Hillside Special School

Hillside Special School
Sudbury, Suffolk

School Information

School / provision Name – Hillside Special School  

Number of places and age range

Hillside has 86 pupils on roll. This is the maximum number of pupils we can have at any one time.  

We cater for SLD and PMLD pupils aged 4 – 16.  

Pupils who have a diagnosis of PMLD are able to stay for further education up to the age of 19.  

The primary need that the school / provision caters for

​a: ☐ Communication and interaction 

b: ☐ Cognition and Learning 

​​  i: ☐​ MLD 

 ii:​​ ☒​ SLD 

​​iii: ☒​ PMLD 

​​c: ☐​ Sensory and Physical 

​​d: ☐​ Social, Emotional and Mental Health (SEMH) 

Do students need to have “average” cognition? 

No, at Hillside we would expect pupils to have significantly lower than average cognition as part of their Severe or Profound Learning Difficulties.  

Average class size and staffing model?

In the Sensory Pathway we aim for class sizes of 9 with one teacher and approximately 5 support staff.  

In the Structured Pathway we aim for class sizes of 9 with one teacher and approximately 4/5 support staff.  

In the Specific Pathway we aim for class sizes of 11 with one teacher and approximately 3 support staff.  

Brief description of the curriculum offer. 

In the Sensory Pathway lessons focus on the five areas of the BRAVE Curriculum, which supports learners’ development of basic life skills: Communication & Language, Physical Development, Social & Personal, Understand the World and Expressive Arts. 

In the Structured Pathway Lessons focus on the five Areas of the BRAVE Curriculum, as well as Early Numeracy and Literacy Skills. Pupils in the Structured Pathway are assessed for their readiness to access early maths, phonics and reading using the Maths For Life programme and a heavily adapted version of the Read, Write Inc Phonics programme.  

In the Specific Pathway lessons focus on the five areas of the BRAVE Curriculum, however more emphasis is placed on Numeracy and Literacy Skills as well as more subject specific lessons. These include: Food & Health, Learning about the Past, The Environment & People, Physical & Natural Enquiry, Culture & Beliefs, Musical Exploration, Visual Expression and Interactive Technology.  

Please see our Curriculum page for further details.  

Specialist spaces at the school / provision 

​​a: ☒​ Swimming pool: We have a Hydrotherapy Pool.  

​​b: ☒​ Sensory room(s): We have one Light Room and a separate Ball Pool.  

​​c: ☒​ Other: We have access to NHS therapists. Equipment in the playground is specialised to support access for all. 

What is the average number of places available each year? 

On average between 2 and 5 spaces are available each year depending on how many pupils leave at the end of their academic career. Spaces are often for a precise Pathway and an offer of a space will depend on a pupil’s needs and whether they suit that Pathway.  

How can a school tour be booked? 

Please email admin@hillside.suffolk.sch.uk to find out dates for our upcoming tours.  

For further information please see our Admissions page