Assessment and Achievement
At Riverside School we celebrate the achievement of all pupils. We use a wide range of techniques to assess pupils starting points and find out their strengths. We use assessments to inform planning and adapt programmes of study so that the teaching is matched to pupils needs. Assessment helps us identify what pupils next steps might be and plan accordingly. We record assessments in a programme called B Squared to track pupils’ progress. We celebrate the achievement of all pupils however small the steps may be. For some of our pupils maintaining their current levels of achievement is a real challenge, for others the environment and support we are able to provide at Riverside mean that they are able to make progress at similar rate to pupils in mainstream schools, even if their starting points are lower.
We are required to publish some statistics on line. These relate to national key stage testing. Due to the nature of our children’s needs our pupils do not achieve at the expected or above expected levels in reading, writing or mathematics.
As the progress of each child is tracked across the year, parents are welcome to discuss progress at any time. Progress is reported more formally at Annual Review /EHCP meetings and in Annual Reports. If you have any queries about your child’s progress please do not hesitate to contact the school.
Each class in the school is taught music for an hour a week. This is loosely based on the National Curriculum but adapted to the needs of our pupils. We have a focus each term on a particular elements of music such as pitch or rhythm. We always have clear focus on singing and make links where possible to the country being studied in our Modern Foreign Languages lessons. Records of achievement are kept through our B Squared system and lessons also are planned to cover key concepts at each level. At KS4 students begin the ASDAN Short Course in Expressive Arts which builds to credits for work in dance. Music, drama and art over a two year period.
We offer a lunchtime club each week. This is currently led by our visiting percussion teacher. He also teaches every class each term for 3 sessions. Students in Y7 and above are also asked if they wish to learn guitar or ukulele in a group each week, again taught by a visiting teacher from the Music Service.
Each year we hold celebrations that are open to parents and carers such as at Harvest or Christmas. We are always on the lookout for other opportunities to perform in the local community, such as singing carols at the supermarkets, visiting supported lodgings and community groups or at Junction, our local Arts Centre, with which we have a strong link. We have also built up a tradition of preparing a production each year, in which everyone takes part.
It is safe to say that Music is at the heart of life at Riverside!
Computers and other technological aids are used throughout Riverside School. Computing skills are taught as a discrete subject and as a means of supporting other areas of the curriculum. The children are encouraged to communicate ideas and information in a variety of forms, where appropriate, using equipment and computer software to enhance their learning.
At Riverside, we differentiate accordingly the following aspects of computing: computer science (CS), information technology (IT) and digital literacy (DL).
Through adapted teaching and support computer science is the aspect of the subject in which children are taught about information and computation, how digital systems work and how to put this knowledge to use through programming.
Building on this knowledge and understanding, pupils are equipped to use information technology to create programs, systems and a range of content. We teach this using a range of programmes which allow children to explore key concepts such as algorithms, sequences and variables, and develop skills like problem-solving, logical reasoning and debugging. Staff have received outside training in the teaching of this element of the curriculum.
Computing also helps pupils become digitally literate – able to use and express themselves and develop their ideas through, information and communication technology – at a level suitable for their needs and as active participants in a digital world.
We ensure that there is a strong focus on e safety. We teach children how to keep themselves safe and to treat others with respect. Children consider how their online actions impact other people and how they need to be aware of their legal and ethical responsibilities, such as showing respect for intellectual property rights (e.g. musical, literary and artistic works), keeping passwords and personal data secure and observing the terms and conditions for web services they use. Each year we hold an e-safety competition where the children design and make a poster to display in school, the winners is then displayed for all to see. At all times children are reminded through e-safety rules that if they ever feel worried about anything they see on the internet, they should share their concerns with a parent or teacher.
Records of achievement are kept through our B Squared system and lessons also are planned to cover key concepts at each level. We offer a lunchtime club where the children can use ipads and laptops to develop their computing skills further.
We follow the Agreed Syllabus of the Local Authority but typically cover the units set for EYFS, KS1 and 2 over Years 1-9. This reflects the national model of 2 attainment targets: to learn about religion though an enquiry-based units of work and from it by reflecting on the skills and attitudes we are gaining. This ensures an even focus on three key areas: Beliefs and Practices, Identity and Values, Meaning and Purpose.
The main focus is on Christianity but we refer frequently to Judaism and Islam, as well as to Hinduism and Sikhism with occasional reference to Buddhism and Humanism, therefore covering the 6 key religions in the UK as well as considering those who hold no religious belief.
