Immanuel College is one of the Jewish community's greatest ongoing successes. From a roll of just 40 pupils when the school opened in 1990, September 2012 sees Immanuel reach its optimal size of 480 pupils, of whom 130 are in the Sixth Form.
Immanuel College develops in its pupils an understanding of Judaism, its teachings and practices, and of the history and achievements of mankind. Our goal is to nurture principled, enquiring and confident young adults who will enjoy fulfilling Jewish lives, during which they will contribute to the advancement of society as a whole.
Each year we admit up to 60 boys and girls and organise them into four classes, two for the boys and two for the girls. These small class sizes, many of which reduce once our pupils choose their GCSE and A-level courses, enable teachers to know and nurture each of their pupils through to their fullest capabilities.
Immanuel College offers the advantages of single-sex and co-education simultaneously. In Years 7 to 11, all lessons bar a very small number of GCSE classes are taught to boys and girls separately, whereas the Sixth Form is fully co-educational. From Year 7 onwards, boys and girls join together for extra-curricular cultural and religious activities, for example drama productions and Shabbatonim, for field trips and other off-site activities and for the College’s exciting programme of educational journeys. This way, our pupils develop confidence in the classroom and in their relationships with one another.
Immanuel life is an extension of much that gives meaning and purpose to the family life of our pupils. Immanuel pupils feel at home in a school in which Tefillah – prayer – and Jewish learning are daily experiences, in which the highlights of the year include Hanukah, Purim and Yom Ha’azmaut and in which the significance of their bar and bat mitzvoth is promoted and actively encouraged, as is their development into loyal and well-informed Jewish adults.
They experience a powerful degree of ownership of their school and their feelings of security and belonging are strengthened by the help and guidance offered by a very attentive pastoral system. Our pupils’ success personally and academically reflects the extent to which they feel secure and valued at their school.
We look for and identify the areas in which our pupils possess strengths. One of our articles of faith is that each of our pupils should experience success, both its recognition and its enjoyment. This is why in the past three years PE at GCSE and A Level, Drama throughout the school, Spanish at GCSE and A Level, Triple Science at GCSE and Sociology, History of Art, Psychology and Photography at A Level have been added to our curriculum.
We believe that our four major educational journeys to York, Strasbourg, Israel and Poland, in which every pupil takes part, also offer opportunities for the development of personal confidence, as do the wide range of opportunities in Sports, Music and Drama and for voluntary service and Zedakah offered by the College.
Another article of the Immanuel College faith is that Jewish and secular learning shed light on one another, that the study of each is deepened and appreciated by study of the other, and that the life of the mind and spirit should not be compartmentalised but embraced. The largely text-based Jewish Studies teaching at Immanuel is stimulating and challenging; the Beit Midrash Programme enables pupils explore additional texts more deeply and to engage in searching discussion of spiritual and ethical issues, and the month-long Year 9 Israel trip together with the high proportion of our leavers who spend a gap year in Israel before starting higher education, are evidence of our inextricable links with Judaism and Israel.