Simon Marks Jewish Primary School has an inclusive, modern orthodox Jewish ethos with a strong affinity to Israel. We welcome children from all Jewish backgrounds and from local families not of the Jewish faith. Our school ethos is underpinned by the concept of:
תורה עם דרך ארץ
‘Torah im derech eretz’
Torah with a worldly outlook
Our ethos aims to instil in children a combination of an appreciation of religious heritage with an appreciation of their place in the wider British society. In this way we aim to prepare pupils for transition to secondary school, giving them a sense of identity and value to society.
All children participate in a daily collective act of Jewish worship in assemblies. The ancient prayers give thanks on waking, songs of praise for the world and individual blessing for learning the Torah. Pupils recite the ‘Shema’ which affirms the centrality of the Jewish belief in one G-d and the importance of love of the Torah and Torah learning. We also take care to develop thought-provoking themes and discussions in whole school assemblies using storytelling and drama.
Our children recite the traditional blessings at lunchtime prior to eating and the ‘Birkat Hamazon’ prayer, which is a grace after meals. Wherever possible we use music to express the joy in prayer.
Simon Marks supports a range of charities, both Jewish and non-Jewish. It is traditional to give tzedaka (charity) on a regular basis and each Friday we encourage our children to bring a few coins for tzedaka which are collected at the Kabbalat Shabbat assembly. Hatzolah, Jewish Child’s Day and Great Ormond Street are just some of the organisations to which we have donated money. We also collect money on non-uniform days or on special national charity days e.g. Red Nose Day, Children in Need.
Parents have produced this induction (pptx) to make everyone feel welcome and so all parents and carers are clear about how we respect the school’s ethos.