance and inter-cultural links with Israel.

© Copyright 2021–2022 Sinai Jewish Primary School

School & College Websites by Schudio