The Primary School System in Israel is based on 6 years, like in the United States. There are three separate school systems in Israel. Non-religious (ממלכתי), National Religious(ממלכתי דתי) and Independent (עצמאי) which is the Charedi (חרדי) school system. The curriculum is set for the non religious schools and the National Religious schools of Hebrew, Math, History of Israel, Science and Bible, English is added in the Fourth Grade. The Dati Leumi (דתי לאומי) adds religious subjects such as Talmud (תלמוד), Mishnah (משנה), Prayer (תפילה). The Independent school system sets its own curriculum of mostly Religious subjects of Talmud, Mishnah, Prayer, Math, and only a little of secular subjects, each school decides what to teach.
Parents first send their children to Gan Hova (גן חובה) or kindergarten, which the children learn the basic Hebrew letters, and numbers, they are taught reading readiness, and math readiness, and basic school skills.
The first day of school (בית ספר) is always a momentous event in the child’s life. If possible, the parent goes with the child for the first day or at least drops off the child and sits there for a few minutes. Parents take pictures (תמונות) and it is a very happy day.
Getting to school
Most parents send their children to schools that are not necessarily in their own neighborhoods (שכונה). There is a system of mini-buses (הסעות) that take children to school. The parents have to make arrangements with the school before school starts to make sure about the time the child needs to be waiting outside the home and where the pickup point will be. Many parents wait (לחכות) with their children to make sure they get on the right mini-bus.
School will be starting in a few weeks, there are lots of preparations that have to be made, call the school for the mini-bus, get the book list (רשימת ספרים), buy backpacks (תיק בית ספר), and buy new clothes for school. Wow, that’s a lot of work. I can’t wait for school to start!
Vocabulary of the Primary School System in Israel
תיק בית ספר