Information for New Year 7

Welcome to The Leeds Jewish Free School

Preparing for your child’s transition to secondary school Key Information for Parents

Welcome to LJFS

A message from the Interim Executive Headteacher

I’d like to take this opportunity to officially welcome you to the Leeds Jewish Free School (LJFS) and into our school community.

At LJFS, pupils will have the opportunity to study a wide curriculum of subjects, taught by specialists, in specialist facilities; to take part in extra-curricular activities and have the opportunity to grow and develop as young people and also add something to the school community. We want our students to have fun at LJFS while engaged in their learning, as well as following our create principles of community; resilience, empowerment, aspiration, trust and excellence. We want everyone to experience success and to feel a sense of pride at belonging to our school community. This doesn’t just happen by setting foot through the door – success and achievement come from hard work, resilience and commitment from our young people, coupled with the high-quality teaching, encouragement, nurture and pastoral care they will receive from staff. We also want our students to develop as individuals and to establish the character traits that will enable them to make positive contributions to society in later life. Our aim at the Leeds Jewish Free School is simple – we want all our young people to be all that they can be and all that they are meant to be, in learning and in life. We make an absolute commitment to doing our best for all young people. We can’t achieve our aims on our own and firmly believe that educating and bringing up young people is a partnership. At the heart of the partnership is the relationship between school and parents and carers. It is vital that we work together to promote the values that will make our young people happy, successful and good people: good friends, neighbours, citizens and the sort of people we are proud to know.

Joining LJFS will feel very different to primary school. The number of adults who will work with your son/daughter will significantly increase, which means relationships change as a result. It’s also different because the children are growing into young people, which involves a lot of change, most of it delightful, but some quite challenging for parents and teachers.

Yours sincerely,

Mrs. Charlie Kelsey

Interim Executive Headteacher

The Year 7 Team

The pastoral care students receive at LJFS is truly first class. No young person goes unnoticed and the needs of each individual young person lies at the heart of everything that we do. The Year 7 pastoral team will work to ensure that your child makes friends, enjoys school and achieves their full potential. You will have the opportunity to meet the team during the information evening.

Mr Semmens Year 7 Form Tutor

Mr Semmens will be the Year 7 Form Tutor, He will be working alongside the pastoral team and Student Liaison for Key Stage 3 Mrs Aibi to ensure students are happy and making progress.

Mrs Aibi – Inclusion Manager & KS3 Student Liaison

Mrs Aibi is your point of call for any queries or concerns that are not academic. Mrs Aibi will answer questions or will arrange for the relevant member of staff to give you a call. She can be contacted on 0113 2930578. Mrs Aibi coordinates support to ensure high levels of attendance and punctuality are maintained across the school.

First day of term, Tuesday 5nd September 2023

New year 7 students should arrive by 8.10am. Please do not drive onto the school site. All students should be smartly dressed in their new school uniform, with no jewellery etc. They will need their pencil case and writing equipment. They will not need PE equipment on the first day. (please refer to the other booklet for equipment and the website for uniform)

Statutory Documentation

There are a number of statutory documents which parents must read before students join us in September. These can be found in the ‘Key Information’ section of our website.

The School day:

Registration8:10 (closes at 8:15)
Assembly8:15 - 8:35
Period 18:35 - 9:25
Period 29:25 - 10:15
Break10:15 - 10:35
Period 310:35 - 11:25
Period 411:25 - 12:15
Period 512:15 - 1:05
Lunch1:05 - 1:35
Period 61:35 - 2:50
Period 72:50 - 3:40 School finishes at 3:40
Period 8 / Intervention3:40 - 4:30


We expect all students to either to use the school restaurant or buy their own lunch from the Zone. (the Zone is independent of LJFS). Students can also bring their own Kosher packed lunch (see Kosher Code of Conduct). In addition, students have access to free water from our water cooler located in the school.

