Welcome to

Riverside School

  1. Our school

Our school


Sensory Stars

Middletown Referral

Forest Schools

Green Flag/eco schools 

What is this project: This project is run across the whole of school.  It is an initiative that encourages pupils to be stewards of our school and environment in any way that they can.  This could be to set up an eco committee, encourage wildlife to nest in our school, or trying to reduce the amount of waste going to landfill.  It has also been beneficial to pupils mental health, as studies have shown that playing a role in the upkeep of the environment can positively impact wellbeing.

Examples of activities: Every class in school is involved in some way in eco schools.  This can range from recycling their recyclable waste rather than put it in the bin, putting their food waste into the brown bin or even as far as setting up an eco committee to monitor how eco friendly school is.  This year Riverside have really expanded on their eco schools.  A gardening club has been established, where pupils can plant and care for plants, flowers and vegetables.  Bird feeders have been made by several classes to encourage our native bird population to stay around the school grounds.  A new orchard has been planted with over 30 trees, and we have started work on a new dedicated forest school area, which will serve the school and wider community as a nature sanctuary for years to come.

Evaluation about the sessions: Riverside has achieved its green flag for the third time.  This is a testament to how dedicated our pupils are to caring for their environment, their own mental health, and their future.


Shared Education

Getting Ready to Learn

The Getting Ready to Learn (GRtL) programme seeks to support preschool education settings with DE-funded places to encourage and develop parental involvement in children's early learning to ensure maximum parental contribution at a crucial time in children's early brain development.

The project has been based on research and evidence of best practice in parental engagement. Account has also been taken of the results of an online survey with health and education practitioners and workshops with parents. All of the findings concluded that parents would benefit from knowing more about:

  •  how children develop, including attachment and brain development;
  •  the importance of parent-child relationships for the child's development and behaviour;
  •  the importance of childhood education and learning; and
  •  the importance of healthy lifestyles and diet.

The majority of pre-school settings already have programmes in place to support both induction and transition. Getting Ready to Learn focusses on raising parent's awareness of how they can support children's learning at home through-out the pre-school year. A key focus is on sharing practice across the Early Years Sector, so that practitioners can learn from, and support each other, in establishing effective programmes of support for parents.

Settings are invited to participate by developing a programme of support for parents around four key themes:

  • Education Works in Pre-school
  • Happy Healthy Kids
  • Ages & Stages, 3-4
  • Big Bedtime Read


School Extension

As our pupil numbers continue to grow so does our school. We have had a lot of minor works taking place to add more modular buildings to increase pur school capacity.   We love how it looks already and can't wait to share more updates with you! Exciting times ahead for Riverside!

Numicon at Riverside

Numicon forms a fundamental part of our Numeracy Curriculum. It’s a system of flat plastic shapes with holes in, with each shape representing a number from one to 10. Each number has its own colour.

The aim of Numicon is to make numbers real for children through them being able to see and touch them.It also has a multi-sensory approach that’s known to help learning. Numicon is used throughout the school until pupils reach Pathways. It is used through the school in various forms such as a visual for clock numbers, numbers on milk trays and class doors and much more.

Mini Me Yoga 

Mini Me Yoga is focused on bringing the joy of yoga into a child’s life through a simple and fun programme. Teachers had the opportunity to  take part in a Mini Me Yoga workshop to be able to bring yoga and positive thinking into each pupil's life. All pupils at Riverside School are encouraged to take part in Mini Me Yoga and/or related activities every week as part of their school curriculum.

Duke of Edinburgh

Pupils in our Senior and Vibe Department have the opportunity to complete their John Muir and Duke of Edinburgh Award. These are amazing opportunities for our pupils to develop their independent skills and outdoor learning opportunities. We are also an accredited Forest School and pupils are given the opportunity to enhance their learning opportunities in our fabulous accessible and inclusive Forest School area.

Accreditation for Senior Pupils

Throughout their time in the Senior and Vibe Department all pupils will complete a range of accredited modules. The focus is very much on developing functional and communication skills. By the time pupils leave school they will have completed modules in the core curriculum areas of literacy, numeracy and ICT. Modules are offered through CCEA's Entry Level Life Skills programme encouraging our pupils to develop independent living skills for adult life. Our pupils in MSEN, SSEN and Nurture complete modules through the ASDAN Towards Independence programme focusing on a more sensory approach of learning and development. 

