Waterside Academy is committed to safeguarding children.
Should you have any concerns regarding a child's safety, please contact our Designated Safeguarding Leader (DSL) or a Deputy DSL who can all be contacted via the office.
DSL - Mr T Mills-Bishop (Headteacher)
Deputy DSLs - Miss Wilson, Mrs Geaves, Mrs Powell, Mr Sal
Should you have any concerns or questions regarding safeguarding, please do come and speak with us without delay.
Alternatively, feel free to e-mail me directly via firstname.lastname@example.org - this is particularly useful during the school holidays and on other occasions when the school is closed.
We are an Operation Encompass school.
This is a 'police and education early intervention safeguarding partnership' which supports children and young people who experience Domestic Abuse.
Operation Encompass means that the police will share information about Domestic Abuse incidents with our school PRIOR to the start of the next school day when they have been called to a domestic incident.
Once a Key Adult (DSL) has attended at an Operation Encompass briefing they will cascade the principles of Operation Encompass to all DDSL’s.
The Operation Encompass information is stored in line with all other confidential safeguarding and child protection information.
The Key Adult has also led training for all school staff and Governors about Operation Encompass, the prevalence of Domestic Abuse and the impact of this abuse on children.
We have also discussed how we can support our children following the Operation Encompass notification.
The Safeguarding Governor will report on Operation Encompass in the termly report to Governors.
All information is anonymised for these reports.
The Key Adult has used the Operation Encompass Toolkit to ensure that all appropriate actions have been taken by the school.
Rowans, Welwyn Garden City, Herts AL7 1NZ
Telephone : 01707 321203
Fax No : 01707 339612
For queries, information or paper copies of policies please contact School Office where Mrs Powell will be able to discuss any queries.
Currently, we are consulting with all stakeholders on a change in our admissions policy for entry into the school for the academic year 2022/23.
Please find below the proposed policy together with associated forms.
Promoting British Values - please click here
Please click here 2016/17
Please click here - School Supplementary Funding Agreement - Conversion to Academy
Pupil Premium Grant (PPG)
At the point of writing this (February 2020) we currently have 39 pupils eligible for the pupil premium grant. This is additional funding that we receive to directly benefit the outcomes of those particular pupils.
Last year the school worked hard to ensure we overcame the barriers to education that our most disadvantaged pupils had.
We also wanted to ensure that those disadvantaged pupils in our reception class never saw an achievement gap (with their peers) even open up in the first place. This is a part of our 'keeping-up' vision for interventions and was the driving factor behind the decision to place our PPG specific TA within the reception class each morning.
We are proud to say that all of those particular learners achieved a 'good level of development' and moved into year one ready for the challenges of the national curriculum.
This year we have moved our provision around to meet our current pupils' needs.
We have conducted many reviews into provision and have identified that typically there are three main barriers to success that our most disadvantaged children face.
-Poor starting points within speech and language
-Low interests / low wider engagement-in and enjoyment-of reading
-A narrower vocabulary compared with peers
To target our funding specifically, in order to address these needs, we have given ourselves four specific and measurable targets.
These are broadly as follows:
1) Enhanced progress within 'speech and language' across EYFS and KS1 so that...
EYFS: Communication and language PPG percentages are at least in-line with non PPG eligible pupils
Year 1 PPG phonics scores are at least in-line with non PPG eligible pupils
2) Enhanced progress within reading so that…
KS1 Reading ARE PPG percentages are in-line with non PPG
KS2 Reading ARE PPG percentages are in-line with non PPG
3) Enhanced progress within literacy so that…
KS1 Reading, Writing and Grammar EXS PPG percentages are in-line with non PPG
KS2 Reading, Writing and Grammar EXS PPG percentages are in-line with non PPG
4) PPG attendance rates rise so that, over-time, they are in-line with non PPG attendance rates
In order to achieve these four objectives the school has taken various actions:
-A proportion of our funding (around 80%) has been spent on staffing.
Four members of staff have a proportion of their salary paid-for by the PPG. The proportion of their salary paid-for by the grant is directly related to the proportion of their time that is spent supporting PPG eligible pupils.
-The school has also 'ring-fenced' some of our funding for 'additional TA hours' - these give us the opportunity to provide additional learning time and interventions for PPG eligible pupils
-Some of our funding is spent on our school family support worker
-Some of our funding is spent on resources, for example our Unicef teaching resources
-Some of the funding is spent on supporting the cost of extra-curricular activities
Additionally, this year we have also launched our 'Pupil Premium Pledge' that highlights the fact that enhancing the progress and outcomes for disadvantaged pupils is the responsibility of the whole school, with associated actions. A version of the pledge, with our teacher's names taken off, can be found below...
