NWLJDS Annual Report 2020/21

Message From The Head

First and foremost I start with a big THANK YOU to everyone for the roles that you have played throughout this academic year. This has definitely been another challenging one but together we have come through it stronger.

We started this academic year in school, in class bubbles, with assemblies online and separate playtimes becoming the norm. In the Autumn Term, despite the COVID restrictions in place, we celebrated Black History Day, Remembrance Day, the chagim, Anti-Bullying week and Interfaith Day, as well as running E-Safety workshops. With thanks to the ongoing hard work of the PTA, the Chanukah Shuk was able to take place and was adapted so that it was COVID safe and children did not miss out on this wonderful event. We also enjoyed a week of Chanukah celebrations to end 2020 in style!

Then came 2021, and we started the Spring Term with online learning. The school remained open for children of key workers, vulnerable children and Nursery children. Yet again, very quickly and smoothly, the staff transitioned from teaching in the classroom to teaching online.

In these unprecedented times, North West has shown tremendous strength and determination. Education moved from the classroom to online through Zoom sessions, teaching videos and online worksheets. Headteacher Challenges were sent out weekly as were Kabbalat Shabbat assemblies.

To all our parents: they say that the hardest thing to do is to teach your own children, yet for the Spring Term you all stepped up and did just that, so thank you and Kol hakavod! Thank you for your continued support throughout the year.

Great news came when it was announced that children could return to school on 8 March. Whilst returning to school may sound like a very simple thing, it is testament to all our staff – senior management, teachers, support staff, the office, kitchen, cleaning and security – that we could do this as smoothly and calmly as we did. This was no mean feat. Three timetables running across the school so that bubbles did not meet, four lunch sittings and seven clean-downs in between the lunch sittings, hourly cleaning checks in place and staff not crossing bubbles all takes up considerable time and planning, which adds pressure to what staff already have to do. And so I take this opportunity of thanking all my staff, in whatever capacity or role they played, for supporting me in getting the school open and ready for business.

Back in school for the end of the Spring Term and for the full Summer Term, we celebrated Book Day, the Chinese New Year and International Women’s Day. We have also had Wellbeing Day, Super Hero Day and Science Day. A week of sport-related activities in honour of the European Championships included a free-styler. Classes also had the opportunity to visit the Year 6 Enterprise Fair. Despite being on Zoom, the Nursery, Reception and Year 6 Graduations were all tear jerkers that displayed the children’s remarkable achievements over this past academic year.

Staff, Governors, Trustees, Parents and Children – thank you for all your hard work and support this year. It has truly been appreciated. North West is a family and this year, in the most trying of circumstances, everyone has really stepped up and supported each other. Together, we have made it to the end of this academic year and we should be exceptionally proud of what we have achieved.

Keep well, Keep safe

Warmest regards

Miss Judith Caplan

Managing Lockdown @ North West

  • Academic Year started in school. Each class a bubble.
  • Lockdown#2 was in November. School remained open to all pupils.
  • End of December Year 3, Year 5 and Year 6 classes were isolating and their education reverted to online learning.
    21 staff members were also isolating at this time.
  • 30th December it was announced that Brent schools would not be returning to the classroom and would be learning online at the start of the Spring Term.
  • At the start of the Spring term school remained open for children where both parents are Critical/Key workers and for Vulnerable children, Children with EHCPs and the Nursery children.
  • Timetable of online lessons took place with all classes received face-to-face sessions online via Zoom for English, Maths, Kodesh, Registration in the morning and afternoon. Ivrit sessions took place weekly.
  • Pupils could access their work and any teaching videos for other subjects such Science and Creative Curriculum via the OneDrive.
  • During the lockdown the Key Worker unit had to close for 10 days due to a positive case of COVID-19
  • School opened for all pupils on 8th March.
  • Staggered start and end times
  • Increase of cleaning (especially all access points throughout the day)
  • School has been disinfected through a process of misting 
  • One-way system in certain areas of the school inside and outside
  • Signage up around the building
  • Classes remain in their bubbles, including at lunch and break times
  • No crossover of staff in bubbles initially – this eased after Pesach.
  • Children and staff have their temperature taken on entry to the building
  • No non-essential staff or visitors allowed in building
  • All SEND (EHCP) children and vulnerable children monitored 
  • Continual monitoring of the Government guidelines 

