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.
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
- Periodicals in print and online such as The Economist, New
- 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.
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,
- 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.