For more information on pupil premium funding, please click on the report below...
Our Pupil Premium Team
Whilst everyone at Waterside fully recognises that, well, everyone at Waterside is responsible for the progress and learning of pupils who are eligible for the Pupil Premium Grant, we have still assembled our very own PPG 'dream team' - A team of professionals who work hard to ensure our pupils make excellent progress.
The team is as follows:
Mr T Mills-Bishop (HT and creator of the 'staff pupil premium pledge')
Miss K Wilson (DHT and strategic lead for pupil premium provision)
Mr S Sal (SENDCO and in charge of our PPG/SEN 'cross-over' work)
Mrs G Woods (SEND TA, in charge of nurture provision and PPG CHAMPION)
Mrs C.A Sturmey (Lead TA and in charge of interventions)
Mrs G Powell (Attendance officer, in charge of punctuality and attendance)
PE and Sports Premium Grant (SPG) Funding
As a new academy, which opened in January 2018, Waterside Academy has not yet been inspected.
We are always keen for parents to use Ofsted's Parent View to register their thoughts.
Our predecessor school, Rowans, was inspected in November 2016 and the report for that inspection can be found here...
During that inspection, Ofsted recognised and highlighted four key strengths of the school and seven key areas requiring further improvements. Those seven areas, and some of the actions taken to address them by the new leaders of the school, are detailed below:
1) The systems for checking pupil progress are not yet rigorous enough to establish an accurate picture of how well pupils are doing.
The school now uses an online tool to record and analyse both attainment and progress across all subjects. This tool is called Arbor and it’s the same data analysis tool we use to monitor attendance
We assess learning dynamically all the time, in lessons and teacher then make choices based on these very fluid and dynamic ‘micro assessments’ – teachers will change their line of questioning, offer further support and additional challenges and more, based on these assessments ‘for’ learning
More formally, we assess reading, writing and maths each and every term. We start off by looking at our planning, the teacher assessments frameworks for writing and the HfL Assessment steps before viewing pupils work, produced overtime. We then ask ourselves some key questions before assessing whether or not a pupil is working below, at or above the expected standard for a pupil their age at that stage in the teaching cycle. These assessments are always moderated and then mapped-out on Arbor – the leaders of the school then assess these results for trends and commonalities.
We do the exact same thing for foundation subjects at the end of the year, but once our curriculum in further embedded, the leaders of the school plan to enact a system whereby foundation subjects are assessed, formally, more frequently too – that’s the next step on our assessment journey.
For more information about assessments at Waterside, please speak to your child’s teacher.
2) Gaps in pupils’ basic knowledge, particularly in reading and mathematics, are slowing down the speed of progress that many pupils need to make to catch up.
We serve a very diverse and ‘ever changing’ community – many of our pupils have ‘high mobility’ and come to us part-way through their academic journey. Through the carefully planned and newly re-enforced curriculum offering, that the leaders of this school have pieced together, we plan for all children to learn key facts and key skills across all subjects – including within reading and maths.
Each afternoon our supportive group of teaching assistants deliver our interventions. These interventions are given to pupils, at the point in which the pupils need it and are designed to enable us to really think about ‘why’ we are choosing to intervene in a child’s education at a certain point.
Intervention aim to either pre-teach core vocabulary, go back and address a gap or misconception in learning or, more significantly, enable to a child to ‘keep up’ in class by ensure they fully understand one concept before another is taught.
Assessing learning dynamically, in lessons, and then making choices based on these very fluid and dynamic ‘micro assessments’ also enables our teachers to change their line of questioning, offer further support and additional challenges and more, based on the needs of the learners we have at Waterside.
3) The role of middle leaders is not yet developed well enough, especially linked to using monitoring, to inform their actions to rapidly improve standards.
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 of impact of our whole curriculum. Our subjects are led by the following teachers...