Shared Education

Riverside School take part in a Shared Education Signature Project annually, which involves joint learning and inclusion between :

  •  Riverside Junior Department
  • Steeple Nursery
  • St. Joseph's Nursery

Riverside, St Joseph's and Steeple have  a long and well established working relationship. Shared Education has now been mainstreamed. We continue to plan for more shared and inclusive play for all pupils across the three partner schools, joint educational visits, parent work and joint professional development for staff.

Parent work has always played a crucial role in our shared education signature project. Our shared education programme also facilitates informal drop ins for chats and coffee.

Our shared education project continues to be part of Moving Forward Together. Moving Forward Together Partnership (MFT) is a multi-sector collaborative education partnership consisting of 20 schools in the Antrim and Ranalstown areas. These consist of nursery, primary, special and post-primary schools; Rathmore Education Guidance Centre and CRIS – Community Relations In Schools. Through MFT, we lead and manage programmes for staff development in a cross community, cross sector and cross phase manner by being part of Shared Learning Networks (SLNs). The SLNs operate through MFT. These Joint Professional Development Programmes provide a pathway for staff to further their own professionalism and become Learning Leaders themselves. This allows them to further disseminate this new  knowledge to other colleagues. Over the last two years, staff have had opportunities to develop knowledge and skills in Middle Leadership, Play, Music and Movement, Mental Health and Autism.



SESP co-ordinator: Miss Cathy Gaston

Parent Support Worker: Mrs Victoria Hogg

School Principals:

Riverside - Mrs Olivia Lavery 

Steeple Nursery - Mrs Zelda Scarlett

St. Joseph's Nursery - Mrs Anne Maguire

Music Tuition

 Most children will have their first experience of music at school. It is important that music education of high quality is available to as many of them as possible.  Children who avail of music tuition for the first time are offered the first term free to allow a settling in period and time to establish if it is suitable for their individual needs.  

 Music tuition happens every week at Riverside. We offer strings tuition or brass tuition every week for individuals or small groups.

We believe that music touches the lives of all young people and pupils who avail of music tuition  get the chance to display their talents at different school events throughout the year.

If any parent or carer would like to find out more please contact the school office.

Sensory Room

Riverside's sensory room was specifically designed by a team of Riverside School staff along with Moorings Mediquip, Ballymena. The room was deigned according to the diverse needs and ages for all Riverside pupils after a collective input from all staff, parents and other professionals.

Together with family and friends we raised  more than £30 000  to complete this amazing enterprise along with a generous sum of £10 000 from the National Lottery Fund and £10 000 from Heritage Lottery fund to install a fully interactive OMI projector.

Our sensory room also features some of the latest up to date ICT:

  • Apple TV so that apps from our IPAD 3 can be projected wirelessly onto a large screen and operated much more effortlessly for learners with physical difficulties
  • A vibrating water bed which any music can be played through
  • Cabling accessories to allow a lap top screen to be projected
  • Wifi which has allowed a wealth of learning opportunities for some of our more able pupils including online educational games and videos

Riverside were delighted to welcome Richard Hirstwood (see useful links) to provide training on our brand new state of the art sensory room. A thoroughly enjoyable and educational day enjoyed by all. Richard has been in the sensory field for nearly 30 years loves everything sensory. Please watch his video below as he commentates on this wonderful room.

Soft Play

Soft play is a room with many interactive wall panels and soft play equipment. The room also has a ball pool. The room was specifically designed to offer an ideal environment for children of Primary School  ages to practice and improve their communication skills, physical skills and maths and numeracy skills whilst playing and interacting in a safe environment with other children. This room has an overhead hoist to allow access for all pupils. As our school has grown we have recently added an additional movement room with a climbing wall in one of the new modular buildings.


ICT is used daily in each classroom to help support the learning of each individual pupil. Each room has their own laptop and Ipad. Most rooms have had their whiteboard updated to the latest touch screen technology, C touch. Other ICT equipment used to help develop pupils' learning includes, switch operated devices, computers, apple TV, and the OMI projector in the sensory room. At Riverside, we believe ICT is fundamental to help develop pupils' communication and we are continually working to ensure the latest up to date technology is in each classroom.