We keep our achievement records using the B Squared assessment system, which also informs our planning so that students can revisit areas that have not been covered thoroughly and continue to build on previous knowledge. At KS4 we structure our work using the ASDAN Short Course on Beliefs and Values, covering modules on Crime and Punishment, The Environment, Creed, Values - Beliefs and Decision-Making, Inspiration and Peace & Conflict.
Parents may withdraw their children by law from RE teaching but our emphasis is so clearly on education rather than promoting any one set of beliefs that this is a very rare occurrence. If a celebration in school has a religious content then this is handled sensitively and parents with specific religious beliefs may be consulted in order to avoid offence.
Pupils throughout the school take part in Personal, Social, Health and Citizenship Education lessons. These lessons help pupils to develop the knowledge and skills they need to keep themselves healthy and safe, and prepare for life and work in modern Britain.
In the Primary classes pupils follow ‘The Health for Life’ scheme, learning about themselves, emotions and keeping healthy as well as many other topics. Pupils in Years 7, 8 and 9 follow Stepping Stones and will cover a number of PSHE related challenges over this time. Examples of these topics are ‘Valuing Each Other’, ‘Personal Wellbeing’ and ‘Identity’.
Throughout Years 10 and 11 pupils work on the ASDAN short course for PSHE in weekly lessons at school and ASDAN Citizenship short course while in college on a weekly basis.
Every spring term pupils take part in Sex and Relationship lessons at an age appropriate level. This ranges from naming parts of the body for younger pupils in school to more complex issues for senior pupils.
Planning and lessons take account of the needs of pupils in our school and wherever possible give pupils first hand experiences. The PSHE and Citizenship curriculum is enhanced throughout the year with visits from outside groups such as police and health services.
The National Curriculum states that ‘A high-quality languages education should foster pupils’ curiosity and deepen their understanding of the world.’ It is this statement that defines the planning and execution of MFL in our school. Pupils in Key Stage 3 participate in Modern Foreign Language lessons as part of their Humanities curriculum. We feel that at this stage our pupils are at an appropriate level of understanding to access our exciting and creative MFL curriculum which is tailored to meet the needs of our pupils.
For one term each year KS3 pupils study a different country in the world, ensuring that they experience a range of countries from different continents, including Great Britain. By regularly referring back to Great Britain and British values pupils learn about their place in the world while developing an awareness of the wider world.
Our approach to MFL lessons is to provide first hand, cross curricular experiences. Students are taught simple greetings and words from the countries studied and are given the opportunity to learn songs, poems and rhymes in various languages. Through this, pupils develop an awareness that there are many languages spoken throughout the world. Through studies of the cultural aspects of different countries, pupils are encouraged to identify similarities and differences in comparison to their own culture and explore cross curricular links with history and geography. Through music, dance, art and cookery pupils enjoy first-hand experiences of a variety of aspects of the different cultures studied.
Each year whole school experiences and activities linked to MFL are planned to enable all pupils in school to have a taste of our exciting curriculum. Such events include theme days, cultural banquets and visits from outside groups.
We believe that our tailored MFL curriculum teaches about diversity, enhances awareness and understanding of other countries and cultures, and prepares pupils to play a full and active part in society.
Each class in the school is taught 2 lessons of science per week, with pupils in Key Stage 4 having 3 lessons per week.
Teaching is based on the National Curriculum but adapted to the needs of our pupils. Each year group focuses on a different topic each term and ‘working scientifically’ is also taught within each topic helping to develop pupils’ practical scientific methods and skills. Each topic is taught practically, linking scientific concepts to everyday life.
At KS4 pupils begin an AQA science Entry Level Award running over two years, pupils can achieve either an Entry Level 1, 2 or 3 Award.
Links to other areas of the National Curriculum are made where possible with a particular focus on maths, English and computing, as well as a strong focus on SMSC (Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural) running through science lessons. The school is committed to this and evidence can be seen across the school.
Pupils are given the opportunity to investigate the world around them through their science lessons in a safe and systematic way, making use of their increasing knowledge and skills to describe, interpret and evaluate their findings.
Records of achievement are kept through our B Squared system which also informs our planning so pupils can revisit areas of the curriculum and continue to build on previous knowledge.
The science curriculum is enriched each year with day visits, internal visits, a science field study residential trip and a science week. These experiences help reinforce pupils’ learning within the National Curriculum as we aim to provide experiences to build on their understanding of science linked to their everyday world.
