Riverston School

Riverston School

Bespoke Learning for Life

Skills for Life and Vocation

At Riverston, we place particular emphasis on developing pupil’s resilience and preparing them for life after school.  Recognising that every child has a unique character, talents and skills, and 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 pupils acquire include:

  • Good communication skills, both verbal and written.
  • Ability to work well both as part of a team, but also independently.
  • 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 


We offer a range of dedicated life-skills related courses, with many providing the opportunity to gain qualifications, including; ASDAN, BTEC Skills for Independence and Work and BTEC Vocational Studies.


ASDAN is delivered to pupils from Year 7, with the following courses tailored for each year group:

Year 7: Raising Aspirations - a collection of 4 activity-based modules. Learners gather a portfolio of evidence to show the modules they have completed.

The work is internally moderated. Pupils are rewarded using internally awarded Raising Aspirations certificates.

Year 8: New Horizons -  a collection of 5 modules which support the delivery of PSHE, Citizenship and careers education. Learners gather a portfolio of evidence to support their activities.

Following internal moderation, centres are required to register learners for external moderation. Gold certification is available to learners who have completed at least 3 sections within each of the 5 modules.

Once the pupils have completed the work to obtain a Gold certificate there is an opportunity for the teacher and pupils to go back and complete extra activities for each module.

Years 9-10 & 11: Transition Challenge (Introduction and Progression) this course provides a framework for accrediting the independent living and personal skills in adult life.

The programmes have been developed for KS4 pupils but can be used beyond this age group. It contains activities within five modules: Knowing how/ Making choices/ Feeling  good/ Moving forward and Taking the lead.

The activities within each module are linked to KS4 curriculum subjects.

Gold certification is available to learners who have completed at least 9 activities from each of the 5 modules. 

Riverston College: Towards independence. This course offers 70 modules! This allows pupils to complete modules adapted to their specific needs.

The Starting Out module is mandatory and helps pupils to recognise achievements and identify learning challenges and targets. From then the pupils can receive guidance as to which module they need to complete.


Social Communication

The aim of our social communications course is to equip each pupil 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 travel on public transport 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.



In these week-long sessions, run annually, pupils are taught to develop their cycling skills. Living in London, cycling is a very popular means of transport. By the end of the week, timid children are turned in to confident cyclists and they celebrate their newly developed skills by riding in tandem on the main roads surrounding school. 



Duke of Edinburgh Award

The Duke of Edinburgh's Award has been part of Riverston School for many years. Pupils have the opportunity to 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 and charity work.

Physical: improving in an area of sport, dance or fitness activities for 3 or 6 months. This can 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 completed over a duration of 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 a double lesson 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/ 



Career guidance is provided from as early as Year 7 and all the way through to Key Stage 5. Built in to the form time programme of study for Key Stage 3 and delivered as stand-alone lessons for Key Stage 4 and 5 pupils, the careers guidance delivered is intended to help pupils consider all the various options available to them. Pupils are invited to attend one to one interviews with our designated careers advisor to determine exactly which direction to follow. This includes plotting a “route map” which is an exercise to help pupils 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.


Sports Leadership Programme

The Level 1-3 Sports Leadership qualifications are nationally recognised qualifications and provide the ideal starting point for learners wishing to develop their leadership skills. It is a practical course that aims to give learners an idea of what is required to lead activities within a sports session successfully. Leadership is the primary focus and the assessment of learners should be made on their leadership skills and not their sports ability. Learners lead lessons under the direct supervision of a teacher and must be a minimum age of 13 years of age however, there is no upper age limit. We offer these courses at Key stage 4 and 5.



Through a combination of practical experience and written assignments, pupils are equipped with the knowledge, skills and understanding needed for a career in the sector. Themes covered include; understanding children’s development, keeping children safe and supporting children with disabilities or special educational needs.


Skills for Independence and Work

Pupils on our Entry Level 2 qualifications in Skills for Independence and Work will develop a range of life skills that support greater independence at work and home. They will learn transferable skills that can be used in employment as well as independent or supported living, including making phone calls, cooking and personal hygiene.


Vocational Studies

The BTEC Vocational Studies course is designed to prepare pupils to live an independent life.

This skills-based qualification is designed to help learners develop the personal and social skills needed to help them to progress to independent living, future employment or further vocational study. 

Public Services

The BTEC course in Public Services helps pupils to take their first steps towards a career supporting the public. Pupils learn the essential skills for a wide range of careers, from the armed services and police force to roles at local authorities and central government.


Travel and Tourism

The BTEC course in Travel and Tourism introduces pupils to a career in retail or business travel. Pupils learn essential skills such as business awareness, customer service and understanding destinations in the UK and worldwide.


Home Cooking Skills

As an alternative to GCSE Food Technology, we offer the BTEC Home Cooking Skills Level 1 and 2 courses in Key Stage 4 and 5. Cooking is an essential life skill, empowering us to make changes that benefit our health and wellbeing. The Home Cooking Skills courses aim to give every young person the basic skills and knowledge to be able to cook for themselves in a healthy, cost-effective way, as well as gain the confidence to share these skills with friends and family.

Pupils learn essential knowledge and skills such as:

  • kitchen basics: what equipment you need and the best way to stock your store cupboard, fridge and freezer
  • food safety and hygiene: knife safety, fridge management and rotation
  • how to shop cleverly: shopping lists, seasonal food and planning ahead
  • preparing ingredients and understanding confusing food labels.