Hillside School is an inclusive community that provides 52-week residential care and education for young people aged 8-19 who have complex and/or additional support needs relating to: adversity and developmental trauma, attachment issues; neurodiversity, including ADHD and Autism; a learning disability; social, emotional, and mental health needs; and low school attendance.
We have a skilled and diverse staff group, comprising residential care staff, teachers, learning support assistants, therapists, houseparents, and grounds and domestic staff. Our staff build and sustain relationships with all of our young people, encouraging them to be successful learners, responsible citizens, confident individuals and effective contributors. Our adults are nurturing and compassionate; they ensure dignity and respect for all, and are attuned, responsive, curious and optimistic.
Our high-quality and therapeutic environment is situated in a large private rural estate in the beautiful village of Aberdour in Fife, on the east coast of Scotland. It is well situated for road and rail links, and is twenty minutes from Edinburgh International airport and thirty minutes from Edinburgh Waverly train station.
Our young people live in one of our four on-site houses and attend our education provision, mainstream education, college or employment. We welcome placement referrals from, and discussions with, local authorities in Scotland and across the UK.
Following an initial assessment, personalised care and education plans are discussed by a young person and their key worker and key teacher. Young people and their key team regularly review and update their plans to ensure positive outcomes. A wide range of SQA, ASDAN and other courses and qualifications are available; and our broad curriculum moves from Early, up to Fourth, Level Curriculum for Excellence.
Important support throughout a young person’s time at Hillside is also provided by our Individual Work Co-ordinator. They meet weekly with each young person and focus on a specific piece of work, in addition to regular SHANARRI and ‘My World’ conversations. Working with, and supporting, the whole family helps to ensure positive outcomes.
The four residences each have well-appointed single bedrooms, with six or seven young people living in each. Learning areas are well-resourced and spacious. There are excellent facilities for sports, fitness, relaxation, music, media, digital technologies and a range of outdoor learning activities, such as football, basketball, gardening, construction, nature walks and trampolining.
Our young people benefit from warm, compassionate, trauma-informed and consistent relationships with all the adults at Hillside. This ensures a supportive atmosphere in which young people can experience a good childhood and early adulthood, while recognising difficult times and persevering through these with a person-centred and solution-focused approach.
Our staff work collegially to ensure high expectations for our young people’s educational attainment and personal development, including positive post-school destinations. Our staff ensure that everyone enjoys their rights and benefits from positive relationships; while teaching and empowering our young people to make healthy choices. Care and education staff are fully trained in the Therapeutic Crisis Intervention System, Edition 7, from Cornell University. This model ensures that our young people at Hillside is safe, accepted and understood; and that everyone can learn new skills to support self-awareness, self-regulation and making health life choices.