The Southwater Junior Academy


Our School

Key characteristics

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 have achieved Artsmark Gold and have been recognised as a Music Mark school. 

Staff Learning

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 also a Leadership Delivery Partner school for West Sussex Local Authority due to our strength of leadership at all levels complemented by our highly effective innovative and inclusive practice. We specialise in working with other schools to help build sustainable improvement within their settings.

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.




Learning for Life


At The Southwater Junior Academy, we pay attention to detail. We have a clear idea of how we should work together; we care about each other; and we have shared high standards and ambitious goals that matter to us because we are passionate about education in its widest sense.  Through collaboration, we are committed to optimising learning and expanding our potential.  We cultivate a community that embraces diversity, inclusion and belonging, where everyone owns and values their wellbeing, empowering us to be the best we can be.