New curriculum launched for pluralist schools
A NEW CURRICULUM has been launched to provide a framework for teaching Judaism at pluralist Jewish primary schools.
Called Kivunim — meaning “directions” in Hebrew — the new Jewish-studies curriculum was unveiled at Clore Shalom Primary in Shenley, Hertfordshire, in the presence of communal figures, educationalists, governors and staff.
Head teacher Irene Kaye said: “We are very proud of this great achievement. We are hoping that other schools will use these materials to enhance the Jewish learning of their pupils.”
The curriculum has been devised and written by the school’s assistant head, Marc Shoffren, and provides a comprehensive methodology and philosophical approach to Jewish learning and teaching plans for all classes. It encompasses Jewish ritual, history, Torah and Bible, and Israel and the festivals, and will be divided into four main areas: texts, history, beliefs and practices. As well as praising Mr Shoffren for his work, Mrs Kaye also paid tribute to the LA Pincus Fund in Jerusalem and the
S Y Progressive movement’s Leo Baeck College in Finchley, North-West London, which have backed the project, making it possible for Mr Shoffren to take time out create it.
It is hoped the curriculum will also be used to complement Jewish studies work at Clore Tikva in Redbridge, North-East London, and Akiva Primary in Finchley.
Dr Helena Miller, director of the department of education at the Centre for Jewish Education-Leo Baeck College, commented: “This is a comprehensive, well-thought-out curriculum that meets the needs of the pluralist Jewish primary schools. It is excellent and has great potential.”
Also at the launch were Peter Levy, honorary vice-president of Reform Judaism and president of Akiva Primary, and Peter Browning of Hertfordshire County Council. Mr Levy, who is also chairman of the JC, dedicated a new school library.