​Sixth Form specialists


Teaching and Learning

Within a sixth form college, teaching is delivered by sixth form specialists who are focused on supporting your smooth transfer from GCSE and your successful onward progress to university or the world of work. In order to do this, teaching staff at the College will employ a whole range of teaching strategies to support you in your journey to becoming a truly effective independent learner.

We want you to leave the College capable of learning successfully throughout your life. Teaching staff will be expecting you to take joint responsibility with them for your own progress, setting meaningful goals for how you can develop as a learner to meet the demands of Advanced level study.

Learning is an exciting business and our staff want to ensure that it feels that way by offering you a whole variety of learning experiences from one-to-one formative feedback discussions to student-led debates; from developing your own podcast to collaborating on a shared workspace and from extended practical research to contributing to presentations, shows and installations. The incredibly wide range of lesson activities ensures that, whatever kind of learner you are, you will find the experience stimulating and possibly life-path changing.

Becoming an effective independent learner

Success in employment and higher education depends on the ability to be resourceful, independent and adaptable. To help develop these qualities, students are given guidance on study skills and independent access to resources and facilities, both physical and digital, which support their development of skills towards successful progression into the world of work and higher education.

Resources and facilities

All our subjects are taught in high quality, purpose-built classrooms fully equipped with digital media resources. Many of these are specialist spaces designed to support you effectively by providing a tailor-made learning environment. Here at the College, we place a strong emphasis on the opportunities offered through information learning technologies and you will find that all your subjects expect you to extend your learning through a digital resource bank of materials - accessible at any time – to supplement and enhance your classroom learning experience.

Our 21st century science and language laboratories are just some of the spaces that allow Hills Road learners to explore and achieve highly at Advanced level. We have recently built a fantastic new suite of Mathematics classrooms together with brand new teaching and rehearsal studios for our Performing Arts students. In our technically specialist areas, we have a thriving theatre; a regional centre of excellence for cricket, and an LTA-sponsored tennis academy; as well as sound recording studios and mixing desks for the technology-minded musician, to name but a few.

IT and our virtual learning environment
One of the significant differences between GCSE and A level is the expectation all subjects will have for independent learning to be completed in addition to class and home work. A really important part of the Hills Road experience is therefore our virtual learning resources, which are held in the cloud version of Sharepoint 365, accessible from wherever you are studying. Extension and support materials are available online to challenge and enhance your learning at every stage.

Computers and WiFi
Over 800 computers are available throughout the College, in the Library and Resources Centre and in open access departmental resource areas too. The College benefits from site-wide high speed WiFi access that allows our students fast broadband speeds as standard. Several areas of College are designated as WiFi zones where students can bring and use their own devices to access the College’s available resources.

OneDrive and Office 365
Every student is issued with their own Outlook email account and their own 1Tb storage space through OneDrive and Office 365. This allows seamless sharing and accessing of materials from all devices whether at home or at College.

Our computer and WiFi based services allow you to access a full variety of resources and software packages that are relevant to the subjects you are studying. You can also access careers and tutorial support materials, some of which are within ProPortal which is your own personalised progress and guidance network space.

Library and Resources Centre

Our library space has recently been remodelled to create an airy, purposeful learning environment with a fantastically wide range of resources including audio-visual and digital subscriptions to online journals and information sources as well as a regularly updated and indispensable book stock. The Library and Resources Centre is staffed by an experienced team. It is open from 8.30am – 4.30pm Monday to Friday. The Library and Resources Centre provides access to a wide range of resources, including:
  • Large stock of books to support the curriculum, including wider reading in preparation for university and a small fiction section.
  • Periodicals in print and online such as The Economist, New Scientist etc.
  • Comprehensive online information with dedicated subject support pages detailing services, resources and access to the Library catalogue.
  • Subscriptions to a wide range of digital resources which can be accessed from both within College and at home.
  • Large and varied collection of DVDs to support film, media and modern languages courses.
  • 26 open-access PCs and networked printers plus WiFi connection for students with their mobile devices.
  • Scanning facilities.
  • Careers information.


Audio Visual

The College uses Clickview which is a network based video delivery system. This provides ‘on demand’ access to an extensive video library for students and staff, both within College and at home. In addition, many departments provide specialist equipment, this includes:
  • A Sony digital language laboratory
  • DVD players (including headsets for quiet listening)
  • Video and stills cameras
  • Media studies facilities (including video editing systems)
  • Photographic darkroom
These resources and facilities are available for student use throughout the day, before and after college, and during private study periods.
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