Maths is a core subject taught to all pupils at Riverside School. In the Early Foundation Stage, children part take in 4 Maths sessions a week. Each session begins with a short adult input, after this each child then completes a small independent Maths task suited to their ability. This is completed 1:1 with the class teacher. After this they have time to access Maths activities on the provision set out in the classroom. In key stages 1-5 students have four timetabled Maths lessons each week. All key stage 4 and 5 students have three dedicated Maths lessons a week. At key stage 4 pupils may undertake the ASDAN Entry Level Certificate Award. As with the English Curriculum, our more able pupils may also undertake AQA Functional Skills Qualifications at levels 1 or 2. At Key stage 5 children may undertake Personal Progress in Maths, ASDAN Entry Level Certificate Award or AQA Functional Skills Award depending on which meets the children's ability the best. Riverside also offer a variety of AQA Unit Award Certificates which cover a diverse range of mathematical skills and real-life problem solving challenges, preparing students for using numbers in the wider world.
Numeracy skills are taught under 4 broad subheadings; Number, Measures, Geometry and Statistics. These topics cover the full range of National Curriculum objectives.
We conduct individual assessment of students when they arrive to ensure that work is adapted and differentiated to meet their individual needs. Small steps of progress are recorded on our B Squared assessment system, which also informs our planning and target setting.
Pupils tackle their Maths targets during extended registration sessions, where they can practice number recall, writing numbers in words and digits, times tables and counting skills with their peers.
We like to incorporate elements of Maths into other areas of the curriculum wherever possible. For example, our Science curriculum offers many opportunities for cross-curricular learning and our CDT cooking lessons also build on those important weighing, measuring and time skills that we hope that all pupils can achieve.
All students have English lessons that aim to develop their communication, reading and writing. For some of our pupils lessons look very similar to those you might see in mainstream. Some of our pupils require communication aids, more sensory and kinaesthetic activities or a more differentiated and personalise approach.
Pupils’ communication, speaking, listening, reading and writing are developed across the curriculum. We take careful account of individual starting points and work is adapted and differentiated to meet needs. Records of achievement are kept through our B Squared system which also informs our planning.
There are opportunities each morning, in extended registration period, for pupils to work on some aspects of English. Most often this is work on phonics, key word reading, mark marking, spelling, social skills, or speech and language work.
We have a strong focus on helping our children develop their social and communication skills. We have three dedicated level 3/4 Learning Support Assistants who work on programs that develop speech, communication, language and social skills. They work with the NHS speech and language therapists who visit the school to provide personalised support for pupils.
Phonics and key words
Phonics and key words are taught systematically. Because of the nature of many of our pupils needs this requires a bespoke approach. A multi- sensory approach using packages such as Jolly Phonics is used to enable pupils to progress in phonics. The school uses a system based on the Five Minute Box approach to cover all the high frequency and statutory key words.
The school has a wide range of reading schemes to account for all ages and to engage pupils with specific interests. Books are sorted in to book bands. Many pupils have reading and comprehension ability at different levels and may therefore bring home books from more than one level if this is appropriate.
All pupils’ achievements are assessed on a regular basis and B Squared is used to monitor progress. In addition, nationally recognised tests such as the SPAR Spelling test and the Salford Reading test are administered annually. Our older pupils work towards qualifications. These may include AQA unit awards, AQA Entry Level qualifications, ASDAN English and Expressive Arts Qualifications. For a few of our most able pupils may also be able to undertake the AQA English Functional Skills Level 1 qualification.
Design & Technology
In design and technology we learn by making and helping each other. We improve and check work. We learn by reading, speaking, listening, writing and trying different ways of making things. We use many different materials such as wood, cardboard, plastic, metal, cloth and food. We use hand held tools such as hammers, saws, knives, spoons, needles and machines like cookers and sewing machines in design and technology. To learn something we watch teachers and each other’s methods.
Design and Technology encourages children to learn to think and intervene creatively to solve problems both as individuals and as members of a team. They are taught to look for opportunities and to respond to them by developing a range of ideas and making a range of products. The children are also given opportunities to reflect upon and evaluate past and present design technology, its uses and its effectiveness and are encouraged to become innovators.
Design and Technology can make a unique contribution to the curriculum.
Stimulate pupils’ curiosity, imagination, creativity and develop the ability to operate effectively in a technological society.
Develop through active learning, pupils understanding of technology.
Develop pupils’ abilities to identify and respond to needs and opportunities.
Involve pupils’ in the purposeful designing of products.
Promote the ability in pupils to communicate information and ideas in a variety of ways.
