Shabbat (or Sabbath) begins each Friday evening at sunset and goes out on Saturday evening at nightfall. During the winter months, the school closes at 1.30pm on Fridays to allow Jewish families to get home early to prepare. Each Friday in school, the children celebrate Kabbalat Shabbat in assembly in which different children each week take turns to play the role of family members in lighting the Shabbat candles and reciting the prayers (brachot) over the wine and bread (challa).
For Jewish people, Shabbat is traditionally a day of rest when families visit synagogue in the morning, spend time together as a family and abstain from any work. How strictly this is interpreted will vary from family to family, depending on different families’ levels of observance.
As an inclusive Jewish school, we ask all parents and carers to refrain from organising class parties on Shabbat or festivals to ensure that observant Jewish children will be able to participate. Similarly, we request that school governors are not contacted during Shabbat or festivals.