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Rivers Education Support Centre

Below is information in relation to Curriculum at Rivers:


New Maths GCSE.pdf


At Rivers we offer a varied and challenging programme of study: developing fluency, mathematical reasoning and problem solving.

We aim to

  • be supportive and encourage independent learning 
  • encourage students to take pride in their progress in mathematical understanding
  • match curriculum objectives to each student
  • collaborate with stakeholder schools when indicated



Edexcel GCSE Mathematics

The Mathematics GCSE provides a strong foundation for further study and for employment  and gives pupils the appropriate mathematical skills  knowledge and understanding to help them in life. Paper 1 is non-calculator  a calculator is allowed for Paper 2 and Paper 3. Each paper is 1 1/2  hrs . The qualification will be graded from 9 to to 1 using the total mark across all three papers where 9 is the highest grade.

Functional Skills Mathematics

All pupils are entered for Level 1 Functional Skills. It is an online on demand exam. If successful pupils go on to sit Level 2. Functional Skills are qualifications that equip learners with the practical skills needed to live  learn and work successfully. Functional skills at Level 1 is similar to having a GCSE at the old grades D-G  Level 2  is equivalent to [old] GCSE grades A-C. 



New English GCSE.pdf


The English Department at Rivers Key Stage 3 centre aims to develop pupils work in three essential skills in English:
Speaking and Listening

The KS3 Curriculum aims to:

  • encourage reading for pleasure and raise standards to allow full access to the curriculum through class study and our successful paired-reading scheme
  • to develop a pupil’s critical awareness
  • develop pupils’ ability to communicate and express themselves accurately and fluently through spoken and written language
  • develop each pupil’s self-confidence and ability to co-operate with others
  • develop thought, inspire imagination, widen horizons and encourage broader perspectives on the pupils themselves and their world
  • to examine the media and to understand how it influences our lives

Pupils are given the opportunity to visit theatres and visit the Globe through their Shakespeare module.


There are two English GCSE qualifications: English Language and English Literature. They are assessed by means of external examination in the summer term. Pupils will complete two papers for each qualification and will be required to analyse literary texts and poetry  as well as writing imaginatively or in a transactional context.

KS4 - Functional Skills

All pupils are entered for Level 1 Functional Skills. It is a paper based exam  but there is the option to complete sections online.. If successful pupils go on to sit Level 2 in a similar fashion. . Functional Skills are qualifications that equip learners with the practical skills needed to live learn and work successfully. Functional skills at Level 1 is similar to having a GCSE at the old grades D - G Level 2 is equivalent to [old] GCSE grades A-C.



Science lessons inspire and engage pupils in their learning to use keywords and explain their ideas. Pupils are taught how to plan their own investigations and analyse data. Lessons will give pupils an understanding of what they need to know by the end of KS3. The KS3 curriculum covers areas of Biology, Chemistry and Physics. Investigations and projects cover subjects such as The Earth and our Universe and Human Biology

KS4 - Biology

The AQA Biology GCSE curriculum aims to develop, maintain and stimulate learners’ curiosity, interest and enjoyment of biology. 

We study living things and how they react with each other and their environment. 

The course is broken up into seven areas: 

  • Cell Biology 
  • Organ Systems 
  • Infection and Response 
  • Bioenergetics 
  • Homeostasis and Response 
  • Inheritance, Variation and Evolution 
  • Ecology 

The course covers many of the recent advances and issues in science such as genetically modified foods, cloning , IVF treatment , drug testing and immunotherapy for cancer. 

Students experience the subject as a mix of theory and practical work. The course includes 10 required practicals. 

We hope that students begin to develop an understanding of biology in its widest context and to appreciate how it relates to them outside the classroom. 

The GCSE exam comprises of two papers; each 1 hour and 45 minutes long. 

Cambridge Nationals Creative iMedia – Level 1/2


Creative and Digital Media plays an important part in many areas of our everyday lives and is an important part of the UK economy.  There is a demand from employers for an increasingly skilled and technically literate workforce as more and more media products digitally.  Creative iMedia provides pupils with specific and transferable skills and a solid foundation in understanding and applying this subject, whether it is in employment or higher education.

In this course, pupils will be working towards the completion of four units of work.

The first unit is Pre-Production Skills (Unit R081). This is a mandatory paper based exam.

The second unit is creating a Digital Graphic (Unit R082). This is a mandatory coursework based unit.

The third unit is creating an Interactive Product (Unit R087). This is an optional coursework based unit.

The fourth unit is creating a Webpage (Unit R085). This unit is an optional coursework based unit.



