Jewish schools are where most Jewish children in the UK now receive their Jewish education from age 4-18. Yet as a community we still have no agreement about what might be considered reasonable aims and outcomes about what pupils should know or be able to do Jewishly at different stages of schooling.
As a recent Pikuach publication pointed out ‘there is no absolute aim or expected standard of Jewish education…the Jewish day school system in England has grown organically, with no central guidance or accountability'. PaJeS believes that unless we have some generally accepted standards, it is impossible to ensure quality, or indeed to train teachers or to keep parents meaningfully informed of progress. Of course we recognise there are differing types of schools but there is also a lot of common ground. All primary schools, for example, teach children to read Hebrew. Moreover, there are clusters of types of schools and, as the success of the Jewish Curriculum Partnership (JCP) in building shared curricula shows, schools will work towards similar standards if they have the structure, training and materials. In addition to the JCP, there are now a number of organisations such as Etgar working towards improving standards in Jewish schools. PaJeS offers support to these where we can and we showcase what is possible and how standards can continually be improved, through our annual conference.
Our largest project is the Jewish Curriculum Partnership.The Jewish Curriculum Partnership (JCP) is one of the world's foremost Jewish curriculum projects. Supporting the work of Jewish Studies and Ivrit teachers in over 40 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.
Working with schools to identify needs and develop materials, we have a comprehensive Chumash curriculum, an online resource for teaching Primary Ivrit, the Yesh Va’Yesh programme for teaching Secondary Ivrit, value-focused framework for Parashat Hashavua and an interactive Tefillah resource with a strong emphasis on spirituality and engagement.teaching texts, Holocaust education, Israel education the aims of the groups are to compare resources and experiences, and devise criteria for best practice.