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Riverside School

Riverside Special School, Fennel Road BT41 4PB

02894 428946

Class Information



J1 is made up of 7 pupils ranging from 3 - 6 years old. This is a composite class that works with the pre school guidance for those at pre school age and the Foundation Stage of the NI Curriculum for pupils Year 1 and above. Our teacher is Miss Gaston and our teaching assistants are Jackie Mc and Jacqui B. We enjoy a practical and play based approach to learning and have many opportunities to consolidate skills we learn in school by generalising them to other environments and situations through educational outings, outdoor play, swimming and inclusion activities. We use a tool box of strategies to ensure that the individual needs of pupils are met including visual strategies, TEACCH, Makaton, PECS, behaviour management programmes, team teach and many more. Even at a young age we work hard at personal development to ensure that pupils have a opportunity to be as independent as possible. ICT plays an important role in our classroom as pupils are highly motivated and stimulated by its use. By using our interactive touch screen and ipad we help to develop pupils' skills in all areas of learning as well as increasing focus, attention and concentration. Most importantly even though we have lots to learn, we also have lots of fun along the way!


J2 is a lively Key Stage 1 class with pupils ranging from 5 to 7 years old. Our teacher is Mrs Meharg and teaching assistants are Sharee and Rhonda. Every day is busy and fun packed with a mix of structured play, physical play, small group and whole class activities. Some of the pupils use individual schedule of symbols or objects. We love learning; one of our favourite areas of the curriculum is ‘The Arts’. In J2 we are very creative, making wonderful art masterpieces! We also really enjoy our music sessions with J1. We have some great musicians in our school. We love to listen to and join in with the Jolly Phonics sounds before writing on the interactive whiteboard. Attention autism is another favourite in our class, our faces light up when our teacher brings out the bucket. We appreciate having other places to continue our learning such as the sensory room and soft play within school. Each week we enjoy an educational visit with J1. We use this opportunity to interactive with each other and play. We really love school in J2!


J3 are aKS1/ KS2 mixed ability class of 6 pupils. Our teacher is Mr Andrews and our assistants are June (5days) with Barbara and Audrey (jobshare). J3 are given access to the NI Curriculum on a daily basis through 1:1 work, group work and circle time activities throughout the day. We really benefit from a bright, colourful structured room and timetable with a strong teamwork approach. We are a very busy, fun and energetic class with a jam-packed timetable. We enjoy swimming, educational outings and music lessons. We enjoy learning through play and have sensory based learning. We enjoy interacting with J4 on our educational outings and through music, giving us the opportunities to build friendships throughout the school.


J4 is a Key Stage 2 class with 6 pupils ranging in age from 9-11 years old. Our classroom assistants and Frances and Sarah and our teachers are Miss McNee on a Monday and Mrs Ravey Tuesday to Friday. This year we have a student Ryan Luney who will be in our class from Monday to Thursday.

We follow the Northern Ireland Curriculum but offer a wide and varied range of activities. We enjoy a busy and active timetable, which includes swimming, educational outings, The Arts, PE, The World Around Us, Numeracy and Literacy. We use a variety of approaches to teach our subjects including ICT sensory based learning, individual and group work. We believe that learning should be fun and strive to maintain that through everything that we do. We always strive to promote independence in our pupils and have high expectations of what they can achieve, so that through their learning they can flourish.


M1 is a PMLD class with 6 very lively, energetic and diverse pupils! We enjoy a full and varied sensory curriculum, with all our lessons tailored to our individual needs and preferences. Pupils are given opportunities to develop as much independence as possible. We use a range of strategies to ensure every child can reach their full potential. We enjoy educational outings, PE, Music, Art, Cookery and Sensory play. M1 are constantly on the go. We are a very happy and thriving class!



S1 is a post-primary class of five pupils with varying abilities. S1 work within the KS3 subject areas of the NI curriculum and these are adapted to meet the needs of each individual pupil. Our teacher is Mrs Kerry Teague and our classroom assistants are Marion and Frances. The pupils enjoy a range of practical and sensory-based activities and work towards developing functional living skills in order to help prepare for life after school. S1 enjoy a swimming session every week with a swimming instructor and an educational outing every Friday. The pupils in S1 benefit greatly from a structured routine and classroom and visual strategies are used comprehensively. Such strategies include the use of TEACCH, PECS and Makaton and all pupils take part in accreditation programmes each school year.


In S2 we have 6 boys and 2 girls age 12– 15 years. We are a very busy and active class , our typical week of activities includes swimming, music, art, football, RDA, cookery and an educational outing. This is alongside our numeracy and literacy work, which includes 1:1 reading and topic work each term. We will also be busy doing our accreditation work for Asdan and Prince’s Trust which is done through completing tasks, word processing information and printing off text and photographs for our folders. Our aim in all our activities is to encourage and promote independence. A lot of emphasis is put on promoting positive behaviour, all work is praised and rewarded and pupils can visibly see what they are achieving and what they have to work towards.



Our aim in Pathways is to encourage our young adults to develop as much independence as possible and to support them in their transition to adult life.

We offer a range of Accredited Programmes such as the Duke of Edinburgh on a bi-annual basis and OCR. Every Tuesday we attend NCR in Ballymena where we gain accreditation in CCEA Occupational Studies programmes such as Art and Design, Horticulture and ICT.

We have set up Cool Beans Café beside our classroom. The café is used to develop independent living skills such as choosing and/or preparing a healthy meal to eat, chopping and cooking simple meals and doing all of this in a healthy and safe manner. In promoting healthy lifestyles, we attend Antrim Forum on a weekly basis, which allows us to enhance self-help skills, social skills and independence.

We strive to provide most of our pupils with Work Placements in the local Antrim area. This year we are collaborating with the Orchardville Society from Belfast. This society is helping our pupils find work placements and get ready for life after Riverside.

Finally, a huge part of Pathways’ learning is our company Boom, established as part of Young Enterprise NI. Together as a team, the company chooses, designs, makes, markets and sells products to our customers. Last year, we were delighted to have won the ‘Best Team’ in the North Eastern Region as well as the award for ‘Best Trade Stand’ in the whole of the UK.