Of­sted cred­its girls’ school on ‘re­mark­able’ turnaround

The Jewish Chronicle - - COMMUNITY NEWS - BY SI­MON ROCKER

A STRICTLY Ortho­dox Lon­don girls’ school has bounced back from an in­ad­e­quate Of­sted rat­ing two years ago to be­ing clas­si­fied as good in ev­ery area.

Stan­dards at the in­de­pen­dent Beth Ja­cob Gram­mar School for Girls in Hen­don, which is chaired by one of the Charedi com­mu­nity’s ma­jor ben- efac­tors, Ben­zion Fresh­wa­ter, had im­proved “re­mark­ably”, Of­sted said.

Head­teacher Michele Gluck and her staff had raised as­pi­ra­tions and broad­ened the cur­ricu­lum to make it more rel­e­vant to stu­dent in­ter­ests.

The pro­por­tion of girls achiev­ing GCSEs in English, maths and sci­ence was “well above na­tional av­er­ages”, Of­sted re­ported. Higher lev­els of at­tain­ment by the most able pupils in these sub­jects was also above av­er­age.

Some girls in year eight start GCSE art and home eco­nom­ics and some be­gin A/S level He­brew in year 11.

“The small num­ber of year 12 stu­dents in 2018 who took A-lev­els within one year also achieved well in a wide range of sub­jects, in­clud­ing English, math­e­mat­ics, sci­ence, his­tory and pho­tog­ra­phy,” Of­sted re­ported..

It also found that “mu­tual re­spect and tol­er­ance for all peo­ple, ir­re­spec­tive of their back­grounds, are tan­gi­ble fea­tures of the school’s ethos.

“These are also a key fea­ture threaded through the wider cur­ricu­lum, in­clud­ing the pro­tected char­ac­ter­is­tics set out in the Equal­ity Act 2010.”

Pro­tected char­ac­ter­is­tics in­clude peo­ple of same-sex ori­en­ta­tion.

But pupils did not have enough op­por­tu­nity to “in­ter­act” with peo­ple from a non-Jewish back­ground.

In­spec­tors said Beth Ja­cob cul­ti­vated a love of read­ing and its wide range of artis­tic ac­tiv­i­ties helped girls to grow spir­i­tu­ally, high­light­ing an “uplift­ing” recita­tion of psalms.

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