Young people receive a full curriculum (English and Literacy, Mathematics and Numeracy, Sciences, Social Studies, Technologies, Health and Wellbeing (including Physical Education), Expressive Arts, Religious and Moral Education) in a socially inclusive and supportive educational environment that includes learning, social, emotional and behavioural support.

We also offer many courses, for example in: Food, Health and Wellbeing, Cycle Maintenance, Food Hygiene, Improving Wellbeing, Media, and IT and Administration. Learning takes place across the Broad General Education and Senior Phase levels of Curriculum for Excellence.

Classes are small, with a high staff-to-pupil ratio, to ensure that each young person receives personal support tailored to their individual needs. Staff endeavour to ensure our young people fully participate in their education, enjoy their learning experiences, and develop a personal motivation that will have a positive impact on their future lives and help them reach their potential.

Young people at Hillside enjoy many opportunities for accreditation and achievement and the school has a very good record of SQA attainment. We offer SQA National 2 to Higher courses, as well as wider achievement awards such as Personal Development and Wellbeing. During the Senior Phase, young people can access work, volunteering, and other learning placements in the local community.

We offer 22.5 hours of timetabled education per week, with a variety of out-of-school opportunities, such as: badminton, Eco-Schools, reading support, internet club, football training and crafts club. Our teachers have full registration with the General Teaching Council for Scotland and all education staff are trained in Therapeutic Crisis Intervention (TCI).

As well as achieving academically, our young people develop social competency, emotional resilience and coping skills which will help them make the transition to college, training, employment and independence. This is achieved through the taught curriculum and wider achievement opportunities in, for example: work placement, career planning, film making, fishing, climbing, arts and crafts, sports clubs and Developing the Young Workforce activities.
In the senior phase our young people (S4 and S5) are encouraged to take advantage of the opportunities we offer in vocational training, work placements, school-college partnerships and planning for independent living. School staff work closely with parents and carers, and partner agencies such as Local Authorities, Further Education centres, Who Cares Scotland?, Skills Development Scotland, health providers, the Children’s Reporter and others to provide a comprehensive care and education package for each young person.

Parents and carers, Social Workers, Educational Psychologists, and others are most welcome to enjoy a visit around the school, and meet with education staff and a young person’s Key Team.

Classrooms are of a high standard, offering an environment that stimulates, motivates and facilitates good quality learning. Most classrooms are equipped with an interactive whiteboard and good-quality ICT resources are available throughout the school. Age-appropriate web filtering is in place.
The school is equipped with a fitness suite film studio, and a multimedia suite, equipped with a range of musical instruments and a PA system. Our young people produce several films each year .

The School has developed a rigorous quality assurance programme and is subject to regular Education Scotland and Care Commission Inspections. Senior managers consult regularly with all stakeholders, including our school council.

The school strives for excellence and has formulated a strategic 2-year School Improvement Plan that is reviewed on a regular basis, utilising a participatory and consultative approach. Our School Improvement Plan can be accessed by stakeholders through discussion with the Head of Education.