Etz Chaim Jewish Primary School

Headteacher Blog

12 April 2024
The focus in school this week has been the festival of Pesach. Songs have been ringing out around the corridors and our four model Sedarim have demonstrated how much the children know about Pesach. We were fortunate to have Rabbi Rose, Rabbi Schochet and Rabbi Akiva join us at our Sedarim and are grateful to Mrs Pieters, Miss Zairi and Mrs Braham for all their hard work.
I had the pleasure of another wonderful tea party today with children showing Educational Excellence. Congratulations to: 
Willow N, Lennie B, Adam G, Dylan C, Gideon K, Eli B and Rafi H.
As always, the children are working non-stop to improve their skills and knowledge across the curriculum. This week Reception have been learning about how the Ancient Egyptians wrote to each other. They found out that they used a hammer and pointy stick to scratch into rocks. They also attempted to write their own name in Hieroglyphics. Year 1 have been learning about money and the coins we use in England. They even attempted to write a pound sign which some children found quite tricky! Year 2 enjoyed their Comprehension Friday today. They are getting much better at answering retrieval questions where they have to read a text and find answers within it. This week Year 3 have been inspired by the Egyptian Cinderella to write their own traditional tale with an Egyptian twist. Year 4 have continued their work on the Water Cycle, they are experts at explaining how evaporation helps clouds to fill up with rain and can give great explanations of the whole process. Year 5 have completed one of my favourite maths units, learning to use a protractor. They have worked out how to accurately use them to measure acute, obtuse and reflex angles. Year 6 have continued their work on world foods by researching food from Mexico, they even tried some unfamiliar dishes such as Guacamole. They also looked at different recipes for Salsa and though about which one they thought would be the most delicious. 
Last night I had the pleasure of attending the MItzvah Day awards ceremony as we were nominated in the category for Outstanding Youth Achievement. The Mitzvah day team recognised the importance of our link with Kisharon Langdon and the adults that they support. I am pleased to say that we received a certificate of appreciation for this work and hope to continue working together with them again next year.
I spent two days this week at a Headteachers conference working with other Heads of Jewish Primary and Secondary schools as well as listening to some inspirational speakers. The conference gave me time to reflect and think about our school and what a special place it is. I would like to thank you all for the support you give to Etz Chaim and the contributions you all make to our special community.
Wishing you all a Chag Pesach Sameach and Shabbat Shalom,
Mrs Martin
5 April 2024
I was delighted to be able to begin the week by sharing with all our parents our final Ofsted report showing that the school has been rated as GOOD in all areas. It was great to see the hard work and progress made over the past 18 months recognised by the inspectors as well as them seeing what wonderful children we have at Etz Chaim. We were recognised for having “high ambitions for pupils’ achievements” and as being a place where “pupils enjoy coming”. It was also wonderful to see our success celebrated in the Jewish press.
This week Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 have been making sure their tadpoles are fed, are happy and are growing well. Year 5 have enjoyed observing the changes their caterpillars have made as they have cocooned themselves. 
Reception have thought about what their tadpoles will grow in to and have completed some writing about frogs.
Year 1 have been working hard focusing on what number is 1 more and 1 less than a given number. They have discussed what comes before and after and any patters in digits that they may have noticed.
Year 2 have been working hard on reading texts and answering questions about what they have read. They have thought about which types of questions can be answered from the reading and which may need them to think of their own conclusions before answering.
Year 3 have begun their new book called The Egyptian Cinderella. The book places an Egyptian spin on the classic story and was initially recorded in the first century. The children have enjoyed the book and know the story so well that they have been able to create their own story map in order to retell it. 
Year 4 have been learning about different habitats that animals live in. They have also learnt about endangered animals and what makes them endangered.
Year 5 are reading the book Varmints. This week they have written a persuasive letter to the Varmint to try and convince it to leave the meadow.
In Design Technology Year 6 have been learning about world food. This week they have learnt to make rice and how to scale a recipe u or down in order to cook the correct quantity. The general consensus amongst the class was that rice tastes much nice with some seasoning added to it whilst cooking.
Congratulations to the following children for showing educational excellence in class this week and for coming to my tea party:
Indi C, Alfie R, Walter B, Imri H, Amelijia V, Sonny C and Lila B. 
We look forward to seeing many of you at our model Sedarim next week. 
Shabbat shalom,
Mrs Martin
28 March 2024
The school has been a hive of activity yet again this week. We were lucky enough to receive a delivery of tadpoles earlier in the week which Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 have each enjoyed looking after. Year 5 have had a delivery of caterpillars and they are enjoying watching them move through the cycle in order to turn into butterflies.
Now that we have celebrated Purim in school our thoughts have turned to Pesach. Mah Nishtanah has been flowing into my office thanks to Year 1 and I have enjoyed seeing the learning around the traditions of Pesach taking place across the school. The classes have begun looking at Haggadot and some have started the challenge of making pages for their own Haggadah.
In Reception this week they have been working very hard in maths to double numbers and add numbers together. They have linked this in with their topic of animals and worked out how many animals were on different objects such as logs or in a pond.
Year 1 have learnt about how animals spread seeds around and how the seeds travel inside an animal before they pass through them. The children found talking about this in class very exciting!
Year 2 spent this week considering what plants need to stay healthy. They used their knowledge of a plant lifecycle as well as their observations of the seeds being grown in class to help them with their work. 
Year 3 have created and debugged algorithms to draw shapes. They skilfully programmed the commands in to the computer and watch the bug to see if it moved as they intended. 
Year 4 
This week Year 5 have been thinking about the technology needed to create a podcast. They have looked at the software needed for a sound recording and consider what content could be used to create a successful podcast.
Year 6 enjoyed putting their learning on rivers into practice earlier this week by going to our sandpit and building their own rivers. They worked together to dig channels and recreate rocks within a river.
I hope you all have a relaxing and enjoyable long weekend, despite the weather, and look forward to seeing everyone back in school on Tuesday morning.
Shabbat shalom,
Mrs Martin


