As part of the newly formed extra-curricular newsletter team, a group of students have come together to write the articles below Congratulations to the team: Amelie Pittack- editor; Simon Postyn – illustrator; Milly Bryk, Ofira Brunert, Dana Thomas – Interview with Mr Moriarty and interview with year 9 students; Emily Litvack: Team leader and Researched recipe from Ms Toff; What students like article – Eva Yacobi, Milly Bryk, Ofira Brunert, Dana Thomas; Tom Ehrenstein – Ten Favourite things article
Ten Favourite JCoSS Things
You would think that with all the subject knowledge floating around teachers’ heads there would not be room for anything else. But when I asked them for the ten things they liked
most about JCoSS, to celebrate the school’s ten-year anniversary, some of the results were expected while others not so much. For example, Purim came up frequently, which makes
sense. Once you are over the stress of running round various charity shops in order to find anything vaguely like the character you are trying to create. You are then free to inhabit that persona. To be that character for the day. A period of wild food, ridiculous activities and a video in which staff are seemingly in a competition with each other to see who can embarrass themselves the most. A time of escapism, and in a year where we have been stuck indoors, relying on a computer screen for any form of human contact, we need that now more than ever. Another favourite thing I was not surprised to hear was the Sixth form and staff Café. Having started longingly at the café a lot myself, I can understand why teachers like it so much. Who would say no to a slice of pizza? Or any of the other delicious things that I wish they served at the canteen. It is not just the cuisine I am jealous of; the seats are also far more luxurious. Comfy sofas in place of the cold stools. No wonder JCoSS achieves such high GCSE grades in order to get into the Sixth Form. That café is a powerful motivator.
As much as I expected many of the responses, a few caught me off guard, sticking out like a sore thumb. This was ironic, considering this favourite thing is how the school building looks like a hand, with the heart space being the palm. A place for all the students to come together. Where they can be passionate and creative about the things that interest them the most. Like the music at the end of term assemblies, another favourite thing. Whether it is the performance of a new piece from the theatre or One Day for the fifty millionth time. Yet no matter how many times I hear that song, I always find myself swaying along with the crowd, singing along with them. Swept up in the powerful sense of community.
That sense of community feeling is a teacher’s favourite thing. Alongside the JCoSS mantra, students saying “thank you” at the end of every class and asking teachers how they are doing. These unexpected favourites may sound like marketing talk at an open evening. And yet. Those things are not just empty promises, but true.
What the students like about the school and some memories
To celebrate JCoSS’s 10th anniversary we also asked some year 8 students to discuss some of their favourite memories or parts of the school for the newspaper. Purim was
enjoyed by a lot of students including many other holidays. Students seemed to enjoy all the fun, food, songs and photo booth. The food places and the talent show were
enjoyed by a lot of students as well as the video the teachers made and the circus workshop. The year 7 shabbaton was a hit, shortly followed by enrichment day. A lot of students mentioned the shinshinim and some students have said “the ShinShinim are so sweet they make every Hebrew lesson feel fun, and they make lots of fun games for us to play.” other students I interviewed said enrichment day was great they loved the arts and crafts activities and the fake news clubs especially. “the school has great teachers.” Marissa says “shoutout to Mr Tilley for being a great maths teacher.” And someone else said “love that some of the teachers give us great lessons that can be fun yet educational,” “I like the festivals because of the sense of the community, what I love about the school is the inclusion and how they won’t tolerate negative behaviour which has made it feel like a second home, I like all my friends and all of the friendships are amazing, I like that the students and the teachers get along very well. The LSAs are all so nice, helpful and friendly” and “thank you JCoSS for making me believe that I can do anything”.