Independent Jewish Day School is a voluntary-aided, co-educational school based in Hendon, London. Established in 1979, the school caters for 224 children and has a Reception intake of 28 pupils. The school also has a Nursery which caters for 26 children.
IJDS is fully committed to a Zionist, modern-orthodox education. The secular and Limmudei Kodesh (LK) teams work closely together to ensure a consistent approach to learning, behaviour management and Jewish values. To that end, the two curricular complement each other as much as possible and there are many instances of cross-curricular teaching.
Jewish studies lessons are taught in Ivrit, a language which is introduced to the children at nursery level. Approximately a third of the time in school is used to study LK. This also includes Extra Kodesh sessions and Sunday sessions where children in years 4, 5 and 6 have an additional two hours of Limmudei Kodesh.
IJDS has a strong moral ethos and promotes Derech Eretz, meaning respect towards everyone and everything, and the overriding school rule is “Ve’ahavta le’reyacha Kamocha”. The school has a tzedaka committee run by the children who direct and set monthly targets for specific causes. Children are encouraged to donate tzedaka on a regular basis. There are also links with organisations in the community where children are involved in specific initiatives. Children often visit old-age homes before Jewish festivals.
In its last Ofsted report in January 2008 inspectors said: “A remarkable feature of the school is the way in which the curriculum seamlessly integrates Jewish studies with the secular curriculum. Following the last inspection, school leaders have worked hard to ensure that these links are at the heart of the curriculum. From the Nursery onwards, pupils become fluent, bilingual learners and move effortlessly between English and Hebrew. In a Year 6 Jewish Studies lesson, for example, pupils were developing their understanding of the features of journalistic writing in Hebrew, which supported their learning in the secular curriculum.”