English - Miss Wilson (Writing, Grammar) and Miss Ayres (Reading, Phonics)
Maths - Mrs Geaves and Mr Craig (STEM team)
Science - Mrs Geaves with Miss Fisher supporting (STEM team)
Computing - Mr Craig with Miss Fisher supporting (STEM team)
P.E - Miss Wilson and Miss Ayres
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 with Miss Sturmey supporting
Overall lead for curriculum - Mrs McConchie
EYFS leader - Mrs Geaves
KS1 leader - Miss Wilson
KS2 leader - Mrs McConchie
All subjects have their own subject-specific SEF, written in the summer term each year. This SEF is then used, by the subject leader, to formulate the subject-specific action plan. All subject-specific action plans then lead directly into the wider School Development Plan.
Here at Waterside we give our teachers, who are also subject leaders, two additional lessons per week release time to fully plan for, implement and then evaluate the impact of their area of curriculum responsibility.
Being a subject leader is an incredible privilege but a big responsibility too. We recognise the increased workload that comes with leading a subject; curriculum mapping and planning, monitoring, feedback, research, measuring impact and so much more.
This is why every single one of our subject leaders gets two lessons, every single week, out of class, to fully lead their subject properly.
This is protected release time and enables our team to do their jobs to the best of their abilities. The children are then taught by Mrs McConchie, who is a very experienced and highly skilled teacher.
4) The behaviour of pupils requires improvement. Although pupils are polite and well-mannered around the school, during lessons they are not independently resilient and this stops them applying their learning effectively.
At Waterside Academy we all strive to follow our Golden Rules...
We let other children learn
We are kind
We look after property
We keep ourselves safe
We try our hardest
These ‘Golden Rules’ were written with the help of the children and are explicitly taught in class as well as in our Monday assembly each and every week.
Here at Waterside we take every possible action to make sure our behaviour leadership is robust and consistent.
In the autumn of 2019 we sat down with our leadership groups to work through our behaviour processes and then implemented a brand new behaviour policy. The absolute focus of the policy is consistency and restorative justice.
All staff have been given significant training and instruction on how to embed the policy fairly and consistently. We review this overtime and continuously provide staff with behaviour leadership guidance.
5) Although improving, the quality of teaching is too variable across a range of subjects. Consequently, achievement for pupils in all areas across the curriculum is not consistently good.
A very comprehensive program of CPD is offered and delivered to all staff. Our teaching team this year have benefited from CPD work looking at an array of different pedagogical skills including assessment for learning, differentiation, questioning, feedback, behaviour leadership, grammatical structures to both spoken and written English amongst other things.
In addition to the CPD we deliver here in school, our teachers also access a wide range of training courses from various supplies including, but not limited to, HfL.
We have also benefited from the support of teaching and learning providers who have worked with the school across English, maths and the early years. Feedback from visits is always given and actions are put in place to continuously improve the quality of what we do.
6) The newly implemented curriculum is not yet fully developed across all subjects. As a result, pupils are not receiving a broad and balanced curriculum.
Since the launch of our new academy, 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!
7) Over time, while getting better, in key stage 2, too few pupils make enough rapid progress to ensure they attain the nationally expected standards. This results in Year 6 pupils not being sufficiently ready for the next stage of their education.
National league tables for schools across the UK were released in December 2019. By way of comparison, we have looked at where Waterside Academy ranks compared to the other primary schools across Hertfordshire, which is typically a high-achieving county.
There are 481 primary schools in Hertfordshire - Waterside Academy ranked...
Reading Progress = 159th out of 481
Writing Progress = 210th out of 481
Maths Progress = 77th out of 481
Last year 64% of our year six pupils left for secondary school having met the expected standard in reading, writing and maths - which is in-line with national figures.School Ethos and Values Statement
Individual Healthcare Forms
At Waterside we want to support children with long term, serious medical conditions. Qualifying conditions include diabetes, serious/acute asthma (simply needing an inhaler in school ‘just in case’ would not require a healthcare plan) or allergies requiring an epipen. If you are uncertain at to whether your child’s condition qualifies, Mr Mills-Bishop will be able to talk it through with you.
If you feel your child does qualify, we ask that parents fill out an individual healthcare form and come and discuss it with Mr Mills-Bishop If you prefer, Mr Mills-Bishop can fill one out with you. Once your child’s needs are understood, we will ensure all adults in the school, who need to know, are aware and know their part in keeping your child safe and secure.
Healthcare plans are reviewed yearly, or sooner as needs change.
Please click here for a copy of the Health Care Plan form.
DSPL website http://dspl-welhat.org.uk/
Requests for paper copies
If a parent/carer requests a paper copy of the information on our school’s website, we will provide this free of any charge.