Several of our S4 and S5 young people visited Fife College recently. They learned about life and learning at college, and discovered some of the courses available. They also enjoyed a tour of Amazon in Dunfermline.
Our learning support assistants offer ‘boogie bounce’ after school. This is an exercise programme on a mini trampoline, with music.
Some of our young people visited the Forth Bridges workshop in South Queensferry. Everyone enjoyed taking part in the great activities.
We have a Parent and Carer Group at Hillside that meets regularly to discuss the needs of families with young people at the school. The group also supports our School Improvement Plan. Please contact the school if you would like to join this group.
Our young people have the opportunity to attend activities in the local community. Presently, these include Dunfermline Boxing Club and other local sports clubs.
The School and Rights council at Hillside is made up of six young people. It continues to meet every month, to help to make improvements to the school. Recently, they have worked with management to arrange times for school WiFi, feed-back on school lunch on Mondays, increase outdoor learning opportunities, and improve lighting on the driveways in the school.
Mary’s Meals is a charity whose vision is that “every child receives one daily meal in their place of education and that all those who have more than they need, share with those who lack even the most basic things”. Through their Backpack campaign, the young people and staff at Hillside have put together some backpacks containing essential items for home and for young people to attend school in Africa. These will be shipped soon!
Several of our young people who are in the Senior Phase of their education at Hillside have been enjoying a work placement this term. Thank you to Youth 1st, Barnardo’s and Falkland Estate; and well done Connor B, Connor H, Lucius and Jamie on attaining the SQA Level 4 Work Placement qualification.
Our Wednesday afternoon activities continue to be popular. This term, the choices have been: gym, climbing, cooking, golf, ice skating, dog walking, and walking. We have all been taking steps to improve our wellbeing!
Each year, the SQA arrange to check our teachers’ assessments of our young people’s learning. This is important and lets everyone know that our qualifications are ‘in good shape’ and everyone’s SQA qualifications are valid and accurate. This term, the SQA checked the assessments for History, and Administration and IT. The SQA were happy with our assessments of the young people’s evidence; therefore our good reputation continues!
Music tuition continues at Hillside. Guitar, drums and piano lessons are available. Young people should speak to their key teacher, if interested.
In February, an art class visited Panda Print in Rosyth. Our young people got some first-hand insights into image editing and the ‘secrets’ of commercial printing. Mark, the Managing Director of the family-run factory, explained that every printed image is created from only four colours: cyan-magenta-yellow-black. Mark showed us their high capacity lithography and digital printing machinery, and even printed our own artwork onto greetings cards.
Class 5 did their bit for the environment by litter-picking on Leven beach. The young people planned the day and organised the purchase of the pickers. They also worked together to produce the required risk assessment!
Some of our staff have taken part in bushcraft training. This has led to several projects involving many young people and staff. These include planting lots of vegetables (tomatoes, chillies, carrots, radishes, beetroot and courgettes)and wild flower seeds; clearing-up the walled garden classroom area,and making a mosaic fire pit.
Well done to all the staff who took part in the recent training on mental health. They are all now Mental Health First Aiders.
Alison and Carrie, our careers workers at Skills Development Scotland, are available to work with young people, and their families and key teams,on their ‘goals’ as they get older and think about the worlds of work, training and further learning.
Good attainment and achievement is a big focus of our work at Hillside School. All our staff work together to support our young people to be ‘ready to learn’. We expect to increase our SQA unit and course passes again this academic year. Some highlights include: Gary and Ryan R producing coffee tables for their National 3 Practical Craft Skills qualification; Richard making a ‘fishing priest’ as part of the National 4 Machining and Finishing unit in Practical Woodworking; Liam H attaining the National 4 Maths qualification; and Jack S passing the National 2 English and Communication course.
By all working together, we are aiming to make many more improvements to the school. These include:
- self-evaluating as individuals and as teams
- teaching young people to lead their own learning
- high quality teaching and learning
- more opportunities for outdoor learning and outings across Fife and beyond
I hope you have enjoyed reading about some of our great work.
David Noble, Head of Education