Skills for Life
Child Care, Learning and Development
The BTEC level 2 First Certificate in Children’s Care, Learning and Development will give pupils the knowledge, understanding and competency needed when considering entering employment in the children's care sector. They will gain a grounding in the essential skills and broad fundamentals crucial to this area of study. There is the opportunity to build on these skills further by undertaking another Level 2 qualification, or to progress to a qualification at Level 3, or to enter into job vacancies within this area of employment.
The qualification is designed to enable students to study other subjects alongside the BTEC First Certificate. It consists of three units totalling 180 guided learning hours. The structure of the course allows to develop a broad foundation and introduces pupils to areas such as understanding child development, preparing and maintaining environments for child care, and keeping children safe.
Following completion of the BTEC First Certificate in Children’s Care, Learning and Development, successful candidates would be able to enter initial employment, at a junior level, in childcare. The achievement of the BTEC First Certificate has the equivalence of 2 GCSEs graded A*-C. If pupils achieve an overall pass grade or better in the BTEC First Certificate in Children's Care, Learning and Development, it is possible for them to progress further to a BTEC First Diploma in Children’s Care, Learning and Development, or to enrol on another Level 2 programme, such as a relevant NVQ, or to move on a higher level qualification such as a Level 3 BTEC National Certificate in Children’s Care, Learning and Development.
Following completion of the BTEC First Diploma in Children’s Care, Learning and Development, successful candidates would be able to enter initial employment, at a junior level, in childcare. The achievement of the BTEC First Diploma has the equivalence of 4 GCSEs graded A*-C. If pupils achieve an overall pass grade or better in the BTEC First Diploma in Children’s Care, Learning and Development, it is possible them to progress to a higher level qualification such as the Level 3 BTEC National Diploma in Children’s Care, Learning and Development, or to undertake additional studies at Level 2, such as an NVQ.
BTEC Hospitality is a new vocational subject that has just been added to Riverston’s expanding curriculum. The students are working towards an entry level 1 qualification. The course is broken down into units, of which the first 2 are mandatory. These first 2 units provide the learners with an introduction to the Hospitality Industry and Customer Service in the Hospitality Industry.
Further units give the option to learn about a range of skills including serving food and drink, basic food preparation and basic cooking. The students will be involved in practical work that will link in with any hospitality events that are taking place in the school.
Personal, Social and Health Education
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.
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.
Riverston’s Senior Speech and Language Therapist provides a wide range of input to students based on individual needs. Working 1:1, in pairs and small groups, this work can centre around the physical development of speech, developing receptive and expressive language skills and addressing specific individual speech and language difficulties. Our therapist also works with small groups to develop social-communication skills, working on turn-taking, sharing, conversational skills, body and spatial awareness. Language acquisition and vocabulary-finding techniques are an important aspect of this work as children develop their linguistic abilities to their full potential.
Our Occupational Therapist addresses difficulties with children’s fine motor skills, providing therapy and advice for developing handwriting and scissor control, as well as appropriate seating, positioning and posture. For a significant number of Riverston’s students, occupational therapy advice is provided to manage a variety of sensory challenges, learning to develop strategies to manage these difficulties not only in school but in the wider community.
In addition to weekly Social-Communication lessons, many students have benefitted from the recently-introduced weekly Drama therapy lessons that use myths, fables and story-telling as an effective route into developing social understanding and appreciating different perspectives.
For the small number of students who benefit from specialist Paediatric Physiotherapy, this advice is provided on an ‘as required’ basis. Learning support staff are trained to develop individual physiotherapy programmes in school and Eltham Leisure Centre is used to provide additional Hydrotherapy as required.
Similarly, Play therapy is delivered on an individual basis by a highly experienced Integrated Child Psychotherapist. In addition, Riverston has access to its own BACP-registered Counsellor who can provide blocks of sessions to individuals as required.
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.
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 travel independence 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: http://www.dofe.org/
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.