Ivrit is an integral part of our curriculum at Etz Chaim as it allows children to develop their Jewish identity and links to Israel in more depth as well as raising their awareness of different cultures, interests and perspectives. We are able to go beyond the requirements of the National Curriculum by offering Ivrit from Foundation Stage and our aim is to foster enjoyment and enthusiasm for a foreign language from EYFS through to Y6 through the use of rhymes, songs and dialogue. Being able to read and understand Ivrit also helps children to read their tefillot (prayers); understand key vocabulary and concepts related to Jewish festivals and practice; and to start accessing texts like Chumash (Bible) in classical Hebrew.
Our ambition is that every pupil develops a positive and confident approach to language learning and that they leave Etz Chaim being able to speak with increasing confidence and fluency, understand the spoken language and read and write short sentences of varying length accurately.
Children learn to enjoy the patterns and sounds of the language through rhymes and songs as well as basic words and phrases through the programme Chalav U’Dvash, with Ivrit as the medium of communication. They have the opportunity to work in small groups, increasing their confidence in speaking and listening in Ivrit. In Jewish Studies, children learn to decode the letters of the Hebrew Alphabet as well as the vowels and final letters and to start decoding short cv and cvc Ivrit words. They sing songs in Ivrit about the festivals and learn vocabulary relevant to the festivals and Jewish values, for example shofar, chesed etc.
Key Stage 1
Continuing to work in small groups using the programme Chalav U’Dvash, children learn new vocabulary and to speak with increasing fluency, confidence and spontaneity. By the end of Year 2 the children begin to find ways of communicating what they want to say, including through discussions and asking questions, and continually improving the accuracy of their pronunciation and intonation. They can speak in sentences, using familiar vocabulary, phrases and basic language structure. In Jewish Studies, children learn to apply the Hebrew reading rules when they are reading and they learn songs and Hebrew vocabulary appropriate to festivals and Jewish values with confidence.
Key Stage 2
From KS2 we use Ivrit BeClick to provide the children with the opportunity to engage in richer conversations as well as learn about the culture and way of life in Israel. In Year 3 the children begin to write phrases from memory and practice written comprehension exercises. This continues and develops throughout KS2. The children can describe people, places, things and actions orally and in writing. They broaden their vocabulary and develop the ability to understand new words that are introduced into written familiar material. They can also present ideas and information to a range of audiences both orally and in writing. In Jewish Studies, children are supported to read for meaning in Ivrit, using the Shalom Ivrit and Tal Am books. They increase their Hebrew vocabulary and knowledge of basic Biblical Hebrew grammar through learning Chumash and they continue to learn songs and relevant vocabulary linked to the Jewish festivals and values.
Please see our Skills Progression Overview for more details.