22 March 2024


We have had 'the best day ever' according to the vast majority of pupils in school today. Purim school celebrations are one of my favourite reasons for working in a Jewish school and one I have enjoyed in schools for the past 19 years.  Thankfully today has been no exception. The children have taken art in a variety of activities to help bring the magic of Purim to life. They have sung songs, had a fancy dress parade, listened to Rabbi Rose reading the Megillah, gifted Mishloach Manot to their friends, taken part in Purim Zumba sessions and even enjoyed pizza and Hamantaschen for lunch. 

It has been a pleasure to see so many children embracing reading across the week. Our author visit on Tuesday was a massive hit and even the most reluctant readers couldn't resist being sucked in by Ted's Time Travelling Toilet. Steven Vinacour had the children engrossed in Ted's travels and adventures from the moment he began the day with us in assembly, right to the very end of the day selling his books in the playground. We have also loved seeing so many of you at our book fair this week, all the staff have enjoyed recommending new books and authors to the children and celebrating the joy of reading. The buzz around the school on Wednesday morning during our family reading times was electric, it was wonderful to see so many parents and siblings sitting together enjoying a good book. 


Congratulations to the children in years 4, 5 and 6 who attended the Israeli Dance Festival on Tuesday morning. The children have been working so hard learning a dance and had a wonderful time performing their dance at the festival. Thank you so much to Miss Zairi and Noa for choreographing and teaching the dance to the group.


Wishing you all Shabbat Shalom and Purim Sameach,


Mrs Martin



15 March 2024

We are currently in the middle of Neurodiversity Celebration Week which runs between the 13th – 19th of March 2024. Unfortunately we have been unable to mark this important event during these dates but will be marking it in school in a few weeks time. Neurodiversity Celebration Week is a worldwide initiative that challenges stereotypes and misconceptions about neurological difference. Neurodiversity refers to a world where neurological differences are recognised and respected as all other human variations. The umbrella term ‘neurodiversity’ is used to describe alternative ways of thinking such as Autism and ADHD. 

On Monday Year 5 took part in the Barnet Dance festival which was held at the Arts Depot. The children have been working so hard over the past few weeks to practice the dance which was fantastically choreographed by Mrs Gishen. It was wonderful to see our children perform on the stage and take part in a show featuring children from Year 1 up to University students. Congratulations to the whole class for performing with such gusto, it was wonderful to see the enjoyment on their faces whilst on stage, I was beaming with pride as I watched them.