Throughout this academic year pupils will be given the chance to experience an array of different media  enhance their artistic skills and creative imagination. Lessons will involve looking at the history, culture and style relating to aboriginal art, portrait artists and Henry Moore. Pupils will be given the opportunity to see and sketch the amazing sculptures at the Henry Moore Foundation as well as a visit to the local glasswork factory to make their own piece of glasswear.


GCSE Art and Design from September 2016. Pupils will submit evidence of using drawing to support the development process in both Component 1 and Component 2. Pupils will have to use written annotation and appropriate specialist terminology to record their ideas observations insights and independent judgements. GCSE graded from 9-1 rather than A*-G where 9 is the top grade. Pupils develop knowledge understanding and skills when completing the Externally Set Assignment.


Mixed Media


Silver Arts Award National Qualification in the Arts Level Two

A pupil centred approach practical course of two units in mixed media arts including visual art, music, film, animation, sculpture ,fashion, street arts, and popular culture.  The course comprises of 2 units of practical arts projects , arts research / reviews and arts leadership culminating in pupils leading their own workshops and projects for peers and staff.  The course criteria is assessed via coursework presented as a portfolio of work in any format.   The curriculum assesses: Art Form Knowledge and Understanding, Creativity, Planning/Review and Communication skills.  See link below:

Food Technology


Throughout this academic year pupils will look at various areas of food nutrition, healthy eating, hygiene (both personal and environmental), malnutrition and the impact of a poor diet. They will also have the opportunity to produce various savouries and sweet dishes and enhance their current cookery skills such as baking, grilling, frying, boiling, simmering as well as preparatory skills including slicing, grating, chopping and peeling. They will also partake in visits to Pizza Express, a local fruit picking farm and Mill Green Museum.

BTEC Home Cooking Skills 1 and 2


This course is hugely inspiring for learners of all cooking abilities. For some pupils it may be the start of a career in catering. It will help them learn basic skills and recipes that will stand them in good stead throughout their lives. The aim of this qualification is to give pupils the basic life skills and knowledge to be able to cook for themselves in a healthy and cost effective way sharing these skills with others. Year 10 pupils complete level 1. Year 11 pupils complete level 2.



In PE we develop the skills and techniques for a variety of games including; badminton,  tennis,  basketball,  cricket,  football and hockey. In the summer we develop our athletic skills  learning to refine a variety of track and field techniques including; sprinting, long distance running, long jump, javelin and discus. Identifying key muscle groups and understanding the positive impact of a healthy lifestyle is also taught.   

BTEC Firsts in Sport Level 2



Pupils will complete 3 pieces of coursework and one online, examination.


  • Understand the rules, regulations and scoring systems for selected sports
  • Practically demonstrate skills, techniques and tactics in selected sports
  • Be able to review sports performance


  • Know about the short-term responses and long-term adaptations of the body systems to exercise
  • Know about the different energy systems used during sports performance


  • Know the attributes associated with successful sports leadership
  • Undertake the planning and leading of sports activities
  • Review the planning and leading of sports activities


  • Know about the components of fitness and the principles of training
  • Explore different fitness training methods
  • Investigate fitness testing to determine fitness levels

PE Short Course



  • The structure and functions of the musculo-skeletal system
  • The structure and functions of the cardio-respiratory system
  • Anaerobic and Aerobic exercise
  • The short and long term effects of exercise
  • Lever systems, examples of their use in activity and the mechanical advantage they provide in movement
  • Planes of axes of movement
  • Physical, emotional and social health, fitness and well-being
  • The consequences of a sedentary lifestyle
  • Energy use, diet, nutrition and hydration
  • Use of data


Students will be required to perform in 2 different physical activities.  They will be required to demonstrate their skills in isolation and also within a competitive situation.  Each student must do one team and one individual activity.

Sports Leader Level 1


The Level 1 Award in Sports Leadership provides the ideal starting point for learners aged 13 years and over who wish to develop their leadership skills, whilst under the direct supervision of their Tutor/Assessor or other suitably qualified adult.
The syllabus is designed to develop generic leadership skills that can be applied to a variety of sports and/or recreational situations as well as contributing to the personal development of the learner.

The Level 1 Award in Sports Leadership is a practical qualification in which learners must demonstrate their ability to lead others in simple sport/activity.

Employability Skills


All pupils are entered for a Level 1 City and Guilds Employability certificate. As part of this qualification; pupils prepare a CV, complete an application form, carry out work experience, visit local colleges and do a range of work related activities that will prepare them for their next steps after KS4.

BTEC Enterprise Skills - Level 2 Award


This is a portfolio based course, where pupils research the mind-set and skills of what makes a successful entrepreneur. The pupils compete one unit of work; The Entrepreneurial Mindset. This unit focuses on the attributes of successful entrepreneurs, and learners are encouraged to consider these attributes in terms of their own development. The unit focuses on the ability and capacity all learners have to develop into successful entrepreneurs.

