About Etz Chaim
Means "Tree of Life" in Hebrew and symbolises new beginnings; moral, spiritual and physical growth through nurture.
Etz Chaim Jewish Primary School is a one form entry primary school with a nursery and when full, will cater for children between the ages of 3-11 years old (Nursery to year 6 inclusive) serving the local community in Mill Hill, North London. The school is committed to the practice of Modern Orthodox Judaism. The school opened in September 2011 and was excited to be one of the first new Free Schools that year. For our first two years we were located in temporary accommodation and moved to our permanent site in September 2013.
There are currently 218 pupils of mixed gender, on roll (including Nursery), 117 are boys and 101 are girls. There is very little mobility, for example during 2015-2016 three children left to go to other schools. The proportion of children eligible for Free School Meals is below average (0.4%), as is the proportion of children from ethnic minority groups (7.3%) and the proportion who speak English as an additional language (6.4%). The proportion of pupils with SEN is below average (6.4%).
Our approach is founded on the belief that the curriculum should be child-centred, based on practical, hands-on and concrete experiences, so that each child can build his/her knowledge, skills, concepts and attitudes through understanding. We use a thematic topic based approach as a vehicle to teach all areas of the curriculum and develop basic skills. We follow the National Curriculum and the IPC (International Primary Curriculum). We offer excellent standards of care, guidance and support and a high-quality learning environment to support all learners equally. The school upholds an ethos of high expectations which provides children with challenging opportunities where they acquire skills, knowledge and confidence that can be applied to all future learning experiences. These opportunities encourage respect, self-belief, excellence and enjoyment and prepare our pupils for the next stage of their education. To achieve this we strive to provide a school environment that will be secure, stimulating, supportive and memorable, whereby each child feels valued as part of our community and encouraged to achieve their full potential.
We aim to develop within the pupils a positive commitment and passion for Judaism and British Values. Our Jewish ethos and values permeate all aspects of school life and learning within it. Every child, whether or not they are of the Jewish faith, will, we believe, benefit by learning the ethics and moralities associated with Judaism. We want our pupils to leave our school understanding how they can make a positive contribution to their community and the wider world.
Rabbi Yitzhak Shochet is the School’s Honorary Principal. He is now in his 21st year as Rabbi of the Mill Hill United Synagogue. A respected writer and broadcaster, Rabbi Schochet can often be seen on TV or writing in Jewish and National Newspapers. He is a regular visitor to the school providing supporting and encouragement to staff and pupils alike.
We are honoured to have Lord Levy (of Mill Hill) as our Patron. Following a hugely successful career in the music industry Lord Levy became an integral part of the Blair Government serving as the Prime Ministers Special Envoy to the Middle East for over a decade. Lord Levy holds many communal roles and is particularly known for his Presidency of Jewish Care and JFS. Lord Levy is a regular visitor to the school.
Please click here to see a typical day at Etz Chaim.