PaJeS offers Jewish schools a range of curriculum projects, the largest of which is The Jewish Curriculum Partnership (JCP). Supporting the work of Jewish Studies and Ivrit teachers in schools across the UK, we develop curricula and resources, provide training for teachers, deliver in-school support and facilitate networking and the sharing of best practice.
The JCP Primary Ivrit programme was initiated in May 2009 in partnership with Jewish primary schools. At that time, Ivrit had been taken out of the curriculum at several primary schools and was rarely taught as a modern foreign language. As a result, there was no common agreement on the standards pupils should reach at a given stage and classroom expectations were generally low. In 2009, meetings were held with headteachers, heads of Ivrit and Ivrit teachers in a number of Jewish primary schools in order to conduct an audit and ascertain what was required in order to improve attitudes and attainment in Ivrit.
In response to this, JCP put together a training programme of seminars and conferences run by modern foreign language experts from across the UK in conjunction with our own team. In 2010, in partnership with the Center for Educational Technology (CET) in Israel, we wrote and developed the Ivritbeclick curriculum, and have been providing training and in-school support ever since so that teachers can use the programme effectively. Our programme aims to build and strengthen a driven and knowledgeable cadre of Ivrit teachers who engage their pupils and achieve high standards of Ivrit, in line with the requirements of the new National Curriculum for Languages in Key Stage 2.
PaJeS welcomed 44 Ivrit teachers from 27 Jewish primary schools to a training day on the 10th March 2015, led by two experts in Modern Foreign Language training. Catherine Cheater ran a session for Key Stage 1 Ivrit teachers focused on planning and assessment in addition to integrating Ivrit with the early years’ curriculum. Bernadette Clinton ran a workshop for Key Stage 2 Ivrit teachers focusing on Assessment. We received some excellent feedback from teachers who participated in the training:
Amazing session about assessment, really useful information… the session was fun, interesting and informative.
The session with Catherine was fantastic, opened my eyes to the amount of vocabulary I should teach little ones and gave me new ideas. I found her very knowledgeable.
Good to hear what other people do in their lessons and share useful ideas.
As well as organising training days and an annual Ivrit conference, our primary Ivrit advisory teacher, Dalia Wittenberg, regularly visits teachers to give support and guidance in line with each school’s specific needs. This includes long-term planning, lesson observations and feedback, lesson planning and advice on making the best use of the Ivritbeclick programme. For example, she gave an induction to two new Ivrit teachers at Wolfson Hillel Primary School in August 2014 and conducted joint lesson observations with the school’s headteacher in October. She visited Eden Primary several times in January to advise Ivrit staff on planning, lesson structure and assessment. The headteacher emailed her afterwards saying “Thanks so much for the session last week. I know that everyone found it very useful.”
Building on the success of our primary school Ivrit initiative, PaJeS has now launched an Ivrit programme for secondary schools – the Yesh Va’Yesh Wohl Hebrew Programme. The course is designed for Key Stage 3 students and is already being used by 12 Jewish secondary schools. Once completed the curriculum will reach over 4,000 students per year.