Key Stage 3
JCoSS is committed to educating and creating literate Jews, who have a substantial knowledge and skills base that will inform their Jewish identities and secure their commitment to a life-long Jewish journey. The curriculum consists of building blocks that develop over the three years of KS3.
The curriculum is approached thematically:
Year 7 focuses on the building blocks of Jewish identity, looking at the Jewish Cannon specifically focusing on the story of the Patriach Abraham, the Jewish home, the Jewish year and Jewish attitudes to family. Students will also look at Tikkun Olam (healing the world) and the Jewish attitudes to caring for our world and the people in it.
Year 8 focuses on the Jewish people. Students will start of by considering the synagogue and key aspects of Jewish worship. They will then look at the biblical origins of the Jewish people and then trace the Jewish journey through ancient into modern history. They will then look at the foundations of Zionism.
Year 9 focuses on leadership. Students will look at key biblical leaders including Moses and Esther. They will learn how to be leaders in discussion controversial issues within a Jewish framework, and look a range of modern Jewish leaders from Adam Czeriakow in the Warsaw Ghetto to prime minister of Israel Golda Meir. Then, in preparation for the year 9 Israel experience students will cover a number of topics relating to contemporary Israel.
There is a strong emphasis on skills acquisition, to ensure that a JCoSS student is fully equipped to continue their Jewish journey far beyond the school gates.
JCoSS also offers a Beit Midrash parallel curriculum. In Year 7 students will focus on key stories from the Torah from Adam to the Jews in the desert with Moses. In year 8 students will focus on key texts from the rest of the Tanakh (Jewish Bible) looking at the origins of Jewish Kingship and the stories of Jonah and Ruth. Year 9 will focus on post-biblical texts including Mishna, Midrash, Jewish thinkers in history and diaries of those who went through the holocaust. JCoSS is committed to encouraging independent learning, so Year 9 students will also conduct a guided book project. They will be lent a copy of a book relating to Israel and asked to complete a learning journal about the book and a presentation about the book at the end of the year.
Key Stage 4
All JCoSS students study the GCSE in Religious Studies. The course helps students develop their interest in, and enthusiasm for, the study of Religion and its relation to the wider world.
As a part of the course students will study six units of Judaism including core Jewish beliefs and practices as well as considering the family, the world we live in, war and crime through a Jewish lens.
Students will also study two units of Islam focusing on Islamic belief and practices.
World Religions at JCoSS
JCoSS is committed to the study of World Religions, as we are all citizens of the world. Studying World Religions provokes challenging questions about the ultimate meaning and purpose of life, beliefs about G-d, the self, the nature of reality, issues of right and wrong and what it means to be human. As well as studying Islam in key stage four, students will study a different religion in each of the three key stage three years.
In Year 7 students will look at Christianity; its core beliefs and the relationship between Christianity and justice.
In Year 8 students will have the opportunity to study Sikhism and look more generally at the question of the morality of religion.
In Year 9 as part of their preparations to begin their GCSEs students will do a short introduction to Islam course.