Riverston School successfully delivers a bespoke and engaging curriculum for pupils of all ages and ability levels. The curriculum is all the planned activities that we organise in order to promote learning and personal development. It includes not only the formal requirements of the academic curriculum, but also a diverse array of out of lesson activities including clubs and specialist events. These activities complement teaching and learning within the formal curriculum and they serve to promote the cultural, physical, social, intellectual and spiritual growth of our pupils. We are highly aware of staff influence and appreciate the impact of what the pupils learn from the way they are treated and expected to behave. We aim to teach children how to grow into healthy, positive, responsible people, who can work and co-operate with each other while developing knowledge, understanding and skills, so that they achieve their true potential.
Our values are reflected in our School Ethos: ‘Bespoke Learning for Life’ which is at the heart of the design and delivery of our curriculum. We actively ensure that pupils are given bespoke academic experiences, often tailor made to meet individual and different needs. Our distinctive curriculum is designed to ensure that mainstream, gifted and talented as well as pupils with special educational and learning needs are challenged and developed in a way to prepare them for future life in both academic and vocational routes.
Riverston School offers:
- A caring and supportive environment with a focus on excellent provision of pastoral care
- An education geared to get the very best from every child – stretching them academically to achieve and even exceed their expectations
- A full program of activity, brimming with opportunity
- A foundation that nurtures children and means when they leave the School it is as well balanced, considerate, confident and competent individuals
The Nursery’s aims:
- To instil a joy of learning
- To build children's confidence and self-esteem
- To improve language and communication skills
- To encourage independence
- To teach children to show consideration for others
- To help prepare children for starting school
- We never lose sight of the fact that our children are individuals and we work closely with parents to achieve each child's individual potential.
- Most of all, we know Nursery should be fun.
The School’s Aims:
- Provide a safe, supportive and caring environment in which to work.
- Provide a contemporary, innovative, engaging and enriching education.
- Equip our pupils with a range of life skills - academic, vocational, social, creative, sporting and moral.
- Build confidence and self - esteem and prepare our boys and girls for the next step in their education.
- Generate an understanding of the need for care and consideration for others within our community and the wider world.
- Work in partnership with parents and guardians to help our pupils achieve their full potential.
- Work with external academic and industry based institutions in order to offer a varied learning experience.
- In our 16+ provision we ensure that a programme of study appropriate to pupils’ needs is in place. All pupils are given the opportunity to learn and make progress whilst preparing for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of an independent life in British society.
- In addition, we specifically ensure that all pupils with Autism and other mild to moderate Special Educational Needs are given the support to become successful learners, confident individuals, effective contributors and responsible citizens.
To this end, the general principle governing the curriculum of the school is that every child shall be entitled to and shall take up an innovative curriculum which is balanced and broadly based and which:
- Promotes a love of learning and the spiritual, moral, cultural, mental and physical development of children at the school.
- Prepares the children for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of the next stage of education and leading on into adult life.
The school provides for all children access to the areas of experience below:
- Aesthetic and Creative – incorporating the arts across the curriculum in a way that fosters a heightened awareness of and appreciation for all that touches our lives.
- Ethical and Spiritual - values and relationships. Values of school, study of multi-society and religion whilst not undermining the fundamental British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs.
- Linguistic - four dimensions of language, listening, reading, speaking and writing.
- Mathematical - numerical, spatial, scientific and practical.
- Physical - co-ordination of mind and body.
- Scientific - observation, enquiry, technology, environment.
- Technological – learning about the processes and knowledge related to technology.
- Human and Social – the study of personal, social, health and economics which encourages respect for other people. Inspiring and regular careers guidance.