The cost of school meals

We provide a variety of Kosher meal deals which are priced at £3.75

Free school meals

We encourage all families to check if they are eligible for free school meals. Your Local Authority will be able to help you with information on whether you are entitled and will be able to provide you with an application form. Please note: contact the Local Authority in the area that you live.

School equipment

Students must have the correct equipment for all lessons. They must bring a pencil case with pens, purple pen, pencils, a sharpener, rubber and a dictionary. In addition, students should bring a protractor, a calculator, a ruler, and a mathematical compass:

Communications with parents – Email

We keep parents regularly informed about school activities through a home-school parent email communication system. You will receive emails containing all key information e.g. notices, information, parents evening notifications, events and notice of trips.

Please inform us of your email addresses that you check frequently for this service and provide this if you have not already.

Remember – in order to ensure communications are received it is essential that you inform Support Services of any change of contact details e.g. change of email address/mobile phone numbers.

Communicating with your child during the school day

LJFS is a busy school, it is critical that lines of communication during the school day are clear. Please contact Student Services (located in the front office) if you need to communicate with your child during the school day. We ask all students to report to Student Services if they need to get an urgent message to their parents. This means school is aware of any problems or issues and can offer students support in dealing with them. Students must not communicate with parents via mobile phone during the school day (Please see mobile devices policy).

Illness during the school day

The school has qualified first-aiders who can look after students in emergencies, but we do not have a school nurse, or a sick bay. If a student is injured or becomes unwell during the school day, they should ask a teacher to refer them to Student Services. First Aiders at Student Services will assess the situation and decide if it is necessary to contact their parents. Students must not contact you regarding illness via their mobile phone. It is essential that staff in school know when a student is unwell so they can be monitored and looked after. Please note that staff are not trained to treat or diagnose ongoing ailments or injuries and we do not hold medication to treat students with toothache, eczema etc.

Administration of medicines

The school’s policy is not to administer any form of medicine, including paracetamol. However, if a student has to take a prescribed medicine during school time, the medicine can be brought into school by the parent and stored with Student Services, to be collected and administered by the student at the appropriate times – the parent will be required to provide details of the medication and sign documentation.

School nurse service

If you would like your child to see the school nurse please ring student services and we will set up an appointment.

Protecting children from abuse

Parents/Guardians/Carers should be aware that the school will take any reasonable action to ensure the safety of students. Where the school is concerned that a child may be the subject of ill-treatment, neglect or other forms of abuse, staff must follow Leeds City Council Child Protection Procedures and report their concerns to Social Services. The school may, on occasion, need to make referrals without consultation with parents. However, we will make every effort to maintain a positive working relationship with parents whilst fulfilling our duties to protect the child or children.

E-safety and social media misuse

The use of social media is now common amongst young people of secondary school age. The school promotes appropriate use of social media, which can be a valuable tool for learning. All students should be mindful of their digital footprint. The school reserves the right to sanction students who misuse social media to the detriment of other members of our school community, or the school itself.

Hardship fund

Regrettably the school no longer receives funding to provide financial support for students involved in school activities. However, governors have made some funds available to help in exceptional circumstances. If you feel that your situation may make you eligible, please apply in writing to the Executive Headteacher, explaining why you need financial assistance.

Religious education

LJFS provides Jewish Studies lesson for all students; Jewish studies is part of the compulsory curriculum in every school year. We expect that parents who send their children to a Jewish ethos school recognise the importance of Jewish Studies in the ethos of the school, and support the inclusion of all students in this part of the curriculum.

Collective worship

The school provides a daily act of collective worship for all Jewish students. This act of worship is fundamental to our Jewish ethos – it is the means by which, in a busy day, we make time for prayer and reflection. We also reflect in a spiritual manner in form with students who do not attend the morning prayers.

