JFS is Europe’s largest Jewish secondary school with more than 2,100 pupils on its roll. It was established in 1732 and today is based in a new state-of-the-art campus in Kenton – which was built in 2002. The school has 300 places on offer for Year 7 and offers places to between 40 and 60 students who wish to transfer into the Sixth Form after GCSEs.
JFS is voluntary aided and is co-educational for most subjects, where boys and girls are taught together in the same lessons. The school offers pupils a wide ranging curriculum from traditional subjects like History and Science to more modern areas like sociology psychology, media studies, photography and theatre and various more vocationally oriented subjects including Child Care and Business Studies . The entire curriculum is supported with purpose-built facilities for Theatre Studies, Music, Sport, Dance, Media Studies, Art, Science and Technology and a beautiful synagogue with a Beit Midrash. There is a dedicated Sixth Form Centre.
Additionally, there is a wide range of extra-curricular opportunities ranging from visits to galleries, museums, and theatres to visits abroad to Poland, Israel and Prague. Two days a week there is an after school programme. Offerings vary from Krav Maga and Drama to text based chevruta learning, music and, debating to name but six of the 12 options in the winter term.
JFS’ religious outlook is orthodox, and one of its main aims is “to ensure that Jewish values permeate the school”. Jewish Studies is a core subject for all students all of whom take the GCSE examination in Religious Studies. Ivrit and Israel Studies are included as part of Jewish Education
In its most recent Ofsted inspection in April 2009, on all 39 measures on which a school is assessed, JFS was found to be “outstanding”. Inspectors noted: “The quality of teaching is outstanding. Teachers’ subject knowledge is excellent and lessons are very well planned, containing a full range of activities to engage and interest students. The school meets its mission statement by developing thoughtful, tolerant, responsible and caring young citizens.”