Striving to achieve excellence for all

The school has continued to make exceptional progress, setting demanding targets and offering all of its children as wide a range of challenges and experiences as possible. This is all carried out within the overriding objective of developing a love of Judaism. We feel certain that as you read this report, you will agree that North West London Jewish Day School continues to go from strength to strength, which is testament to all stakeholders within our school community and the support that we give each other.

Developing a Love of Judaism

At ‘North West’ our aim is for every child to have a sense of pride in their heritage, a strong sense of community and a love for Judaism. We make sure that the children have the practical skills to participate in Jewish life including the ability to read Hebrew confidently and competently. Our textual studies lessons are an important component of our Kodesh curriculum, and the children leave our school with the skills needed to ably approach a Hebrew text and analyse it. We put great efforts into our teaching of Ivrit and we aim for our children to obtain a sound level of conversational Ivrit.

This year unfortunately there was some disruption to the school’s routine due to the national school closure caused by the Covid-19 pandemic; however, the Kodesh and Ivrit teachers have been able to expertly adapt to online teaching and adopt new and innovative teaching techniques to ensure the delivery of the Kodesh curriculum. The teachers have worked tirelessly to make sure that they continue to provide the highest standard of Jewish education to the children even when they were not physically in school. Each morning, the children were greeted online by their teachers and took part in a lively Tefillah session, as would have happened in school. The children were provided with multiple daily Zoom sessions and an array of resources. The children were able to keep in close contact with the teachers and successfully continued their learning even as they were at home. We are exceptionally proud of our children, parents, and teachers, who made the distance learning such a success.

Despite the covid restrictions we have managed to keep the wonderful sense of community which ‘North West’ is so well known for.

Our Successes and Highlights This Year Include:

Take Ten initiative for all classes

Anti-Bullying Day

House Point mornings

Week of Chanukah celebrations to end 2020 in style!

Chanukah Shuk

MPs visit our school

Year 6 residential

Chinese New Year celebrations

E-Safety workshops for pupils, parents and staff

Transport for London talk to Year 6

Maths Day

World Book Day

Class Seders in school

Participated in Primary Maths Challenge 

Yom Ha’Atzmaut celebrations

Year 6 graffiti workshop

Year 5 Art workshop

Year 5 and 6 PSHE workshop

Remote Year 5 Etgar

Year 6 Historical Oscars

Year 6 Enterprise

EYFS and Key Stage 1 Perform Drama workshop

Year 6 Ulpan

Sports Day activities

Black History celebrations

Breakfast club and after school clubs

Year 6 end of year film

Year 1 Great Fire of London workshop

International Women’s Day 

Tu B’Shvat celebrations during lockdown#3

Super hero Day

Remote Purim celebrations

Freestyler workshop

Mental Health and Wellbeing Day

Head Teacher’s Challenges

Zoom learning and OneDrive

Year 5 and 6 Ivrit performance

Thanks go to our amazing children, incredible staff, encouraging parents, dedicated leadership team, governors and trustees.

Miss Judith Caplan, Rabbi Ronen Broder and Mr Yosh Radomsky

Our School Newspaper

School Standard is the North West school newspaper written and produced by our year 6 pupils. Click below to read two editions.

Secondary School Transfers




Moving abroad 2 1
Aldenham 1 0
Channing 0 1
Hasmonean 1 1
Immanuel College 2 2
JCoSS 1 0
JFS 8 7
South Hampstead 0 3
UCL Academy 1 0
Yavneh College 1 0

Parent Teachers Association (PTA)

The NWLJDS PTA brings together the teaching staff and the parent body into an enthusiastic and dynamic working partnership and community, working together for the benefit of the children and the school.

The PTA would usually host many of the events that run throughout the school year, and fundraises to sponsor resources and activities for children.

