We take pride in the highly inclusive nature of our school.

Highly skilled staff develop and implement teaching and learning strategies which are relevant, appropriate and responsive to the learning needs of the students they are working with.

Hillcrest High School has a strong commitment to improving the emotional, social, cultural and academic outcomes for all students. Specialised programmes are in place to support students with identified learning issues.

“Ko te ahurei o te tamaiti arahia o tatou mahi

Let the uniqueness of the child guide our work.”

The Learning Support Centre (LSC) supports, and advocates for, accessibility education. We awhi students at all year levels in a variety of ways, but our key focus has been to support Year 9 and 10 students, by promoting self-management, confidence and independence. Our aim is to arm students with the tools that will prepare them for success, as they transition into the senior school and beyond.

In Learning Support we look at the whole student and how we can best support them in their learning so that they can achieve their own potential. Students are identified in a variety of ways, which can include testing, referrals, observations and information from previous school.

Teachers are able to support students in their classes as key information and strategies around an individual’s specific learning needs are shared with them by Learning Support. Where appropriate, Teacher Aide support is also provided in classes. Learning Support applies a more discrete approach to working with students and the teacher in the classroom so that multiple students can benefit from Teacher Aides help.

Learning Support also coordinates referrals to outside agencies such as the RTLB service, Ministry of Education, Child Development Centre (CDC), and transitions services when necessary.

In-class Teacher Aide support is provided in our Year 9 and 10 supported junior Numeracy (JNP), Literacy (JEL), Science (ASC) programmes. We also provide whole-class support to a range of classes, when the need arises. NCEA Level 1 classes that have a Teacher Aide assigned too are Unit Standards Maths (1MXC), and English with Internals (1ENI).

Specialist support is provided in our PATH programme, which offers real-world literacy and numeracy learning, as well as social skills and executive functioning skill development. This allows students to progress their learning from where they are currently on in their educational journey. We track and support students through to leaving school for a course and/or employment.

In 2021, Hillcrest High School is part of the Employment Services in Schools (ESiS) pilot programme. This programme is for students who are in the last two years of secondary school and face barriers to employment due to disability or learning support needs including long term physical and mental health conditions including neurodiversity. Providers with employment expertise have been contracted to work with schools, students, and their families to help to plan and prepare the student for employment when they leave school. This adds value to and builds on the support provided by the school and other providers by focusing specifically on employment and ‘a good life’. Enrich + is the provider that is working with our students.

Students with specific learning disorders, and/or sensory/medical/physical conditions, may qualify for Special Assessment Conditions (SAC) for their exams and NCEA assessment work. Learning Support coordinates and provides this service. If a reading and/or writing deficit is a barrier to a student achieving at the expected curriculum level for NCEA, an application to New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) for SAC assistance may be appropriate.

Please note that SAC is not for students working at below the expected curriculum level. A reader will only read what is written on the assessment page, and a writer will only write down, word for word, what the student has said. There is no prompting or discussion around the work during an assessment.

The LSC has an open door policy. It is a supervised place where students can spend their intervals and lunchtimes with other students from any year level. All students are welcome.

Enquiries can be directed to the Head of Department, Mrs S Simmons.

The Physical Assistance Centre (PAC) provides comprehensive support for ORRS funded students who have a physical disability. PAC students’ academic and individual requirements related to disability are determined and monitored by Individual Education Plans (IEPs). They have the benefit of high support staff/student ratios including Teacher Aides and needs-based specialist support such as Physiotherapist, Occupational Therapist and other identified specialists as required.

The aim of PAC is to enable students, to the best of their ability, to have a mainstream experience of academic school life with involvement and participation in all other school activities. Support within the centre provides alternative academic programmes and activities when full participation in the mainstream is not possible. The centre also enables future smooth transition on completion of secondary school.

Enquiries can be directed to the Head of Department, Mrs J Richardson, or the Principal.

Last year students and staff from the PAC took a trip to Wellington to visit Te Papa, Weta Workshop and Parliament.

The Independent Living Centre (ILC) is a department within Hillcrest High School catering for the Ongoing Resourcing Scheme (ORS) funded students who have a significant intellectual disability. Targeted funding for these students provides teachers time, teacher aide support and, when necessary, therapist/specialist support to ensure all students have access to the curriculum.

All students have Individualised Education Programmes (IEPs) and these are developed along with parents/caregivers, teacher and support staff. All programmes are based on the New Zealand Curriculum and emphasis is placed on Key Competencies.

Students are able and encouraged to participate in school life depending on their individual ability, and interests and includes purposeful mainstreaming, academic, sporting, work experience and cultural activities.

Guidance Counselling

Hillcrest High has a whole school approach to student wellbeing, so every student and adult has a responsibility to care for each other.

The Pastoral care system includes Teachers, Deans, Nurses, Senior Leaders and Guidance Counsellors.

HHS has four counsellors who are professionally trained members of the New Zealand Association of Counsellors, to support students, families and staff. The counsellors work professionally and ethically under the NZAC Code of Ethics. The team works closely with other staff. Our aim is to support students to achieve their personal best academically, emotionally and socially. Counsellors advocate for those who are disempowered. They also offer mediation and restorative meetings.

The counsellors have strong links with agencies in our wider community and are able to guide students and whanau to them if specialist expertise is appropriate.