Our assembly on Tuesday had a Tzedakah focus. It began with a talk about the role Jewish Care play for our community and information about what the sponsorship money for our Purim Zumbathon will be used for. It was then the turn of our Tzedakah Tzevet to put forward three worthy charities for the school to vote and decide which would become our school charity for the year.  It was a close contest but I am pleased to announce that Spread A Smile was voted in as the charity we will support in a variety of ways, including our weekly Friday tzedakah collection. Spread a Smile brings joy and laughter to seriously ill and hospitalised children and their families during long hospital stays.  Every year they spread smiles to thousands of children and teenagers and their families through hospital visits, outings and events and art initiatives. They know that their impact is far greater than a smile as they strive to make a real and positive difference to young lives at the most challenging of times.


On Wednesday a group of Year 3 and 4 pupils took part in the Maccabi mixed football tournament. The tam had been working hard over the past few weeks to get to know each other as players and worked extremely well together on the day. The team played exceptionally well together. Out of the five matches they played they won two, drew one and lost two. Thank you to Mr Moscow for his coaching and managing skills.


As always the children have been working extremely hard in class all week. Reception have been learning about zoo animals and have enjoyed reading the book Dear Zoo. They then wrote their own pages of the book to describe an animal a zoo might send to them, some even managed to do it without naming the animal! Year 1 have been learning about how plants grow. They have looked at the roots of a plant and discovered what their important job is. Year 2 have learnt to finger spell the alphabet this week in honour of deaf awareness week. They attempted to spell their own names and some even challenged themselves to spell out Mrs Shuck. Year 3 have been learning about sun safety and how to stay safe in the sun. They discussed what damage the sun could do and why it is important to use things such as sun cream sunglasses and a sun hat when the sun is shining. Year 4 have been thinking about water and some adjectives for different bodies of water. They were amazed at the different options for where water could be found and enjoyed writing about them. Year 5 have linked their learning on the Purim characters to making art with natural materials. The children worked in groups to create large pictures of some of the Purim characters which included appropriate natural objects within the picture. Year 6 have continued with their learning on rivers by looking at how rivers are formed. They began earlier in the day be making thweir own playdough which they then used to create a model of a river course.

My Headteacher Tea Party too an unexpected turn this week when we begun talking politics and the role the government plays in dictating what has to take place within schools. Congratulations to the following children for showing Educational Excellence with their learning this week and for joining me at tea:

Aaron H, Eliana B, Avraham B, Robi N, Shulamit B, Jonah M and Anna O.


Shabbat Shalom,


Mrs Martin



8th March 2024

I am delighted to announce that we have been awarded the Resilient School Kitemark in recognition of the commitment we have made to promote whole school awareness of wellbeing, mental health, and resilience. The Resilient Schools kitemark are offered in recognition of the hard work and dedication to a ‘whole school approach’ in our school and the impact this will have had and will continue to have on our pupils and staff. 

As part of #LetGirlsPlay for International Women's Day today, we took part in a national initiative encouraging girls to play football. The astro pitch was used at lunchtime today to allow us as a school to take part in this event aimed at getting as many girls as possible in school playing football. #LetGirlsPlay is a campaign to influence and drive change, showing that football can and should be played by girls. It aims to bring together a growing community of people of all genders, ages and backgrounds who want to champion equal access for girls, helping create independent, resilient young girls who will be a force for good in all local communities.

Congratulations to the following children for showing academic excellence in class this week and for joining me at my weekly tea party:

Jedidiah H-C, Kai L, Itay D, Hannah Z, Louis B, Taylor G and Ava M.


On Friday March 22nd the children will be taking part in a sponsored Zumba session to celebrate the festival of Purim in a fun and active way, whilst raising money for Jewish Care. The funds raised will be directly donated towards dance therapy sessions at Jewish Care’s Dementia Day Centres, which bring so much joy to their members. If you would like to sponsor your child please see the sponsorship form your child will receive next week, or you can donate through this link. Jewish Care are so excited for the children at Etz Chaim Jewish Primary School to take part in Purim Zumba, thank you so much for your support.

