Jewish Life and Learning Review 2022
During 2022, we have reached out to our community to hear about who they are and what is important to them; we sought feedback to help us provide the best Jewish education for our community’s diverse needs.
The review process collected information in a number of different ways from over 400 people and was supported by the Carmel School Board, Rabbis from PHC, Mizrachi Dianella Shule and Chabad WA. Please click here to view a video from our Principal, Dr Julie Harris, the President of the Carmel School Board, Mr Mark Majzner, and the Head of Jewish studies, Mr Simon Lawrence.
The review showed that our purpose of providing an excellent education where students are connected meaningfully with their Jewish identity is exactly what the community is seeking, and this reflects the meaningful Modern Orthodox Zionist Jewish education we offer to help our community grow.
Our values of excellence, integrity, connectedness, curiosity and courage will continue to guide and strengthen our thinking as we grow as a school.
The Board has agreed to adopt all the recommendations and outcomes of the engagement and review process. These will ensure that both our Primary School and High School Jewish Life and Learning (JL&L) programs reflect excellence in education and pedagogy, with the changes to be implemented starting in the 2024 school year.
A greater emphasis and investment will be made in the experiential program across the School – it will be broader, richer and will include more involvement with parents and guardians, bringing Jewish culture and traditions to life and to Carmel families through hands-on programs, camps, seminars and trips such as Shorashim.
The Primary School will look at creating more joy and engagement in Tefilla (prayers) through more music and singing in the Year 5 & 6 classes. The review will further develop the Primary School Jewish Studies curriculum and program, looking at what and how it is taught by the wonderful teachers, ensuring that it is based upon exceptional pedagogy, suited to the diverse needs of the community and supporting the School’s purpose.
In the High School, a greater choice will be offered for either deeper JL&L study or elective subjects to provide families with options that suit their level of observance or engagement. Hebrew is still very important, and students will need to meet the learning objectives by Year 10. Therefore, Hebrew will remain as part of the core program until the end of Year 10.
Familiarity with and regular practice of Tefilla is a core part of a school with Carmel’s ethos, and it will be expanded to foster greater engagement and enjoyment for all students. Daily full morning prayers will be available for those students who need it, together with a range of other options that will contribute to students’ spiritual and intellectual engagement with Judaism and Israel, more reflective of their personal interests and their family’s traditions. The opportunity for an expanded Torah stream program will be offered to High School students, with both before and after school classes for deeper-level Orthodox religious learning opportunities.
Year 11 & 12 students on an ATAR pathway, from 2024 will be able to choose all of their 5 or 6 subjects (English as one of these). ATAR subjects of Religion and Life and Hebrew language will always be offered. All Year 11 & 12 students will participate in a range of informal Jewish learning opportunities throughout the year, including seminars, camps and guest speaker opportunities, where they can use their Jewish knowledge gained over their years at Carmel to help form their young adult Jewish identity.
The JL&L program reflects the modern needs of our Jewish community and will provide the Jewish education that both meets our vision and purpose as a school and the diverse needs of families. It offers choice where relevant from an educational perspective, a greater focus on experiential programs and the academic rigour and quality pedagogy that parents expect from Carmel School. All of this will be provided within a warm and caring environment where the wellbeing and educational development of each student is our primary objective.
During 2023, the Principal, Dr Julie Harris, together with the Head of Jewish Studies, Mr Simon Lawrence, and his team will be working to create an excellent program that meets the School’s objectives and fulfils the School’s vision and purpose. The changes will be implemented starting in 2024.
Julie Harris, Principal Simon Lawrence, Director Jewish Studies
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