Etz Chaim Jewish Primary School in Mill Hill has passed its first test, after being identified by the Department of Education as one of 18 good or outstanding new free schools.

The Jewish primary, which moves from temporary accommodation into new purpose-built premises (pictured, below right) this year, was one of two dozen free schools to open across the country in 2011.Etz Chaim School

Located on Daws Lane, it was rated ‘good’ in January’s Ofsted inspections, with the report making special mention of the Jewish Studies lessons which “inspires pupils to learn about their cultural heritage”.

It added that the teacher “leads the daily prayers in every class, and children in the nursery are keen to recite the prayers in Hebrew and sing the lively worship songs… This contributes strongly to the pupils’ excellent spiritual, moral, social and cultural development.”

Having sought the feedback of parents, inspectors note that “several of them have taken a crash course in Hebrew and most have attended special celebrations for festivals in their children’s classes”.

Yvonne Baron, one of the two headmistresses, said: “It was an exciting and rewarding year for Etz Chaim, where our achievements were formally recognised.  We were delighted to receive the grade.”