Mr T Mills-Bishop
Head Teacher

Rowans, Welwyn Garden City,
Hertfordshire, AL7 1NZ.
Waterside Academy is a business name of Agora Learning Partnership.
A charitable limited company, registered in England and Wales No 10290954
Registered Office The Orchard Primary School, Gammons Lane, Watford, WD24 5JW

01707 321203

Waterside Academy


Since the launch of the new national curriculum in 2014, we at Waterside have worked tirelessly to design and deliver an engaging curriculum that ensures children leave our school with the skills and knowledge they need to be successful within the next phase of their learning and development.

We intend to, and indeed do, deliver a curriculum that helps children to understand the world around them, both here in Welwyn Garden City in Hertfordshire, but also within the wider world as a whole.

We are passionate about enhancing the future opportunities that our young learners will have in life and believe these all start with a world-class and personally designed curriculum.

Some of our young learners will eventually go on to study at world-leading universities, some will be skilled tradespeople, some will work wonderfully within the creative industries and others may be destined for careers in financial or legal services. Whatever our future leaders choose to pursue, we are driven by the knowledge that they leave us with the ability to 'do things' to a very good standard but also 'know things' that help with that journey. 

In addition to the skills and knowledge our children gain from our carefully sequenced curriculum planning we are also very proud to consistently develop our learners' 'cultural capital' through the strategic implementation of enrichment opportunities such as day trips away from the main school site and facilitating visitors here as well, all of which start in the early years foundation stage of the school. 

This way we know that today's learning really does prepare our children for, but also vastly improves, tomorrow's world!

Values Based Learning

Waterside Academy is committed to promoting British Values. To see how the National Curriculum understands British Values, please  click here

Our curriculum has these values embedded within it. Every term we review what has been taught to identify which values are well represented and where we need to strengthen the teaching. Please click here.

We are also a 'Rights Respecting' School - one that works hard to ensure our children both learn about and enjoy their rights, as laid out in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. We pro-actively teach our learners about their rights and about how to help other children enjoy their rights - thus improving the culture and behaviour seen around school. 

Our curriculum at Waterside Academy meets all the requirements of the National Curriculum and was recently completely reviewed and strengthened to ensure it meets the needs of the children..

Reading and Writing

Reading and writing are not separate energies - reading is breathing in and writing is breathing out

Teaching children to read and write independently, as quickly as possible, is one of the core purposes of a primary school. These key skills not only hold the keys to the rest of the curriculum but also have a huge impact on children’s self-esteem and future life chances.

Reading and writing are both two part processes: readers decode and comprehend, writers create and encode. In one respect, decoding and encoding are the ‘mechanical’ skills that children need to master in order to be able to comprehend what they read and write creatively. Research has shown that by teaching phonics thoroughly and rigorously to children, we can ensure that they use this knowledge to decode effortlessly and automatically. This means all energy can be focused on understanding and enjoying what is read and on composing and creating fantastic writing. 


The phonics taught at Waterside is delivered using 'Letters and Sounds' - this is true for phases one through to four. Phase five is supplemented using additional materials from various sources which are carefully selected by experienced teachers. These include resources from Jolly Phonics, Teach your monster to read and Twinkle.

Children are encouraged to read at school very regularly and the books they read from are always matched to their current phase of phonological learning.

When the children have 'guided' sessions new sounds, words and more challenging texts are used as there are adults leading the sessions who can question and stretch appropriately.  

Children have phonics grid in their home reading records which indicate which sounds they have already learnt and therefore which sounds will need adult prompting. 

Middle (Subject) Leadership 

- At Waterside Academy we believe in the power of middle leadership.

This is no more important than when our teachers lead subjects across the school. This structure enables us to ensure that we have clarity of intent, consistency of implementation and accountability for impact of our school curriculum.

Our subjects are led by the following teachers...

English - Mrs Geaves (Writing, Grammar) and Miss Ayres (Reading, Phonics)

Maths - Miss Honour (Arithmetic) and Mr Craig (Reasoning)

Science - Mrs Geaves

P.E - Miss Honour

Computing - Mr Craig

P.S.H.E - Mr Mills-Bishop

Creative Arts - Miss Lavos

Music - Miss Micheli

MfL - (Spanish in KS2) - Miss Micheli

Humanities - (History, Geography and R.E) - Mrs McConchie 

Overall lead for all curriculum - Mrs McConchie

EYFS and KS1 (infants) coordinator - Mrs Geaves

KS2 (juniors) coordinator - Mrs McConchie

Please click the links below for our 'long term' intended plans/links for each subject.




PSHE - Jigsaw - site link

Music - Charanga - site link



Design Technology


British Values long term curriculum plan plus PSHE




In the EYFS at Waterside we meet the requirements of the EYFS Statutory Framework as well as embedding the 'Fundamental British Values' through a child centred approach to teaching and learning.

For the EYFS long term overview please click here.

Should you require any more information about our curriculum, please contact your child's class teacher, one of our subject leaders or the school office.