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(44 Posts)
anothermakesthree Sat 12-May-12 08:26:59


Have been offered a place at this new Jewish Secondary for September, as its new I haven't really heard much feedback, though did love it when we looked round. Are there any current parents or people who have knowledge of the school out there, that can advise?? Thanks!

OP’s posts: |
louisea Sat 12-May-12 18:07:11

My kids don't go there but we know several who do. All seem to like the school. Haven't heard anything negative about the school.

Maybetimeforachange Sat 12-May-12 21:28:08

I have only heard positive things too.

breadandbutterfly Sun 13-May-12 16:54:16

Everyone I know who goes there loves it. beware that head is leaving - don't know who new head is but old one was very popular, so worth checking out.

anothermakesthree Sun 13-May-12 20:27:49

Thanks for comments, yes heard head was leaving, but apparently no news on replacement yet!


OP’s posts: |
frankie4 Wed 16-May-12 22:07:32

Bump, I would also like to find out more about this school.

Interlopingdad Fri 18-May-12 09:46:28


I have a child in year 8 and a second one joining in September. We are extremely happy with the school. My eldest is at the upper end of the ability range and is being challenged to perform at very high levels. The standard of teaching seems high but they do not over burden children with "home learning" which we used to call homework! The school claims that children of all abilities are making outstanding progress.

The ethos of the school is to nurture kind and considerate young people and they seem to do that effectively, setting very clear expectations. Behaviour seems generally to be good and I like the JcoSS kids who I have met. Relationships between staff and pupils are excellent.

Don't forget it is a Jewish school so there are four hours a week of Jewish Studies and three of Ivrit (modern Hebrew) which is optional from year nine. there is a longer teaching day to accommodate this. Teaching of these subjects was a bit uneven but seems to have settled down. However, they don't overdo the religious aspect giving children a choice.

Sadly the head is leaving to move closer to his wife's family in Australia. He is dynamic with a very clear vision. The new head has not yet been selected - I think they are interviewing next week. But the governors are experienced and know what they are looking for so hopefully they will make a good appointment.

The school had its OFSTED inspection this week. Don't know the outcome yet but that report will be available in a few weeks.

Hope this helps

Maybetimeforachange Fri 18-May-12 17:23:22

Interlopingdad, thank you for that. JCOSS is one of the schools we will be considering for DS1 and it is lovely to hear such positive reports from a current parent.

frankie4 Fri 18-May-12 18:31:27

Interlopingdad. - that all sounds great. Does your dc have a long journey to school, as that is something I am worried about. And how do you think the school compares to jfs and yavneh in terms of the sort of families that go there?

anothermakesthree Sat 19-May-12 08:55:02

Interlopingdad - Thanks for the feedback, it's pretty much what I have been hearing! We loved the school and it almost seemed a bit 'too good to be true', especially as we live very close. We have accepted the place and can't wait for September!

OP’s posts: |
breadandbutterfly Sat 19-May-12 14:08:11

Yavneh is more religious and very becky.

I hated the head there when we visited - apparently they lock naughty children in solitary confinement for a day if they do something wrong - basically they are imprisoned. Only school we visted I really hated. Although I know some people with kids there who like it. Clearly it's a bit marmite.

JFS - fantastic for the top stream apparently. Obviously a wide range of kids as so big.

frankie4 Sat 19-May-12 14:54:16

Thanks breadandbutterfly - how about JFS if you are not in the top stream? I've heard school is so big they can almost get lost in the crowd.

donnie Sat 19-May-12 18:48:01

I know a couple of parents with kids there who are very happy with it. It has a specialist support framework and funding for an autistic unit so the pastoral and SEN provision comes high on their priorities.

breadandbutterfly Sun 20-May-12 14:04:57

frankie - yes, I've heard that too.

louisea Sun 20-May-12 16:04:26

I wouldn't say that Yavneh is any more becky than either of the other two schools. I've seen all sorts at all of the schools.

