Our Unique Approach

A nurturing environment that promotes academic and personal excellence

A foundational premise of the Zarkor School is that academic excellence and a nurturing environment are absolutely essential to one another. Unfortunately, although one can find both in Israel, rarely if ever does one find them both in a single elementary school. Today’s students need an interactive learning environment that fosters achievement by stimulating their interest, motivation, and participation. Older methods of instruction that prioritize lectures and memorization seem to suppress children’s creativity and deprive them of the chance to develop a true love of learning. At the other extreme, however, there is a risk of sacrificing discipline, academic rigor, and respect for teachers in the name of a more child-centered approach. The Zarkor School will strive to instill strong discipline and effective work habits in its students, both indispensable ingredients for success of any kind. Yet the school will also endeavor to strike the right balance between discipline and personalized instruction, high expectations and self-motivation. We believe that the Israeli entrepreneurial spirit will thrive in such a carefully balanced environment. p

Small classes

In the Western world, the average number of students in early childhood grades does not typically rise above 25 students. Social scientific research finds two structural components of elementary education to be essential for academic success: the ratio between adults and students in each classroom, and the number of students in each classroom. In keeping with these findings, each Zarkor classroom in the lower grades will contain no more than 20 students with 2 classroom teachers in each classroom. In addition to the academic importance of small classes, we also believe that the emotional and social development of our students can only be cultivated through close personal attention to each and every child. Our small classes will thus help Zarkor to function as an incubator for the next generation of outstanding Israeli leaders – a generation that actively contributes to its environment and possesses a strong sense of belonging and wellbeing. x

Bilingual Learning

Knowledge of languages can significantly contribute to a child’s development. Bilingualism has been shown to improve various kinds of cognitive function and is certainly a valuable asset in today’s world. Fortunately, languages can be absorbed seamlessly if instilled from a young age in a thoughtful and consistent manner.

Zarkor is a bilingual school, educating students who are fully fluent in both Hebrew and English. The goal is for students to be on par with their American counterparts in terms of fluency in English, including in reading and writing. In addition, once English and Hebrew are sufficiently absorbed, the students will study additional languages (Arabic, French, or Russian).

In order to achieve true bilingualism, Zarkor will utilize the bilingual immersion system. Accordingly, regular educational instruction will be conducted in both target languages, namely English and Hebrew. This means that English is an educational tool as well as educational objective. Students who are learning a language through the immersion system develop the linguistic agility necessary for understanding both the material being taught and how to interact socially in the target language. The goal of Zarkor’s language program is for its recipients to approach the English proficiency of a native speaker, along with knowledge of the culture in which the English language is anchored.

Zarkor’s bilingual program will provide students with the linguistic input in both Hebrew and English that should allow each child to realize his or her potential for fluency in both languages. This includes the development of a native accent, a rich vocabulary, established and complex grammatical constellations, exemplary verbal and written abilities, and knowledge of the culture underlying the language. From this basis, children will be able to continue further developing their linguistic abilities through social and educational interactions.

Judaic studies as a cultural literacy

Israeli society is polarized in a multiplicity of ways. The schism between religious and non-religious is a particularly troubling example of this polarization. Yet we believe that even the most secular Zionism can be greatly enhanced, if not fueled, by a deep knowledge of Judaism.  Consequently, the study of Zionism and Judaism comprise two important pillars of Zarkor’s educational philosophy. The school’s goal is to provide its students with a deep knowledge of and respect for Judaism rather than to dictate its practice. Its Judaic curriculum should be equally attractive and instructive to students coming from religious families as to non-religious ones.

Integrative content

At Zarkor we believe in a curriculum that allows for interaction between different subject matters in mutually reinforcing ways. Thus, a student may learn something about Judaism by working on a math problem or practice writing in English while learning about Zionist history. The integrated curriculum is intended to assist children in discovering the interconnectedness and complexity of today’s world, which is difficult to achieve through narrow subject instruction. p