The PTA holds a very valuable role within the school community and also works closely with the staff to develop relationships between parents and the school. Any event that we run and that you or your child participates in means that we can contribute towards PTA initiatives within the school.

This academic year has obviously been disadvantageous to the PTA calendar of activities, events and initiatives but thanks to some very dedicated volunteers and helpers we have managed to achieve a huge amount despite restrictions. These projects include;

  • New Parents’ Evening (online)
  • Chanukah Shuk – taking place very successfully, virtually this year.
  • Mishloach Manot – A unique Shabbat Pack, hand delivered to all families in the school.
  • School Calendar – Always hugely popular for families and this year all planned remotely.
  • Cocktail Evening – Great online social evening for all families with cocktail making and food demonstration.
  • Charity Food Bank Drive – Very successful collection for Food Bank Aid, North London for families in need.

This has meant that the PTA have been able to provide funds to pay for the following;

  • In school Lag Ba’Omer activities for all children including circus skills workshop.
  • Mathletics Subscription for all children in Reception to Year 6
  • Nelson Handwriting scheme contributions.
  • Early Years Reading resources
  • E-Safety Evening
  • Chanukah arts and crafts activities within all classes
  • Year 6 activities within school

An enormous thank you to every single person who has contributed to the PTA this year – to all the class reps, to those who have planned and executed the calendar, Mishloach Manot and Chanukah Shuk projects, and those that have given their time to all other projects and initiatives for the PTA – it is hugely appreciated.

A big thank you to Yoni Dital, PTA Treasurer for his dedication, time and commitment.

Daniella Selig
Chair of PTA

Parents’ Survey

At North West, we are always striving to achieve excellence for all and our parents opinions and comments are essential and valued – We asked parents to complete a short survey in June this year. Thank you to the 59 parents that completed the survey.

Most of the results are extremely positive and we have made some progress since the last parent survey in 2017. We know that there are areas and themes that we need to work on and an action group has been setup led by Governors and the leadership team to implement these changes – watch this space.

What our parents have said about North West:

93% said their children are very happy / happy compared to 89% in 2017
“Seeing my son run into school every day excited to see his teachers and friends assures me that he is happy at North West.”

90% said they are very happy / happy with the level of safety at North West compared to 92% in 2017
“I feel that the security is of an extremely high level and feel that we are all very well protected.”

78% said that they are very confident / confident that their children’s development is being supported by their secular teachers compared to 63% in 2017
“My children consistently achieve well and consistently make good progress. The social development is fantastic and I have seen through the home learning experience that, on the whole, learning is engaging and varied.”

81% said that they are very confident / confident that their children’s development is being supported by their Kodesh teachers compared to 80% in 2017
“Their lessons are being taught to them in such a fun way in which my son remembers everything. He’s always the first to tell me this weeks Parasha and what happened in it . My son absolutely loves Kodesh and this is because it is being taught to him in such a wonderful way!”

78% said that the school is very well led / well led compared to 65% in 2017
“Miss Caplan and the leadership team have done an incredible Job this year and have worked tirelessly to lead the school throughout a very difficult period. We are very grateful for that and for the tightly controlled Covid situation that has enable our children to be at school for the most amount fo time possible.”

61% said that behaviour issues are very well dealt / well dealt with compared to 46% in 2017
“All disciplinary issues are dealt with swiftly and in the correct way!”

83% said that they feel the school’s atmosphere stimulates excellent / facilitates good learning compared to 86% in 2017
“The atmosphere is nurturing and caring and the best use of the space and facilities are made.”

73% said that the administration is very well / well organised compared to 70% in 2017
“Excellent and very helpful, supportive and friendly staff.”

80% said that they were very happy / happy with the teaching, level of support and resource provision offered to children during the most recent lockdown
“The teachers did really well in teaching engaging lessons online, keeping the children’s attention even though it was through a screen and still allowing children to learn and develop. Good that teachers were also available online at times outside the class lessons, if my child had any questions or needed individual help. Clear structured timetable and a variety of worksheet activities provided for outside zoom lessons.”

