Riverside Community Special School
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Head Teacher        Catherine Le Roux

Area of Need         Moderate Learning Difficulties (MLD)

 Age range             3-11

Agreed places        105


The school has a playing field area, large playground and adventure playground. There are specialist areas for PE, food technology and a computerised multi-sensory room. The school makes use of swimming pools at a local pools to run its swimming teaching programme and awards scheme.  The school also has Foundation Stage provision for children aged four to five years.


The children are in school for just under 29 hours a week, with 23 hours a week spent in direct teaching and/or learning activities. The school believes that all children should have access to the whole curriculum including the National Curriculum and The Early Years Foundation Stage. Owing to the nature of the special educational needs of the children placed in the school the personal, social, emotional, spiritual and moral development of the child is given high status and viewed as an important part of the whole curriculum experiences. Each child has an individual education plan (IEP) matched to his/her own learning needs. All classrooms have interactive whiteboard,  Internet access and Ipads. We give high priority to the teaching of reading and communication skills, ensuring that each pupil has the opportunity to communicate successfully in the wider world. All of our pupils have access to our outdoor learning Lodge, where they enhance their science skills and enjoy our wonderful environment.

Other areas of the curriculum are taught through subject focused topics. Subjects such as music, art/craft, drama, physical education are included in the timetable and usually taught by the class teacher or a specialist teacher.

Many children now attending Riverside have complex learning needs and benefit, particularly, from multi-sensory learning experiences. The multi-sensory room and outdoor learning provide excellent cross-curricular learning experiences for all our pupils.

Staffing and Specialist Support Services

There are 11 teachers and 33 teaching assistants/support assistants undertaking a variety of roles. Many of the staff have additional specialist qualifications and/or training (learning difficulties, reading, autism, language development/language disorder, signing, PECS, etc). All staff, volunteers and visiting students are checked through the DBS service. To support the children, each class has at least one learning support assistant working in partnership with the teacher. Members of the support team support children during play times. Specialist support services currently include the educational psychology service, speech and language therapy, physiotherapy/occupational therapy, community paediatricians, school nurse, specialist teacher advisors.

Extra-curricular Inclusion Activities

The aim is to give all the children at least one opportunity for a residential activity which happens in Year 6. We visit lots of our local facilities such as Queen Elizabeth Country Park and specialised centres like the Portsmouth Activity Centre and Fairthorne Manor. The children also join in with mainstream schools in activities such as 'Junior Citizen' and the local schools' sport activities and competitions.

Home-school Links (please see Home School Link Worker Information)

Parents, guardians and carers are encouraged to be as involved as much as possible the staff team believes that a partnership with parents and carers is key to the successful education of the child. Parents and guardians are welcome to discuss any concerns with the school either on the phone or at a meeting in school or at home. The school has an active parents and friends support group (Parents and Friends of Riverside School) which has charitable status. This group organises fund raising activities and family events throughout the year.

Home-school Partnership Working

To enable parents to use some of the systems or approaches used in the school within the home situation the school has a Home School Link Worker who will work with families. The work is undertaken very much in partnership with other agencies that may be working with the families.

Links with Others

Through its Outreach Service  the school has established working partnerships with local schools which involves supporting the learning needs of children who are attending schools in the area. This includes working directly with the children, supporting and training staff and providing resources to support children's learning needs.

The school provides a base and support for a number of parent support groups and networking groups for others working in the field of SEN in the locality.

 Community links include local schools, the local church, South Downs College and groups for elderly people.

 The Extended Role of the School

The school runs an Early Bird Club, enabling parents to drop off their children before the start of school day. The children then join a social group for structured, supervised play.  Early Birds starts at 8.35am and the cost for the morning session is 50p each day.

General Information