We Aim to:
Teach children the skills to design and create a product
Link with skills from Maths, Science, Literacy and Computing
Equip children with the skills to take risks and become resourceful with their tools
Give children the opportunities to evaluate designs and critically analyse the impact they have on the wider world
Give children the skills to create draft work to evaluate and test
Develop cooking skills and understand the importance of nutrition
Children are encouraged to develop their design and technological capability by combining their designing and making skills with knowledge and understanding, in order to design and make products.
The children develop ideas first through discussion of an assignment related to a topic or theme in the classroom, then record ideas using sketches or labelled drawings before the making stage.
Experience of simple tools, construction kits and a range of materials enable the children to turn their ideas into finished products. Discussion and self-assessment of their results lead the children to think of developments that could be made, and suggestions of alternative methods.
Art and Design
The inspiration and sense of achievement achieved through Art and Design, play a vital role in enabling our children and young people to enhance their creative talent and develop their artistic skills. To this end we endeavour to equip them with the knowledge and skills to experiment, invent and create their own works of art, craft and design.
The pupils experience and explore a range of art forms and art techniques including watercolours, sculpture, pastels, marbling, tie dye, different printing techniques, mixed media and photography to produce very interesting and innovative art work.
In Key Stage 4 Pupils have the opportunity to work towards an Arts Award qualification, they may start at Develop or Explore depending on their ability level to start with but then can progress onto Bronze and Silver. Some pupils may even progress onto Gold.
The most important thing in the Art and Design curriculum is that pupils learn to love art and start to develop their artistic abilities.
We follow the National Curriculum for our Humanities sessions, which is tailored to meet the needs of the pupils. Geography and History lessons are taught to all children up to and including Year 9.
During their Geography sessions pupils will develop knowledge about the world, the United Kingdom and their locality. They will begin to understand basic subject-specific vocabulary relating to human and physical geography and begin to use geographical skills, including first-hand observation, to enhance their locational awareness. They also focus on Map skills, place knowledge and both physical and human aspects of Geography. This is the built upon through the years.
Pupils have a strong Historical focus in sessions. Pupils will develop an awareness of the past including using common words and phrases relating to the passing of time. They will begin to know where the people and events they study fit within a chronological framework and identify similarities and differences between ways of life in different periods. They will use a wide vocabulary of everyday historical terms. They will also ask and answer questions, choosing and using parts of stories and other sources to show that they know and understand key features of events. They will also begin to understand some of the ways in which we find out about the past and identify different ways in which it is represented.
Physical Education develops children’s knowledge, skills and understanding, so that they can perform with increasing competence and confidence in a range of physical activities. At Riverside, these include dance, games, gymnastics, swimming & water safety, athletics, cycling, a range of fitness pursuits and outdoor & adventurous activities. Physical Education promotes positive attitudes towards a healthy lifestyle, focusing as it does on the benefits of exercise and healthy eating. In addition, learning what to wear and how to change; helping to set up and put away equipment; awareness of and attention to hygiene issues, are all integral to the teaching of Physical Education at Riverside.
Through Key Stages 1-2, our P.E. curriculum is taught at school where the children use the school playgrounds, the ball cage and the field for outdoor activities, the school hall for indoor activities and the local pool for swimming lessons. This is also the case at KS 3 where we also progress to using our very own, purpose-built, fitness suite. At KS 4, we incorporate the ASDAN Sports & Fitness module into our P.E. curriculum and follow a variety of activities at our local leisure centre. In addition, all KS 3-4 children have the opportunity to spend up to a week at a residential centre focusing on the skills associated with outdoor and adventurous activities (problem solving, orienteering, caving, canoeing, rock climbing, abseiling, etc.)
As a school we have adopted the B Squared assessment system and this is applied in P.E. as in all other subjects. These records enable us to make an annual assessment of progress, as part of each child’s annual report to parents.
At Riverside we provide a range of P.E.-related activities for children at play-time, at lunch-time, after-school and on designated dates throughout the academic year. Every class in school attends at least 1 and usually 2 events a year, within the East Riding, to which all other special schools and some mainstream schools are invited. There are other selective events, often further afield, for our gifted & talented sporting children throughout the year. All these opportunities foster a sense of team spirit and co-operation amongst our children and are a valued part of the annual calendar. In addition we hold a Sports Day every year which is a popular occasion, and we always participate in national events such as Sport Relief Mile, Get Cycling, Skipping, etc.
Riverside really does embrace every aspect of the concept of “Sport for All”!