90% said that they would recommend North West to others
“I would always recommend North West to friends and family as an example of a fantastic, well-led community school with great teaching, excellent provision but most of all because the children are happy and confident and thrive there.”

Some of the words our parents used to sum up North West:

  • Amazing
  • Engaging
  • Zionist
  • Nurturing
  • Fun
  • Warm
  • Friendly
  • Supportive
  • Motivating
  • Secure
  • Encouraging
  • Stable
  • Caring
  • Happy
  • Special
  • Brilliant
  • Homely
  • Inclusive
  • Family
  • Community
  • Traditional
  • Dedicated
  • Inspirational
  • Educational
  • Safe
  • Welcoming
  • Kind
  • Organised
  • Valued
  • Attentive
  • Cosy
  • Reliable
  • Excellent
  • North West is the Best!

North West Governors

Governors contribute to the work of the Governing Board by ensuring all the children at North West can reach their full potential and achieve excellent academic outcomes by:

  • Setting the School’s vision, ethos and strategic direction.
  • Holding the headteacher to account for the educational performance of the school and its pupils.
  • Overseeing the financial performance of the school to ensure that money is well spent.

We have 9 sub committees of the Governing Board which are:

  1. Teaching, learning & curriculum
  2. Staffing
  3. Finance
  4. Premises
  5. Safeguarding & welfare
  6. Admissions
  7. Va’ad Hachinuch
  8. Communications
  9. Fundraising

All Governors take part in Learning Walks led by the Senior Leadership Team to get a feel of how the school runs day by day. The Learning Walks are focused and specific agendas and outcomes are discussed, agreed and recorded. Due to Covid restrictions this has been more infrequent this last academic year.

We are very fortunate to have a dedicated team of Governors and Trustees who voluntarily give up their time, working together Striving to achieve excellence for all.

We have 13 Governors, 6 Trustees, 8 Trustee-appointed Governors, 2 Parent-appointed Governors, 5 Governors who are also parents, 2 Staff-appointed Teacher Governors, and our Head Teacher is an Ex Officio Governor.

Find out more about the Governors

  • Mr Ashley Donoff
    Chair of Governors
    Designated Governor for Safeguarding and Child Protection
  • Miss Judith Caplan
  • Mrs Sara Elias
    Vice Chair of Governors
    Chair of Va’ad Hachinuch Committee
  • Mr Sol Benady
    Chair of Finance Committee
  • Mr Martin Kerem
    Chair of Communications Committee
    Designated Governor for SEND / Every Child Matters
    Designated Governor for Wellbeing
  • Dr Arnie Kosiner
    Chair of Premises Committee 
  • Mr David Landy
  • Mrs Naomi Landy
    School Administrator and Admissions Officer
  • Mr Graham Morris
  • Mr Yosh Radomsky
  • Mrs Danielle Stone
  • Mr Neil Taub
  • Mrs Sheila Taylor
    Chair of The Admissions Committee 

Clerk to the Governors – Mrs Nicki Parker

North West Trustees

The Trustees manage the NWL Jewish Day School, a charity whose objects are to advance Orthodox Jewish education in accordance with the doctrine and principles of the Orthodox Jewish faith as laid down in the Shulchan Aruch. 

  • Mr David Landy
    Chair of Trustees
  • Dayan Ivan Binstock

Secretary to the Trustees – Ms Angela Kirby

  • Mr David Fishel 
  • Dr Arnie Kosiner
  • Mr Charles Lossos
  • Mr Graham Morris
  • Mrs Sheila Taylor

North West Leadership Team

  • Miss Judith Caplan
    Safeguarding Lead
  • Rabbi Ronen Broder
    Deputy Headteacher,
    School Rav
  • Mr Yosh Radomsky
    Deputy Headteacher,
    Head of KS2
  • Mrs Amanda Shoota
    Head of KS1
    Child Protection Lead
  • Mrs Brenda Mailer
    Head of Early Years Foundation Stage
  • Mrs Naomi Landy
    School Administrator
  • Mrs Madeleine Bendell
    Every Child Matters Coordinator – SENCO
  • Rabbi David Wilk
    Head of Kodesh 

Every Child Matters

At North West London Jewish Day School, we strive to support all children to enable each pupil to make their best possible progress. We are an inclusive school and aim for all pupils to achieve their potential: personally, socially, emotionally, and academically.