Life skills and well-being lessons

Life Skills and Well being lessons are about moral, social and cultural education. They focus on responsibility – personal and collective; on developing confidence and commitment to meet challenges, and on building character, tenacity and resilience. Well being is taught by form tutors, external specialists and guest speakers, to offer students variety throughout years 7-11 and to encourage students to develop a range of skills. Topics include: promoting healthy lifestyles; financial education, careers information, advice and guidance; target setting and effective exam and revision techniques. Sex and relationship education (SRE) is taught as part of Life Skills and Well being, in accordance with the National Curriculum and within the context of our Jewish community. Parents have the right to withdraw their children from all or part of the sex and relationship education provided at school, except for those parts included in the statutory National Curriculum.


At LJFS we strive to maintain a high attendance levels and aim to improve them still further. Ensuring that your son/daughter attends school every day is one of the most important things you can do to guarantee their success. There are clearly documented links between regular attendance and attainment. All students should be aiming for 100% attendance and parents support and encouragement in achieving this is crucial. We believe that a strong partnership between school and home is a key factor in ensuring children attend school regularly. Good attendance will also set your child up for later life and the working world, as well as helping them to:

  • Make lots of friends and feel included;
  • Learn new things and develop skills;
  • Increase confidence and self esteem
  • Improve social skills
  • Achieve potential and fulfil aspirations

How parents can work to encourage excellent attendance


We understand that on occasions students may have to miss school due to ill health. We ask that parents:

Adopt a bracing approach to illness. Please only keep students off school when it is absolutely necessary.

Provide a written explanation for the absence for your child to bring to Student Services on the day of return.

Provide supporting medical evidence if the absence exceeds 5 days

Medical appointments

Medical/dental appointments should be made out of school hours to prevent disruption to learning. Where this is not possible please write in to Student Services with the appropriate evidence e.g. letter/appointment card. We will require this in order to authorise the absence.


Holidays must not be taken during term time. School holiday dates are published a year in advance. The Government has recently made amendments to the Education (Pupil Registration) Regulations 2006, which came into force on 1st September 2013. The amendment states Headteachers may not grant any leave of absence for holidays during the term time unless there are exceptional circumstances.

Parents needing leave of absence for exceptional circumstances should apply to the Headteacher. A form is obtainable from Student Services. The exceptional reason should be outlined in detail and evidenced. Holiday cost, climate and availability will not be considered by the Headteacher. We may look at other factors when deciding whether to authorise an absence request including the students’ record of attendance and whether they will miss any examinations.

Parents who take their children on holiday without permission will incur unauthorised absence for their child. These remain on the child’s record and will be monitored.

Religious observation

Jewish and Christian holidays are already covered by the school’s holiday schedule. Any additional requests for other religious holidays should be made in writing in advance to the Headteacher. Such requests will only be granted where the day is exclusively set apart for religious observance by the religious body to which the parent(s) and/or child belong.


Good punctuality is also essential for students’ progress. Being just 5 minutes late a day is equivalent to missing 3.4 school days per year. When a child arrives late to school it can be very disruptive not only to your child but also to the teacher and other children in the class. If your child is late (after 8.20am) they will be marked as late on the register and issue with a detention. . They will be expected to attend a same day detention. If your child arrives after 9.00am without good reason they will be marked as absent for the morning session. The absence will be unauthorised and will affect their attendance record. They will also be expected to attend a same day detention. We understand that school buses are sometimes late. This will be taken into consideration when issuing punishments/fines.

Part-time Employment

Part time employment cannot be accepted as a reason for non-attendance at detention or failure to do homework. Parents are reminded that no child under the age of 13 may be employed and that for children of 13-16 full details must be sent to the Local Education Authority by the employer within four days. For any queries contact your local authority.

How we will support you in encouraging good attendance

  • School reports will show your child’s level of attendance and punctuality record. We will clearly indicate if it is a cause for concern;
  • In school all students will be given up to date information about their attendance / punctuality and form tutors will praise students with excellent attendance 100% – 99% and will hold coaching conversations with those that need improvement;
  • Parents will be informed by letter / phone call if we have concerns about attendance and punctuality levels.