Hilltop Road is a public school located in Merrylands, AUS with the goal of helping children live and learn together in a challenging yet caring environment. For over six decades, the school has embraced its culturally diverse community and the cultural richness it provides children. The school serves more than 23 cultural groups with over 66 per cent from a non-English speaking background. The school, run by Principal Natalie See, is committed to:
developing effective partnerships with members of the school community
academic excellence based on a system where students are rewarded for effort and achievement
providing students opportunities to reach their full potential
ensuring quality teaching and learning
encouraging students to become responsible and independent decision makers
developing a high academic, aesthetic, physical, and cultural environment where children feel safe and happy
encouraging continual learning for all members of the school community.
Hilltop Road was selected by the Australian Institute of Teachers and School Leaders (AITSL) to be a "Design Hub" for the "Learning Frontiers" program because of their innovative and cutting edge practices. Learning Frontiers is a collaborative initiative that ensures positive learning behaviors are maximized at the school level. It is based on the theory that:
Engaging learning is co-created. It draws on both adults and students as a powerful resource for the co-creation of the community, the design of learning, and the success of all students.
Engaging learning is personal. It builds from students' passions and capabilities and helps them to personalize their learning and assessment in order to foster their individual talents.
Engaging learning is connected. It connects with and uses real-world contexts and contemporary issues and is permeable to the rich resources available in the community and wider world.
Engaging learning is integrated. It emphasizes the integration subjects, students, and learning content.
The Learning Frontiers program was created to transform teaching and learning so that every student succeeds in an education worth having. It brings together students, families, caregivers, public services, community groups, and industry to center efforts on young people, bringing education to life in a relevant and empowering way. The school is collaborating with a cluster of Sydney schools on designing, prototyping, and rolling out powerful professional practices aimed at enhancing deeper learning and heightening student engagement and representing NSW on a national and international platform. HRPS is working closely with AITSL, the UK-based innovation unit, and two global leaders in the field of learning innovation and education system transformation: David Price (Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire), and Valerie Hannon.
Student engagement is recognized as one of the greatest challenges faced by educators. At HRPS students lead their own learning by co-creating, connecting, integrating, and personalizing using discovery time, project-based learning, self-organized learning environments, and genius hour. Differentiation ensures all individual differences are catered for and nurtured.
Quality teaching and student engagement and well-being underpin all teaching and learning programs for the school's 730 students between 5 and 12 years of age. The school focuses on specialized programs in early childhood, literacy, and numeracy as well as providing a balance of academic, cultural, and sporting activities. Hilltop is also a leader in embedding innovative technology in education, utilizing a range of technology within flexible learning environments to enable students to become effective 21st century learners. The school has complete wireless access with every classroom and learning space equipped with wireless access points to allow students to be engaged in their learning at all times. Outstanding education is delivered through a 1:1 ratio of XO Duo laptops, iPads, interactive SMART Boards, a computer lab, and a state-of-the-art technology center with green screen technology.
Not just students are important to the Hilltop school, it also supports families through a variety of initiatives, including transition programs, parent workshops, playground, and adult outreach education programs. The school maintains strong and effective relationships and has enhanced the opportunity for lifelong learning for all community members. In recognition of these programs, Hilltop Road Public School was awarded the prestigious NSW Community Cohesion Award in 2011 for their diverse range of programs, focus on community engagement and involvement, and welcoming attitude to parents, caregivers, and community members' participation in school life. The school was subsequently issued a certificate of "Notice of Motion" for the achievement by Member of Parliament Tony Issa.
Harmony Day 2014
Watch students in their learning
environments celebrate Harmony Day
and dance along to the song "Happy".
Natalie has worked in NSW Public Schools as both a classroom teacher and in leadership positions, including executive teacher, assistant principal, deputy principal and now principal at Hilltop Road Public School.
Natalie is passionate about creativity and innovation in learning. She believes relationships and trust are essential for students, teachers, parents and the community, to learn together and promote positive, authentic and engaging learning environments for all.
At Hilltop Road Public School, students are encouraged to be responsible learners who are actively engaged in connected, co-created, personalised and integrated learning opportunities.
Natalie ensures staff engage in high level professional learning experiences and are encouraged to develop their knowledge, enthusiasm and vision to inspire students to explore their individual talents and achieve their personal best.
As principal, Natalie is proud that Hilltop Road Public School is held in high esteem by the local community. A strong sense of belonging and pride is evident amongst students, staff and families. A strong partnership exists between parents and staff, characterised by mutual interest, support and cooperation.