Quality teaching is vital, however, for some children, there are occasions when additional support may be needed to help them achieve their targets. The SENCos, class teachers, parents and pupils work closely as a team. Sometimes the support for a pupil includes external agencies and specialists (e.g. speech and language therapists, occupational therapists, educational psychologists). The mental health and emotional wellbeing of all our children, including those pupils with SEND, and staff are paramount. Each class learns about looking after their mental and emotional health in weekly PSHE lessons and mindfulness techniques, such as calm breathing.

Some pupils receive extra support from specific interventions such as ELSA (Emotional Literacy Support Assistant), school counselling and play therapy.

The progress of all pupils is monitored regularly by class teachers and senior leaders through formal and informal assessments. If a pupil is not making expected progress, their level of need is identified and then discussed with parents/carers. The provision is then individualised to meet the child’s needs to ensure progress is made.


  • A virtual tour of Israel following the ‘Israel National Trail’.
  • Our fantastic Shin Shin who has worked with us to enhance the children’s love of Ivrit.
  • Numerous guest speakers.
  • A Lag Ba’Omer fun day with various activities including an innovative workshop on how a Sefer Torah is made.
  • An Israeli theatre performance which immersed our Year 5 and Year 6 children in the Hebrew language.
  • A virtual Etgar event.
  • The uplifting Year 2 Siyum.
  • The amazing virtual Chagigat HaSiddur in which the children truly proved to us all how much they have learnt this year despite the challenges we have all faced.
  • The exciting and well received Year 6 Ivrit Ulpan.

Some highlights of our year include:

  • Various virtual assemblies and events.
  • Our weekly Kabbalat Shabbat assemblies. At our assemblies, children from different classes presented inspiring Divrei Torah both in person and virtually.
  • A fun packed week for Channukah including designing and constructing Channukiyot, Sevivonim and several art projects.
  • The beautiful virtual Purim parade in which we got a chance to see the children’s stunning costumes.
  • On Purim each and every child receiving, to their house, their own personal Mishloach Manot.
  • Yom Ha’atzmaut – designing a hat for Israel.

Financial Year-end Review

The finance committee’s key activities this year were:

  • Review and submission to the ESFA of the audited accounts for the y/e 31 August 2020
  • Oversight of internal financial controls of the school
  • Review and submission of 3 year school budget to the ESFA
  • Provide ongoing support to the other school committees for all financial related matters
  • Supporting the school with the financial effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Outlook for the next academic year

The school continues to perform resiliently under ongoing cost pressure. However, our financial position remains precarious and uncertain due to another squeeze on income from our main source of funding, this is further compounded by the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. The school’s government funding has not materially increased for several years, indeed our income has decreased materially since last year. Additionally, the school’s cost base continues to increase each year due to mandatory increases to pension contributions, inflation and SEN costs.

We are immensely and forever grateful to the parent body for continuing to support the school through their annual voluntary contributions. Without this supplemental funding, the school would run a significant deficit and would not be able to continue offering a high standard of teaching and educational experience for our children. We hope that we can continue to rely on your support for the upcoming academic year and beyond.

How the School Spends its Annual Budget

Where Our Funds Come From

Grateful for Parents’ Annual Voluntary Contributions

We are incredibly grateful to the parent body for continuing to support the school through their annual voluntary contributions. Without this additional funding, the school would run a deficit and we would not be able to continue offering the current high standard of teaching and education for our children. We hope that we can continue to rely on your support for the upcoming academic year and beyond.

Kodesh Funding

North West’s excellent kodesh, Jewish Studies and our cultural and welfare curriculum, is NOT funded via the Department for Education. We rely on the parents of North West to make a contribution to fund this superb education. Unless the contributions are made by parents, the funds required to run the Kodesh Department, to pay our teachers’ salaries and to provide its resources will not be there.

