Does anyone have any experience navigating the choice between these high schools? If you’re currently (or previously) at one of these schools could you elaborate on your experience: academics, sport, culture et cetera
Firstly, I used to be a teacher at one of above schools.
If you’re not already aware, but I’m sure you are - they are all Jewish schools. The three schools differ in terms of their adherence to and identification with, different levels of religious observance. Furthermore, they differ in terms of depth and breadth of Jewish Studies content and prayer services.
From a religious standpoint, and I’m more talking from the standpoint of it’s students - not the school’s external image. I’d say they are ranked as follows (most to least religious):
Leibler Yavneh College
- I’d say out of the three, the student’s within Yavneh are the most religious. In addition, the school adheres to strict religious teachings. It’s a modern orthodox Jewish Day School affiliated with the Mizrachi movement. It is smaller than Mount Scopus and has a more rigorous Jewish Studies program. Chumash, Gemara, Jewish History and more are all taught and daily prayer is compulsory.
Mount Scopus would be second in terms of religiousness. However, it’s important to note that the school’s student body is typically very diverse; both religious and those who don’t commonly practice.
Mount Scopus is the largest of the three, it is regarded as a community school, religious practice is taught and there is some Jewish Studies content in the curriculum.
The King David School
Students are far more liberal, definitely less religious.
Kind David school is affiliated with the Netzer movement and is liberal in it’s affiliation. Jewish Studies is taught.
All three schools are great, but all differ significantly in their religious affiliations!
Purely in an academic sense, they are all great and offer VCE. Some of their previous results over the past year include:
Chancellors Scholars (99.9 and above)
- Scopus 2
- The King David School 1
- Yavneh 0
I am currently attending Leibler Yavneh College, and will be graduating at the end of this year. I have been at the school since moving to Australia in Year 4, and I’ve loved it.
- There is an amazing sense of community at the school, in each year level and between year levels. I am also able to connect to my teachers on an interpersonal level, to help further my relationships and my learning.
- There are so amazing teachers at the school, particularly in the general studies department (maths, english).
- The school generally deals with issues and problems in a fair and just way, and ensures that students are well-represented.
- If you are looking for a solid jewish education, there are many great ways to learn and even extend yourself at the school. Morning and afternoon prayers are compulsory, and 4 lessons of jewish studies a week as well, but the jewish studies teachers are also very knowledgeable and can aid your understanding of judaism.
- In my view, being affiliated with Bnei Akiva (a religious, modern orthodox youth movement) and, to a lesser extent, Hineni (a less religious, modern orthodox youth movement), is a pro, as it enables students to have the ability to extend their passion (if they desire) into the jewish community, and enables them to better understanding of their own judaism.
- There isnt a large emphasis at all on physical activity and PE, and after year 10, there are no PE classes, only opt-in interschool sports. I see this as a problem, yet i understand that for VCE Students (myself included) this may be hard to fit into the timetable.
- Being a small school, with only about 50 students per year level, it may be hard for some to find a solid group of friends, and this can lead to exclusion, almost by accident in some cases. Some years can also become very clique-ey, which can also cause exclusion.
- Some years also have issues with bullying.
- I would guess that about half the students are irreligious (non-practicing), and this can cause friction between the students and the jewish studies teachers. for example, students not wanting to put on tefillin (male prayer boxes), although it is compulsory by the school. This also makes it harder to deliver the jewish studies curriculum as students can be uninterested or unengaged.
i think that Yavneh is generally a great school, with small areas that need improvement, but overall, the education for VCE is top-notch, and the jewish studies can deliver, if that is what you are looking for. There are many opportunities to work with the school to complete community service and charity projects, and i believe that there is a great learning environment at the school.