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Riverside School

Riverside Special School, Fennel Road BT41 4PB

02894 428946

Class Information



 The Nursery class in Riverside learn in a structured and fun learning environment. Our teacher is Mrs Carmel Duffy and our classroom assistants are Mrs Tracey Bogle and Mrs Karen Stewart. There are currently five pupils in our class and we have lots of fun following the Pre School Curriculum. The Nursery class are learning to develop their play skills during structured play sessions. We are also learning to turn take and share during interactive sessions of circle time. Self-help skills are also very important in our class; we are learning to feed ourselves, wash our hands and actively participate in the tidy up routine. We enjoy our busy day and we are learning to follow a 'first' and 'then' schedule to help us make sense of our day.



J1 is made up of 9 pupils ranging from 4-5 years old. This is a vibrant class that follows the Foundation Stage of the NI Curriculum. Our teachers are Mrs Ravey and Mrs McLachlan and our teaching assistants are Lauren and Clare. We enjoy practical and play based approaches to learning. We have many opportunities to consolidate the skills we learn in other environments such as 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, positive behaviour 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!


J1 is made up of 8 pupils ranging from 5-6  years old. This class follows the Foundation Stage of the NI Curriculum. Our teacher is Miss Gaston and our teaching assistants are Brenda and Catherine. We enjoy practical and play based approaches to learning. We have many opportunities to consolidate the skills we learn in other environments such as educational outings, outdoor play, swimming and inclusion activities.  ICT plays an important role in our classroom as pupils are highly motivated and stimulated by its use. Pupils are given many oportunities to learn and interact through  the us eof Ipads and a Clever touch computer screen.  Learning is motivating and fun in J2 and the pupils are taught to be as independent as possible through the use of visual schedules and PECS communication boartds.



J3 is a lively Key Stage 1 class with pupils ranging from 6 to 8 years old. Our Teacher is Caitlín and Teaching Assistants are Leanne and Charlene. Every day is busy and fun packed with a mix of structured play, physical play, small group and whole class activities. All pupils follow a whole class schedule of symbols. We love learning; one of our favourite areas of the curriculum is ‘The Arts’. In J3 we are very creative and we love making wonderful art masterpieces! We also really enjoy our joint sessions with J4 and M1. We do Music, Yoga, Drama and RE together. 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 around our local community. We use this opportunity to interactive with each other and play. We really love school in J3!





J4 is a Key Stage 2 class with 7 pupils ranging in age from 8-10 years old. Our class teacher is Jayne Meharg and our classroom assistants and Ciara and Jackie.

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.  J4 enjoy music lessons with our friends in J3.  We are learning about different beats and pitch.  We are also taking part in a Forest Schools Program with M1. 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 Key Stage 2/3 class with seven pupils! Our Teacher is Mr Lavery and there is three classroom assistants Rose, Marian and Audrey rotating on different days. Our timetable includes Primary Movement and sensory sessions focusing on fine and gross motor skill development. We also have termly trips to the swimming pool and an educational outing on a Thursday morning. As we are a middle class we have great opportunities linking us to junior and senior school.



S1 is a PMLD class with 7 very lively, energetic and diverse pupils! Our teacher is Mrs Irwin and our assistants are Sarah and Charlotte. 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, Swimming, PE, Music, Art, Cookery, Attention Autism and Sensory play. We love completing lots of lovely art work to decorate our classroom. S1 are constantly on the go. We are a very happy and thriving class!



S2 is made up of 7 pupils ranging in age from 11-13 years old. We follow the NI key stage 3 curriculum. We are using creative ways to explore Language and Literacy through rich texts, ICT resources and personal choices. We also are an independent bunch who love learning through practical experiences. We are developing our independent skills through cookery, break and personal development. We are completing CCEA Life Skills modules in Healthy Active Lifestyles and Using Money. We keep active through our weekly swimming, yoga and PE. We have weekly educational trips which include exploring our community; such as our local library, shops and amenities – this will help us in our personal development such as using money. We are a hard working class but always make time to chill at the end of the week!



S3 is made up of 9 pupils aged between 12 and 15. We are learning important life skills throughout the day. We enjoy helping with jobs around school, learning to cook and make our own breaks. We are completing CCEA Life  Skills modules in Healthy, Active Lifestyles and Using Money. We keep fit by completing our daily mile challenge, going swimming once a week and attending football coaching sessions. We relax with yoga sessions in class. We have Forest Schools in the Castle Grounds and enjoy getting out in the community and accessing different facilities as part of our educational outings. We are leaning to use Ipads in class to record our learning in class. 



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. On Fridays, a group of pupil we attends Belfast Met where we gain accreditation in CCEA Occupational Studies programmes such as Access Belfast and ICT.
We aim to develop independent living skills. 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. We aim to win the ‘Best Team’ in the North Eastern Region as well as the award for ‘Best Trade Stand’ in the whole of the UK.