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Immanuel College

Jewish Studies

The Jewish Studies Department at Immanuel College aims to instil our students with a passion and love for Judaism, provide them with the requisite skills and knowledge to be independent learners and to live happy and fulfilled Jewish lives. 

Jewish Studies is a key part of the curriculum here at Immanuel College.

Students are taught in ability groupings from the beginning of Year 7. The subject is divided into Torah Shebe’al Peh (Oral Torah); focusing on Mitzvot, Knowledge and Chagim and Torah Shebichtav (Written Torah) with students learning their way through episodes in Tenach. Students are assessed regularly on three core skills: Translation; Reading; Knowledge and Understanding. 

In Years 7-9, students study a range of written texts from both the written and oral Torah building up all three skills. The curriculum is structured to enable pupils to develop as thinking and knowledgeable Jews, comfortable with Jewish practice. Lower Sets begin Key Stage Three with a Jewish General Knowledge course and an overview of the Jewish Calendar, as well as learning to read Hebrew if necessary. The students then have the opportunity to study the Mitzvot of Shabbat, Sofrut and Emunah in greater depth, as well as other mitzvoth, in addition to looking at episodes from the Torah inside the text. Higher Sets use the Bonayich Talmud skills programme to develop their skills and understanding of the Oral Torah. They also work through the weekly Parsha and gain an insight into selected books of Nach.

The Religious Studies GCSE course focuses on the philosophy behind the beliefs and practices as well as on understanding how Judaism responds to contemporary ethical dilemmas.  All this is done through the prism of Jewish texts so that we can understand the sources behind what we think and what we do.

Aims of Religious Studies GCSE:
- To stimulate interest in, and enthusiasm for, the study of religion;
- To develop knowledge and understanding of Judaism;
- To consider religious and, where appropriate, other responses to moral issues.

This is compulsory for all students, except those that take Biblical Hebrew or the Advanced texts track. The school follows the Edexcel RS International GCSE (first teaching Sept 2017) curriculum. This covers a range of contemporary and Jewish Philosophy, Ethics & Practice that is broken into five sections: a) The Universe and the Place of Human Beings, b) Life & Death c) Peace & Conflict d) Human Rights and e) Jewish Practice.

The aims of Religious Studies A-Level include; critically examine varying philosophical outlooks surrounding some of the most exciting controversies of our time, exploring relevant and thought-provoking ethical dilemmas, in particular relation to religion and society as a whole and considering critically the turbulent, yet intimate, dialogue between Philosophy and Ethics, and Judaism.

The two-year course is split into two components:

  • Judaism and the Philosophy of Religion
  • Judaism and Ethics

A typical lesson will explore relevant curriculum information from a critical perspective. Students will be required to understand a wide range of complex theories, engage in debate and grasp varying viewpoints surrounding multiple controversies. Lessons will also link knowledge to exam questions, which are all essay based. Students will be expected to transfer the knowledge acquired into well-written essays. The teacher/s will have time to provide personal attention and extra study support if required. Religious Studies A-Level prides itself on small class sizes and tutorial -style teaching, facilitating classes tailored to the specific cohort and plenty of individual attention and personal feedback.

The Jewish Studies department works closely with the Informal Jewish Studies team to provide regular lunch time clubs, after school learning opportunities, trips and whole school events. For more information about Jewish Life please select the Jewish Life tab above.