About Us

We are a highly successful community all age specialist provision for pupils with severe and complex learning difficulties including autism. The school is located in the market town of Sudbury, in Suffolk and serves the local community.

We are currently at capacity with 90 pupils on our roll and 9 classes including an assessment nursery. Pupils are aged between 2½ and 19. Our Assessment Nursery receives referrals from the Local Authority of pre-school age children that may require a special needs school placement in the future. Some of pupils with Profound and Complex Needs stay with us for their college placement, but most other pupils will forge their pathway into adulthood at a local College or 6th Form Centre provision at 16. Further information can be found on our Post 16 Transitions page.

The school has an extended workforce with a large dedicated staff team who constantly strive to ensure that each pupil maximises their potential. Our wide range of specialist staff and facilities ensures that appropriate support and guidance is available for all pupils across the full curriculum/age range. Our facilities for learning at the school include; a hydrotherapy pool, a light and sound room, a life skills room, a therapy room, an inclusive playground, an interactive sensory garden, a vegetable garden and Hilly Woods Orchard with a mud kitchen for outdoor teaching and learning. There has been a recent focus upon technology with many improvements and inclusion of equipment to support learning.

A key feature of our school is the provision of a high quality education programme tailored specifically for individual needs. After a recent review of the curriculum, the new BRAVE curriculum has been redesigned with the sole aim to meet individual needs.

We ensure collaboration with a wide range of supporting agencies and with them, develop and support the Education Health Care Planning, with Personalised Learning Plans.

We are proud to be a friendly school where families are well supported by the school staff, who provide close working between home and school, and ensure that there is underpinning support to enable joined up learning programmes covering both social and academic aspects. We take great pride in our learning community, and value the excellent quality of relationships between all members. We welcome families into school often and know that you will find happy pupils, and a most welcoming environment.

The school has a strong inclusive ethos and is committed to equality of opportunity and integration. We believe that everyone at Hillside is of equal value, must be treated with dignity and respect, and encouraged to become part of the school community. We have high standards and expectations in terms of all round development and behaviour. Achievement and success are recognised and celebrated at all levels. We believe firmly in working in partnership with parents, carers, other professionals and the wider community to ensure the best possible outcomes for our pupils.

We aim to enable pupils to:
• Have fun and enjoy learning
• Make progress and become as independent as possible
• Build self-esteem and confidence
• Develop effective means of communication
• Form positive relationships with others

Ofsted judged Hillside as Outstanding in 2006, 2009, 2014 and 2018 and we continue to strive for higher standards and better outcomes for our pupils.