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Secondary Curriculum

Our Secondary Phase ranges from Years 7 to 14. Currently, we have secondary aged pupils at three of our school sites; St Paul’s Cray, Beckenham and West Wickham. Throughout this time, for all pupils, a significant focus is on developing independence and promoting meaningful skills which will support them in their lifelong learning.  Our goal is to ensure that all pupils are fully equipped and prepared for life beyond Riverside School and that they continue to have every possible opportunity to 'Be All That They Can Be'.

Our independent skills-based curriculum provides pupils with a curriculum which is motivating, aspirational, meaningful and progressive. From Key Stage 3, pupils follow a topic based curriculum focusing on relevant themes that will extend their cultural capital and widen their world. We use the Equals Moving on Curriculum as a basis of our curriculum. Alongside this, pupils will complete the Arts Award Discover, Bronze or Gold. Inspiring our young people to grow their arts and leadership talents in a creative, valuable and accessible way.

Within Key Stages 4 and 5, pupils follow The EQUALS Moving on Curriculum, which is structured and sequenced in five, one-year programmes; Adventurer, Explorer, Traveller, Voyager and Globetrotter. Courses of study also include: World Studies, Independent Living and Vocational Skills as well as Literacy, Numeracy and ICT, where appropriate. The Moving On Curriculum also offers a breadth of experience which will support progress within pupils' Personal Learning Plans (PLPs).

AQA unit awards are used to enable pupils to obtain meaningful accreditation to celebrate the work they have achieved. AQA unit awards are mapped at specific levels for our different Pathways. We have the highest aspirations for our pupils and what they are able to achieve. With this in mind, we carefully select a range of appropriately challenging and inspirational AQA unit awards which are personalised and meaningful to our pupils’ futures, preparing them for adulthood.   

Throughout our secondary phase, we follow a comprehensive and sequenced RSHE (Relationship Sex and Health Education) programme which supports pupils in their journey through to adulthood.

A key focus within our secondary phase is Community and Careers education, which is an integral part of our curriculum. All pupils have opportunities to engage in meaningful community experiences. These include trips into our local community, internal and external community and work experiences to different places of work and interest. We also welcome many different professionals into school to lead workshops. We are successfully extending our links further to enable pupils to participate in more community experiences throughout the entire school year. We have extended our enterprise schemes to enable pupils to learn more about the world of work. An integral part of this is our Riverside Lounge established in December 2021. The Riverside Lounge was throughout the Secondary Phase have set up and run. Please go to our Community and Careers Education page to find out more information.

Young people will experience different milestones and rites of passage as they journey through their schooling moving into adulthood. At Riverside School we ensure we provide our pupils with the same enriching experiences. Including attending prom, attending their first music festival (Riverfest) and experiencing an overnight residential.


Successful Transition to the next provision is a priority as pupils move to the final years of their Riverside careers. We support our pupils and families to leave Riverside in a position where they feel fully prepared for the next stage in their journey. We hold an annual transition event to provide families and pupils with the guidance and information they need to make informed choices about their futures.

Click HERE for a larger view of our Secondary Curriculum Overview.