breadandbutterfly Sun 20-May-12 16:32:51

Plenty of becks at the other two, agreed, but maybe more of a wider mix at the others?

frankie4 Sun 20-May-12 16:54:14

But is there much of a difference between JFS and JCOSS? I would expected more of a mix at JCOSS, but maybe not now that the admission rules have changed and JFS not so strict to get into.

louisea Sun 20-May-12 18:37:46

Sorry, I don't know. I've never visited JCOSS and I last saw JFS 4 years ago.

breadandbutterfly Sun 20-May-12 22:21:05

There is a difference - JCOSS is actively welcoming of all religious varieties whereas JFS merely tolerates them.

JCOSS is much smaller and more personal - better for quieter children who might slightlky disappear in a big place like JFS.

JFS good for v high achievers or v social kids. Reasonable range of kids from becks to intellectuals with everything in between at both schools. Kids I know at both all happy - JCOSS parents all raving how great it is.

fabulousathome Mon 21-May-12 01:03:19

I guess JCOSS has little history re getting kids into Uni so that may be a factor that you want to consider.

I have heard less than good things about Yavneh.

However now my kids are grown I realise that you need to get a lot of opinions on a school. Parents of children who are doing well at a school may tell you how marvellous it is. Parents of "naughty" children may tell you how badly a school is treating their kids. It's very hard to find out the truth. Staff turnover is a big factor. If it's v high there may be a reason.

breadandbutterfly Mon 21-May-12 07:44:10

Go to the parents' evenings esp JCOSS to get a feel esp for any changes once new head. i'm not the only on who hated Yavneh from the first seconds of its parents' evening! Whereas i expected to dislike JFS but was actually v impressed - you need your own personal view.

louisea Mon 21-May-12 10:29:14

Can I ask what it was about Yavneh that you didn't like? I know some people who love the school and hated JFS. I'm trying to work out what it is about certain schools that makes some people love them and others hate them.

Interlopingdad Mon 21-May-12 10:55:52

There are fewer kids at JCoSS from observant homes (unsurprising given the view of the Orthodox Rabbinate) than at JFS but there are plenty who opt for orthodox services when they have them. Food is kosher (London beth Din supervised) and from next year the school will be completely closed for all festivals - no longer having a voluntary programme on the second day of some chagim. At the other end of the spectrum, there's no difference between JCoSS and JFS - lots of children from completely unobservant homes.

There is a wide range of children - a few becks so I am told but there seem to be no issues with tolerating different types of people. The school has tried to ensure that children don't get too cliquey but I don't know how much they can do. The current head has been almost draconian when cracking down on any small signs of bullying.

From visiting, JFS seemed like an excellent school and we would have been very happy to send our children there. I know lots of JFS parents and few are anything other than extremely happy with the school. It feels slighly more regimented than JCoSS to me though.

For us, travel to JCoSS is slightly easier. We also liked the inclusive ethos which does permeate the school. Our eldest is also benefitting from being in the first cohort and has had opportunities which would otherwise not have been available.

breadandbutterfly Mon 21-May-12 10:57:07

Easy - Yavneh is v authoritarian - 'alpha' head who dictates policy - to parents as wekll as children! If you like that, you'll love Yavneh. If that is anathema to you, you won't.

They lost us from the first moment, before the evening had begun - demanded my (non-Jewish) DH wear a kippah (not mentioned to bring one on the advance materials - he would happily have worn one if stated). Then gave us the option of 'wearing one of the free paper kippahs they give to naughty children who forget theirs!!' or buying one!! for a quid. Chutzpadik of the highest order!

Plus all the stuff about locking children in cupboards for the slightest minor infraction of the rules and humiliating children who forgot their PE kits was not really what I had in mind...

Only thing i liked was the enrichment activities.

breadandbutterfly Mon 21-May-12 10:58:06

@ louisea

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