We have a daily Form Time Programme which provides regular sessions, beyond that which can be covered within the standard curriculum. The programme of study for form time is planned by the Director of Studies and Director of Welfare and Wellbeing to allow space for Circle Time and the delivery of SMSC, Social Skills and Academic Skills sessions. Academic skills is used for both the support and development of exam taking skills and careers advice and personal development. We have noticed in recent years that many pupils, but particularly our pupils with Autism, struggle to access end of term assessments or examinations because they have difficulties with certain skills such as proof-reading, perceptual speed and accuracy. We decided to address this issue and ensure that pupils are given regular opportunities to develop their logic skills through brain puzzle activities, in the hopes of allowing pupils to evidence their true potential in examination situations.
As part of a recent and exciting initiative for Riverston, mindfulness was introduced across all years as our way of starting the day. We have partnered with Calm as part of their ‘Calmer Schools’ initiative and have built a 5-10 minute slot for mindfulness at the start of every form time.
The developing mind and heart of a young child and adolescent is very distinct from that of an adult. As much as we adults feel the stress of exposure to violent media, worries about chronic and complex human challenges like climate change, lack of connection to nature, and a general sense of being rushed, developing minds are all the more sensitive to these stressors. As a teacher, you are well aware of the gifts children bring into the world, they see things with fresh eyes, open hearts, and with an innocence we watch in awe. Even adolescents, as their world expands to include the larger human community, possess a unique sensitivity and passion for the state of the world. This greater openness means that all of the stresses of modern life are actually impacting kids in a much stronger way. Because of this, we need to nourish their developing hearts and minds with moments of stillness, quiet and calm. Mindfulness can become a refuge for kids, a quiet place to return to in all the rush of the outside world, a steady place to stand in all the change and hard work of growing up.
Teachers, therapists, learning support assistants and key workers all have access to the subscription, meaning that mindfulness can also be practised throughout the whole school, at all times of the day, to help promote a culture of self-awareness and calm.
The Enrichment Curriculum:
At Riverston, we have successfully delivered an extra-curricular programme for many years. However, with a constantly growing cohort of pupils with local authority transport provision, many of our pupils were unable to attend after school clubs. As a result, we decided to adapt our provision so that all pupils have access to what we are now calling, the Enrichment Curriculum. Our EYFS pupils follow a fantastic ‘Dance through the Ages’ programme with our dedicated specialist dance teacher. For the last period of the day Friday’s, the timetable is collapsed for all Key Stage 3, 4 and 5 pupils. Senior pupils have a number of different clubs from which to choose from, including; Eco Warriors, 'Full Steam Ahead', chess club, racquet sports, The Big Bang Competition, Green Fingers gardening club and Riverston Radio to name a few. All pupils will choose a club, with the potential to rotate half termly. Staff are required to either run or support these sessions.
The Skills Curriculum:
We feel it is our duty to ensure all of our pupils are equipped with a range of life and learning key skills. For Key Stage 3 pupils, we offer a weekly Skills lesson on Friday afternoons. A range of skills-based classes are run, with middle and senior leaders allocating pupils to classes dependent on their particular areas of need. Skills that will be developed upon include, but are not limited to, the following; self-esteem, telling the time, using money in real-life situations, life skills such as writing a C.V and using a washing machine and computer based skills such as writing a word document and touch typing. Each pupil has a skills checklist in their day books, in which they are able to record when they have successfully met the required skills for each learning area. The intention is that pupils can meet all essential skills by the time they reach Key Stage 4. For those pupils without the need to develop these basic skills, a ‘Stretch and Challenge’ class will run parallel to these skills sessions, where pupils will work towards producing a termly student newspaper. This will contribute towards our gifted and talented programme.
Careers Education and Guidance:
Careers Education and Guidance (CEG) is an important component of the curriculum and at Riverston School, we fully support the statutory requirement for a programme of careers education from Years 7 – 14. It is part of Riverston’s vision to provide pupils with a comprehensive programme of careers education, information, advice and guidance and to exceed its statutory duty to provide CEIAG from year 7 upwards. The Careers programme has been written to enable pupils to develop the skills they will need to make well informed, realistic decisions and will empower them to access the high quality careers information and impartial guidance available from our in house guidance teachers, as well as signposting towards the National Careers Service, and other external events such as local authority careers and Skills UK.