Hindu and Jewish schools sharing campus in Barkingside ‘learning from each other’

A new primary school has opened in Barkingside on the same campus as Ilford Jewish Primary School.

The schools have to share the site in Carlton Road until next July because delayed building work delayed Ilford Jewish Primary’s move to a purpose-built school next to King Solomon High School.

But Avanti Court Primary School, which has an enriched curriculum, welcomed its first pupils earlier this month as planned.

The school now has 117 pupils in reception and year one.

Headteacher James Biddulph says sharing a campus with Ilford Jewish Primary has not been a problem.

He added: “There’s a wall that separates us from Ilford Jewish Primary.

“We have our own entrance, playground, lunch rooms and reception.

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“And our relationship with the Jewish school is very good.

“We are taking some children there to celebrate the Sukkot festival and they are coming to us for Diwali. We’re learning from each other.”

The school occupies the former Jewish youth centre, which was fully refurbished for Avanti Court.

Mr Biddulph, who is not a Hindu, described his school as having a spiritual ethos but “not a Hindu school”.

In addition to the national curriculum, pupils learn meditation, yoga and Sanskrit.

Ilford Jewish Primary School headteacher Roz Levin said the children are looking forward to celebrating Sukkot with Avanti Court pupils.

She added: “Sharing the campus has worked out really, really well.”

The school will move into its new premises by King Solomon High School in September 2013.

Spaces for children are still available at Avanti Court.

Mr Biddulph said: “Anyone is welcome to join our community or just come and have a look round.”

Visit avanticourt.org.uk for information.