Prince's Trust Achieve

KS4 - City & Guilds Level 1 Award/Certificate

Prince's Trust Achieve Award is personal development course that provides a unique offering for pupils; a practical approach to learning which supports young people to fulfil their potential

The Achieve programme provides an opportunity for pupils to try out new activities, boost their confidence and gain

a recognised qualification.

 As part of the programme, pupils will explore the following:

  • Personal and social development: By working in small groups, pupils are able to meet new people and make new friends
  • Life skills: Through fun and interactive sessions, pupils can learn how to manage money, be healthy and stay safe
  • Active citizenship: Pupils work as part of a team to make a difference to your local community
  • Preparation for work: Create a tip-top CV, practice for future interviews and explore your skills and talents

Teamwork and Personal Development


Personal Development

The course comes under the Employability qualification, and covers all aspects of Personal Health and Social Education, to support students understanding of the world around them. They will explore the risks and issues they, and others may face. Students will cover areas of:

Personal Safety UNIT 410 (3 Credits)

•             To identify what the risks are in social situations and how to avoid such risks looking at our own ‘Personal Safety’

•             Discuss and demonstrate understanding of the risks to young people associate with sexual activity, and how to avoid these risks

•             Identify the signs of grooming, how to avoid it and the support available

•             Understand and identify the signs of Radicalisation and the support available.

•             Understand and identify the signs of Extremism and the support available.

•             Identify ways to minimise risks to different groups (2.1) such as (Children, young adults, older people, vulnerable adults) through discussion

•             State the risks involved when using the internet, especially when using social media (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, chat rooms, forums, dating sites) (1.5) and the support available (3.1)

•             State the risks involved when using the internet (1.6)  and identify ways to keep identity & personal information safe (2.3) through examining key ideas (GDPR)


Crime and Punishment in society UNIT 445 (3 Credits)

•             To identify why people might offend and the effects on both the offender and the victim

•             Identify support to offenders and victims of crime

•             Understand the history and role of the police force in Britain and both the rights of the police and the suspect

•             To explore the Judicial system and the difference between Magistrate and Crown court

•             To understand the term Democracy and how it works in today’s society; how it affects young people

(Alcohol Awareness Unit 442 – 3 credits)

•             To understand the risks associated with alcohol, be aware of symptoms of alcoholic poisoning and the support available.

(Drug Awareness Unit 444 – 3 credits)

•             To understand the different types of drugs in society; identify the risks associated with the use of drugs, and how to avoid such risks.

Duke of Edinburgh Award


The Duke of Edinburgh Award is designed to stretch and challenge pupils in a variety of areas, the award is run as an extra curricular activity and with assistance from adult Leaders, participants select and set objectives in each of the following areas:

Volunteering: undertaking service to individuals or the community.

Physical: improving in an area of sport, dance or fitness activities.

Skills: developing practical and social skills and personal interests.

Expedition: planning, training for, and completion of an adventurous journey

Pupils can achieve sectional certificates as well as a completed award certificate depending on the amount of work they complete.

First Aid


Our First Aid course is designed to develop the first aid knowledge and skills of learners who are required to provide emergency first aid to employees injured or taken ill at work in line with the Health and Safety (First Aid) Regulations 1981. The qualification gives learners the opportunity to: Demonstrate competence in emergency first aid at work (treatment of adults only), have existing skills recognised, achieve a nationally-recognised Level 2 qualification, achieve a licence to practise and develop their own personal growth and engagement in learning. 

Food Safety in Catering - Level 2


The Ascentis Level 2 Award in Food Safety in Catering qualification is designed to give learners the knowledge and understanding of the principles of keeping food safe. The qualification introduces the learner to key issues in Food Safety: taking responsibility for their own food safety and hygiene, keeping work areas clean and keeping food safe.


The aims of the qualification are to enable learners

1 To take responsibility for their own food safety and keeping food safe

2 To understand the importance of keeping themselves clean and hygienic

3 To understand the importance of keeping work areas clean and hygienic

Young Health Champions - YHC


The Level 2 Award for Young Health Champions (YHC) is a qualification mapped to a number of frameworks in both education and employment, in order to improve both the learning experience and the future opportunities for those taking part.

To achieve the qualification, learners must pass four of the units: the 3 mandatory ones + one optional. It is at level 2 which means it is an equivalent level to GCSE grade A-C.

Benefits for the pupils:

  • Young people are more likely to listen and approach peers for information
  • Understand the benefits of a healthy lifestyle
  • Learn the skills to make healthier choices
  • Develop skills for the workplace
  • Increased knowledge of risks of unhealthy behaviours
  • Linked to the key local and national support services
  • CV development (for YHCs)