“Education means teaching a child to be curious, to wonder, to reflect, to enquire. The child who asks, becomes a partner in the learning process, an active recipient. To ask is to grow. ”

Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks

At Ruth Landau Harp Early Learning, we believe that the early years of the child’s life are the most crucial. It is a time were children are filled with wonder and excitement as they explore and make sense of the world around them. When creating our unique curriculum, we have ensured that all of our learning experiences  and environments are suitable for our children’s varying development stages as well as their ever changing interests and curiositites about the world around them.

Our holistic curriculum has been designed to highlight the Jewish values and holidays whilst meeting all areas of the Early Years Learning Framework. This ensures our integrated curriculum is well rounded and seamlessly weaves, identity and self-discovery, language and communication, math, art, science, self-regulation and music with the Jewish topic in focus. Our curriculum aims to promote each child’s intellectual, social, physical and emotional growth. All of our classroom environments include learning centres which allow each child to make choices relating to where they would like to learn and what they would like to actively discover. Each learning centre has a specific purpose and with teacher guidance, children grow cognitively and emotionally and have the opportunity to interact with their peers.

The Jewish values and festivals are taught to impart a love and excitement for Judaism. The intentional teaching is done through stories, interactive songs, and role-plays and at a level for the children to understand and make meaning from. These themes are what inspire the learning centres in the classroom and extend and deepen the children’s knowledge of the world around them. The values that we teach focus on being a kind, caring and a sustainable human being, so we can look after our beautiful world.

We hold a Shabbat party every Friday, which is a much-loved celebration at our centre. It is a time where our whole Ruth Landau Harp community comes together and models the Shabbat celebration which takes place on Friday night in a traditional Jewish home. The children make challah, a traditional braided Jewish bread, to take home and love being part of this special celebration. We also hold celebrations throughout the year to model different Jewish Holidays and special days. For example, on Tu’Bshvat we have a party to celebrate the birthday of the trees and learn about the seven species of trees of Israel.  We also hold a mini Passover celebration before the Pesach holiday.

Throughout the Jewish calendar, we have many holidays to explore and learn about. These holidays each bring an opportunity for  cultural experiences and discoveries. For example, during Rosh Hashanah we learn about the customs of eating apples dipped in honey and blowing a ram’s horn (shofar). These customs are used as inspiration for our learning experiences and environments.

For example, we invite the children to learn about bees and how honey is made. They have hands-on experiences of tasting sweet and sour, and explore different varieties of apples, discovering that two apples can taste different from one another. The children learn about the different animals that have antlers and what makes a kosher shofar. They are exposed to the sounds of the shofar and this is further extended to learning about different sounds. There are opportunities to understand more about our postal system when sending New Year greeting cards to our friends and families.

These are just a few examples of the learning opportunities available to the children during one of the Jewish Holidays we celebrate. With each new topic, there is always great excitement to discover, explore and learn something new.

Our curriculum is bilingual and is taught in both English and Hebrew, with every new topic exposing the children to fundamental Hebrew words, which they can then use in general conversation.

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