At school pupils receive a full curriculum similar to mainstream schools in a socially inclusive and supportive educational environment which includes learning, social, emotional and behavioural support. Classes are small with high staff to pupil ratios to ensure that each pupil receives personal support tailored specifically to their individual needs. Staff endeavour to ensure pupils fully participate in their education, enjoy their learning experiences, and develop personal motivation which will have a positive impact on their future lives and help them reach their potential.

As well as achieving academically pupils develop social competency, emotional resilience, and coping skills which will help them make the transition to college, training, and the world of work and independence. They do this through a range of traditional taught subjects and other alternative creative learning experiences such as film making, fishing, climbing etc... In the senior phase pupils are encouraged to take the opportunities we offer in terms of vocational training, work experience, college, and planning for independent living. School staff work closely with parents and carers, and partner agencies such as Local Authorities, Colleges, 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.

Presently, our young people learn across the following curricular areas: English, Maths, Science, Rural Skills, Life Skills and Personal Development, Health and Wellbeing, Craft, Art and Design, Physical Education, Religious, Moral and Philosophical Studies, and Social Studies.

Young people at Hillside enjoy many opportunities for accreditation and achievement with a very good record of SQA attainment. We offer SQA National 2 to Higher courses as well as wider achievement awards such as Dynamic Youth and Youth Achievement Awards. All young people can access work, volunteering, and other placements in the local community during their senior phase.

We offer 25 hours of timetabled education per week with a variety of out-of-school opportunities such as: badminton club, Eco-Schools, reading support, and internet club. Our teachers have full registration with the General Teaching Council for Scotland and all education staff are trained in Therapeutic Crisis Intervention (TCI).

Social Workers, Educational Psychologists, and parents and carers are always welcome to look around the school and meet with education staff and a young person’s Key Team.

The School has developed a productive internal quality assurance programme and is subject to regular Education Scotland and Care Commission Inspections.

The school strives for excellence and has formulated a strategic 2 year improvement plan which is reviewed throughout the period on a regular basis utilising a participatory and consultative approach.

Classrooms are of a high standard and offer an environment which stimulates, motivates and facilitates good quality learning.

They are well equipped with Interactive Whiteboard technology. Each classroom has at least two computers linked to a fully networked computer system with age-appropriate web filtering.

We have a Computing suite which is well utilised by the pupils for instruction, research and creativity.

Science, Craft , Art and Learning Support classrooms and a well- stocked Library provide further academic and vocational opportunities.

The school is equipped with a Fitness suite with the latest exercise machines, a film studio, and a Multi Media suite equipped with a range of musical instruments, decks and a PA system. The pupils make several films per year which they write the script, act, film and produce.