Thank You to All Parents Who Contribute to This Essential Fund

As parents who have chosen to send your children to NWLJDS, because you want them to embrace its religious ethos and have an excellent start to their Jewish education, it must be understood how essential it is that all parents undertake to make their contributions. During the last year, when many families have faced unprecedented challenges, those families who have continued to make their contributions are even more appreciated. It is though essential that all families contribute to the greatest extent possible.

For those families who are unable to make contributions please let the Trustees know so we can try and raise the funds to help cover the shortfall between the cost of the Kodesh Department and the income we receive from parental contributions.

Kodesh Support Fund

The Trustees appreciate that the ability to make these contributions can be a financial challenge for some families. They have therefore set up a fund to cover  the shortfall in the budget arising from families being unable to make a full or partial contribution. Families may make their circumstances known in strict confidence by contacting the Chair of Trustees, Mr David Landy at dlandy@nwljds,org.uk, or the School Principal, Dayan Binstock. In order to raise the funds to cover the shortfall the Trustees can only do so if families have contacted them to advise of their circumstances.

If One Parent Refuses to Pay, All Our Children Lose Out

Sadly, there are those families who refuse to make a contribution to the Trustees to help fund their children’s Jewish education. In a community where it has always been a priority to give our children an education, both Jewish and secular, the expectation that others will provide the funds to pay for their children is hard to accept. We would urge those families to think again and help cover the costs of their children’s education.

Kodesh Financial Outlook

The pandemic has affected the level of contributions received and the forecast for 2021/22 remains broadly unchanged. The Trustees will be facing a significant shortfall between income and expenditure, and this can only be met by asking that every family who values the Jewish education and ethos the children are taught makes the greatest effort to contribute to the costs.

The Charities and individuals who have made donations to cover the shortfall are themselves under pressure and it cannot be taken for granted that their donations will continue to be received. We would ask that if you have contact with or know of any individual or charity who would help cover the costs for those families unable to make their contributions that you introduce us to them so we can explain what impact their donations can make for the education of future generations.

Kodesh Financial Summary

In order to provide financial transparency, please see the visual summary of the Kodesh income and expenditure below.

How The School Spends The Jewish Studies Contribution

Total expended £438,062

Where Our Funding Comes From

Total Income £417,042

Leaving a Net deficit of £21,020

See the full accounts here.

Match Funding Campaign

We are now a year and a half on from our fund-matching campaign held in December 2019. The period since the campaign has been a year of unprecedented challenges and, like many other organisations, we have had to adjust our plans to utilise these vital funds for the development of the school to cope with the effects of the pandemic.

Although some of our plans have been somewhat tempered by the reality of the pandemic, we have still made considerable progress in getting some major projects off the ground in the last year.

Our most-urgent priority was to replace and upgrade the IT hardware and infrastructure across the school.

Our capital investment has included

  • Complete overhaul of the network and WiFi across the school
  • Replacement of 16 Interactive White Boards in every classroom.
  • Purchase of 100+ new laptops, charging trolleys and ancillary equipment for use across all school years.
  • Purchase of 20 iPads

In order to support the emotional needs of the children, the Allocation Committee has allocated funds to advance the school’s provision of wellbeing and counselling provision for pupils and staff as well as bolstering the Special Educational Needs departments.

Building works have also been supported, including new security features, refurbishment of internal staircases, corridors and classrooms and new floor coverings. Further works are planned for Summer 2022.

Kodesh and Ivrit in the school have also been supported, especially in the light of children being behind in their expected levels due to the pandemic. Particular focus has been made in supporting advancements in the teaching of Ivrit and Hebrew reading, as well as supporting the highly acclaimed Shin Shin programme and the School Ulpan.

We would like to thank all of our donors for your support, which has enabled us to advance these initiatives and look forward to reporting on further activities during the course of the next academic year.

Thank you so much for being part of the North West community