SJA is a larger than average four form entry junior school setting for pupils aged 7 to 11, with a pupil capacity of 480. SJA became an academy in July 2011 and is a Single Academy Trust.
Strong partnerships in the community
The academy is situated in Southwater, a village surrounded by the West Sussex countryside. It provides an education for children living in the village and the wider local area. Like the village itself, we pride ourselves on a friendly, family-orientated feel and value our strong community ties. We work in strong partnership with local organisations such as the Southwater Youth Project. We also have excellent links with other schools, particularly the team at Southwater Infant Academy with whom we collaborate throughout the year, but especially during our extensive programme of Year 2 to Year 3 transition support for pupils and their families.
High quality learning experiences
Throughout children’s time at SJA, we provide high quality learning opportunities to increase children’s knowledge, skills, experience and understanding. We aim to create a climate for growth in which pupils can discover their strengths, talents and love for learning. Our expert members of staff deliver a broad and balanced curriculum centred on a rich diet of learning experiences. This is underpinned by our vision of Learning for Life.
The standard of sport at Southwater Junior Academy is at the very highest level. Our sports clubs include football, netball, cricket, hockey, tag rugby, gymnastics, table tennis, rounders, athletics, basketball and dance. Our full-time PE instructor ensures high quality PE provision and pupil enjoyment. We have high levels of participation in our extra-curricular clubs and healthy competitiveness across a diverse and inclusive range of teams. This has been recognised by the well-regarded AfPE Quality Mark at the highest level of Distinction.
In terms of ICT, we have developed a broad and deep curriculum which includes computer programming, digital design and video production. We invest time, money and personnel to ensure that our pupils have access to the latest technology within a curriculum that is both purposeful and challenging. The academy enjoys a well-equipped computer suite along with strong investment in laptops, chrome books and tablet technology. All classrooms benefit from excellent IT resources to support and promote learning.
Across the arts, we have a varied offer of drama, dance, art, design technology, and music. These are delivered within the classroom and through enriching experiences such as clubs and extracurricular opportunities. Pupils support the leadership of the arts across the academy, running initiatives such as photography competitions and contributing to assemblies. Our termly Music Stars (awarded to Year 3 and Year 4) and Music Ambassadors (awarded to Year 5 and Year 6) exemplify excellence within music. We are proud to be on the journey towards achieving the Artsmark and have already been recognised as a Music Mark school.
We have an excellent programme of CPD for our staff clearly linked to our Academy Improvement Plan and grounded in robust, evidence-informed practice. To enhance our high quality provision, we regularly collaborate with wider external partners, such as the GLF Teaching School Hub, the West Horsham Schools Network (WHSN), and the Durrington Research School (DRS). We are proud to have an Evidence Lead in Education (Mrs Kim Brown, Deputy Headteacher) who works closely with DRS and the Education Endowment Fund.
Preparing pupils for their next steps
Our ambition is Learning for Life. We prepare children for a life-long love of learning enabling them to succeed as they move forward from SJA into secondary school and beyond. At the end of Year 6, the majority of our pupils transfer to one of five local secondary schools: Tanbridge House School, Millais School, The Forest School, Bohunt Horsham and The Weald. We also have a number of pupils who successfully and seamlessly transfer to secondary school settings within the independent sector. We prioritise excellent relationships between us and key partners in these schools to ensure a smooth transition experience, with extensive arrangements in place to support the most vulnerable.