Purim Zumba - Etz Chaim - Jewish Care


Shabbat shalom,


Mrs Martin 



1 March 2024
Again this week I have spent a lot of time in and out of classes visiting lesson, talking to the children and enjoying becoming immersed in the learning opportunities going on across the school. 
There was a lot of excitement in Reception this week when Miss Zairi brough in a whole fish to show the children the fins and scales on it to help them understand what makes a fish kosher. The children enjoyed looking closely at the fish and its different body parts.
Year 1 have been working hard this week to improve their addition skills. They have looked at number families and how knowing this can help them to create four different calculations.
The children in Year 2 have been enjoying learning to write the Aleph Bet using script letters. They have also discussed which animals are kosher and which are not and considered why a giraffe has split hooves and chews the cud but is not Kosher.
I walked in to Year 3 the other day to find some scary ideas on the board. I was relieved to see that they were ideas that the children had generated in order to defeat the Iron Man and not anything more sinister.
Year 4 have continued to work on becoming journalists in their English lessons this week. They have been looking at how to lay out a newspaper article and what to write in on.
Year 5 were excited to start their new English text this week. They children had to predict what they thought a Varmint is and then read the description in the book to find out how the author described it. They were surprised to find out that it is a kind, lovely creature rather than a mean one.
Year 6 had their last lesson on World War Two this week. They summed up everything they had learnt during the topic and continued to consider how the changing role for women during the war left it mark post war.
On Wednesday we invited boys from Year 5 and 6 at Goodwyns School to come and play some friendly football matches against some of out Year 5 and 6 boys. The children all played well and worked together in their teams to give Goodwyns a good kick about. I am delighted to say we won both matches 9-1 and 6-2. Congratulations to our teams Saul, Kobi B, Coby K, Daniel S, Lior, Taylor, Felix, Tom, Oli B, Ollie S and Joseph.
Congratulations to the following children for showing educational excellence in class this week and being invited to my tea party:
Ezra J, Rafi L, Shoshannah W, Tammy C, Izac A, Mila B and Gabi G.
Finally, we are delighted to say that we won first prize in the Festival of Spoken Ivrit display competition. All children across the school worked extremely hard with Miss Zairi and Noa, our shinshinit, to produce work for the display. The festival organising team were so impressed with the display of our work that the felt we deserved first place. Congratulations to Miss Zairi for all her hard work.

Wishing you all a restful Shabbat,


Mrs Martin



23 February 2024
As we come to the end of an exciting week, I would like to begin by thanking all my staff for their hard work and dedication this week. Receiving the phone call at 9.30 on Monday morning informing us that Ofsted would be visiting on Tuesday and Wednesday could have sent some schools into a panic. However, we were filled with excitement at showing the inspectors what a fantastic school we are, how wonderful and insightful our children are as well as our commitment as staff to provide our children with a well deserved high level of  education. 
It was a pleasure to welcome the following children to me tea party this morning. We had a conversation around the learning that has taken place in school this week as well as some of the exciting things the children did during half term. Congratulations to the following children for showing Educational Excellence in class this week:
Eva Y, Caio F, Milly S, Hannah G, Lola M, Zevi M and Saul B.
As always, I have spent a lot of time going in and out of this week and it has been wonderful to see the variety of lessons and activities taking place across the school. 
This week Reception have been learning about Capacity and considering how many cups of water it would take to fill up a variety of containers. 
Year 1 have been learning how to add and subtract numbers using a number line. They have also discussed why it is important to throw rubbish in the bin rather than leaving it on the ground as litter. 
Year 2 have been finding fractions of shapes and numbers. They have also been using the calculators in their heads to work out simple calculations such as 44+22. 
Year 3 have started their History topic on Ancient Egypt. They were given a variety of artefacts to look at and predict how they might relate to the time period. They have also been learning about measuring length and can now convert measurements from centimetres to meters and vice versa. 
Year 4 have continues reading Iron Man and have begun to write a newspaper report on the Space Bat Angel Dragon landing in Australia. 
Year 5 have enjoyed delving deeper into non-chronological reports this week. They have looked at some example reports and then written their own using everything they have learnt in History about he Kingdom of Benin.
Year 6 have finished their unit on ratio. They also looked at the role of women in World War Two and how it their role changed during the war as the men were all off fighting, they even managed to link it to the recent Barbie film!
Wishing you all Shabbat Shalom,
Mrs Martin