Skills for Life

The Riverston School Skills for Life programme is fundamental to the ethos of our school.  Recognising that every child has a unique character, talents and skills, that these may not be in the 'traditional' academic subjects, and that they will one day graduate from Riverston, we believe it is a responsibility to ensure that they can develop some of the necessary life skills they will need.

Our focus is therefore on developing a wide range of skills, and wherever possible recognising formally the successful acquisition of these through special awards.  The core skills we aim to help students acquire include:

  • Good communication skills, both verbal and written.
  • Ability to work well both as part of a team, but also on your own.
  • An ability to continue to learn - to recognise problems, and to work out how to solve those problems, or how to seek help to solve them.
  • Resilience and courage to deal with difficult situations and times; and the empathy and kindness to help others dealing with their own difficult situations and times.
  • Independence - able to look after themselves (maintaining a healthy lifestyle and diet), and to support others where appropriate.
  • Financially aware 

A selection of such skills and awards is outlined below.

Cooking (Food Technology)

We believe that being able to be responsible for maintaining a healthy diet and cooking for yourself and others is a fundamental life skill for all young people, and Food Technology is an integral and established part of our curriculum.

Financial Capabilities

Financial Capability is studied at 2 levels-Award (APF), which is a level 1 course and which focuses on life skills and helps to promote independent living and financial management and Certificate (CPF) which is a level 2 course and is designed to assist entry into the world of financial services. Both courses are delivered and examined online. The awards originate from the IFS.

Study Skills

Every subject leader at Riverston will teach students how to revise and how to manage their time effectively before examinations commence. This will include advising the students how to identify their learning style. Once they have a better understanding of how to organise their revision timetable, students can give some thought to planning where and how they will revise in order to get the very best results.

Revision techniques can vary from subject to subject and also from student to student. Some will prefer to have music playing whilst revising others need absolute peace and quiet. Spider graphs and “post it” notes are also popular aids to help in the process of remembering important facts and information.

Social Communication

The aim of our social communications course is to equip each student with the tools, which will enable them to communicate with their peers effectively. The social communications course will teach the students alternative ways to handle situations which may present themselves. These skills will aid confidence, assertiveness, empathy, and verbal/non-verbal communication.

Travel Plan

The TITAN (Travel Independence Training Across the Nation) course has been devised to assist students with road safety and those who find pedestrian and transport travel difficult. The plan develops sufficient confidence in pupils for them to travel independently. Many pupils find that getting to and from school a daunting experience.  The TITAN courses aim to aid the transition from student to adulthood

Duke of Edinburgh Award

The Duke of Edinburgh's Award has been part of Riverston School for many years. Pupils start the award in Year 9 or 10 and usually complete their Bronze award by the time they leave school.

The Award consists of 4 sections which must be completed for different lengths of time:-

Volunteering: undertaking service to individuals or the community for 3 or 6 months. This can involve extended schools projects, conservation projects, charity work,

Physical: improving in an area of sport, dance or fitness activities for 3 or 6 months. This can could include team sports, individual sports, water sports, racquet sports, dance, fitness, extreme sports, and Martial arts.

Skills: developing practical skills and personal interest for 3 or 6 months. Some examples are creative arts, performance arts, science and technology, care of animals, music, life skills, learning and collecting, media and communication, natural world, games and sports.

Expedition: planning, training for and completion of an adventurous journey in the UK. The expedition covers: First Aid and emergency procedures; an awareness of risk and Health and Safety issues; navigation and route planning; camp craft, equipment and hygiene; food and cooking; Countryside and Highway Code; observation and recording and team-building.

Only one of the above sections has to be done for 6 months, the other two for 3 months and the expedition is for 2 days and 1 overnight camp. Training for the expedition is completed during one lunch time a week during term time. A practice expedition is usually planned for just before the Easter holidays and the Assessed Expedition at the end of June.

More information can be found about the Duke of Edinburgh's award at the following website:

Residential and Day Camp

A Riverston holiday camp is a great way to spend a week or two of the long holiday away from school. Whether you want to learn a new skill or simply spend some time with your friends, this is the place to be.

With the exception of the residential, all of the holiday camps are available on a daily basis as well as the full week.

All Riverston School camps are run by experienced members of staff, all of whom have undergone the enhanced CRB check.
A qualified first aider is in attendance at all times.
Children are asked to bring with them a drink, snack and packed lunch (with the exception of the residential where this is all provided).
Everything else (art materials, cookery ingredients, sports equipment, entry fees, transport) is included in the cost of the camp.
Also included is a limited edition polo shirt that can be worn for the week and taken home as a permanent reminder of a wonderful experience.
In addition to the specific skills that these camps offer, it is the aim of each and every one to develop a sense of fun, teamwork, camaraderie, achievement, confidence, independence and – for our older students – leadership skills.


Career guidance is provided during the course of Y11 and is intended to help students consider all the various options available to them. Students are invited to attend one to one interviews to determine exactly which direction to follow. This includes plotting a “route map” which is an exercise to help students focus on their individual interests and goals. As a result of this they are able to determine which career path suits them best. Having identified their interests and career ideas they are encouraged to consider which qualifications are required.

For example:If they want to become a Lawyer then they would they would need to follow an academic route; GCSE’s, A levels and University for an Honours degree,


If they want to become a beauty therapist they would take an occupational route and take up an Apprenticeship at a salon, earning and working to achieve an NVQ level 2 including a technical certificate.