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Etz Chaim Jewish Primary School in Mill Hill hosts official opening ceremony
With children singing and the release of balloons, a Jewish primary school held opened in style today.
Etz Chaim Jewish Primary School in Daws Lane, Mill Hill, invited education secretary Michael Gove, Rabbi Yitzchak Schochet and the new Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis to attend its official opening ceremony.
Rabbi Mirvis told the audience that the event was “a historic occasion”, not just for Mill Hill’s Jewish community but for the “entire Jewish community of London”.
The children performed a song in Hebrew and a song about the school being “cool”. There was a performance of a puppet show along with art classes while the parents toured the school.
One of 44 Jewish primary schools in the UK, Etz Chaim opened on the site of a former garden centre in October 2011 with 54 pupils. There are now 107 pupils enrolled.
Chairman of governors Adam Dawson explained that the school’s founding was “driven by parent power and demand for places”.
A group of six people, including headteacher Yvonne Baron, were behind the idea for the school. Additional strategic support for the project also came from Lord Levy, who is a patron of the school.
Ms Baron said: “It’s been a real learning curve, an amazing journey. It’s an honour and a privilege to be able to create something from scratch.
“It’s a school for the 21st Century. We recognise that children can find facts anywhere. We need to give them the skills to navigate, ask questions and team-build.”
Sarah Osborne, PHASE leader for Key Stage One at the school, said: “It’s a brand new school, lots of new opportunities and an emphasis on new technology. We need to prepare the children for jobs that don’t exist yet.”
Spoken and written Hebrew will also be taught three times a week.
“Different activities every day” was the reason Noa Lefton, six, said she enjoyed the school. Her brother Isaac, four, said that it was an easy place to make friends.
There may be a professional football player among the future alumns of the school as Louis Kirsch, five, said that his ambition was to play for Arsenal.
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