Jewish Studies is a core subject at King Solomon, studied up to year 11 by all students and offering a range of academic skills, as well as skills for life!
Our teachers are engaging and caring, often being the first port of call for those seeking answers to ‘big questions’. Our results at both GCSE and A level are consistently excellent and our Scheme of work is dynamic and responsive, catering for the needs of all our learners and offering an understanding of Jewish practices and beliefs, as well considering the role faith plays in today’s wider society.
All lessons are lively and interactive with students positively encouraged to ask questions and learn from and about each other. Formal teaching in years seven -nine is complemented by a full programme of informal, hands on activities especially connected to the Jewish festivals and shabbat. Challah baking, edible Sukkot and lighting Chanukah candles are just three examples. The Key Stage three curriculum offers a solid foundation on which to build a knowledge and understanding of Judaism and the Jewish people, whilst also offering those of other faiths a chance to share their knowledge in comparative units such as Holy Books and places of worship. We dip into text looking at the lives of key Biblical and historical figures, considering the impact they have made and still make on moral values; we reflect on prayer, consider the impact of the Holocaust and the history and significance of Israel to the Jewish people. Current and topical ethical issues are explored through a Jewish lens and offer students a chance to connect with faith and consider its impact on their life choices.
Students are also encouraged to take part in acts of charity and kindness through projects and schemes promoted through the Kehila faculty (see Kehila section).
All students at Key Stage four take the AQA religious studies GCSE. This fascinating course explores Jewish beliefs and practices, as well as those in Islam; each faith makes up 25% of the total exam. The other 50% of the exam syllabus offers a unique opportunity to explore four contemporary ethical themes in depth, seen in all their diversity, as we look through the lens of Judaism, compare with other faiths and contrast with current views held within British society. Topics such as social justice, crime and punishment, families and relationships give students a voice in the classroom and allow them to form opinions and feel valued in a safe contained space where all are respected and respect each other.
The OCR A level in Religion, Philosophy and Ethics is a popular choice; it is academically challenging, well-respected by universities and employers developing key skills such as debating and evaluating a variety of sources to form balanced well-structured arguments. The three elements of the course are weighted in equal measure and offer breadth, depth and so much to discuss!
Philosophy is pure thinking; what are good and evil? What is belief? Are arguments based on reason or observation? Ethics looks at theory and apples it to current issues. Should we make moral choices based on reason or emotion? Should our decisions vary according to situations or are acts always right or wrong? We apply these ideas to topics such as euthanasia, business and conscience.
Developments in Jewish thinking asks questions about where G-d was during the Holocaust, the relevance of a belief in Messiah; we consider Jewish diversity, is this positive or has it diluted Judaism in a negative way? What is important to a community of believers?
Jewish Studies in and out of the classroom equips our students with skills and tools to be active, informed citizens who are able to make a valuable contribution to British society, whilst feeling confident in their own identity.