Special Learning Needs

We take pride in the highly inclusive nature of our school. Highly skilled staff develop and implement teaching and learning strategies which are relevant, appropriate and responsive to the learning needs of the students they are working with.

Hillcrest High School has a strong commitment to improving the emotional, social, cultural and academic outcomes for all students. Specialised programmes are in place to support students with identified learning issues.



Extension & Enrichment

Extension and enrichment are features of both curriculum and co-curricular programmes at all levels at Hillcrest High School. At Years 9 & 10, students identified as gifted and talented have opportunities to participate in programmes such as JEEP (Junior Extension and Enrichment Programme) and Sports Development.

The further development of links with Waikato University are continually explored and utilised to enrich learning for students. Selected students are currently able to study level one university papers in Chemistry, Computer Science, Economics and Maori.

There are opportunities to extend and enrich learning at senior levels through Scholarship and Cambridge classes and participation in national and international academic competitions There is an extensive itinerant music programme in the school and all students are encouraged to participate in extracurricular programmes.




The Physical Assistance Centre (PAC) provides comprehensive support for ORRS funded students who have a physical disability. PAC students’ academic and individual requirements related to disability are determined and monitored by Individual Education Plans (IEPs). They have the benefit of high support staff/student ratios including Teacher Aides and needs based specialist support such as Physiotherapist, Occupational Therapist and other identified specialists as required.

The aim of PAC is to enable students, to the best of their ability, to have a mainstream experience of academic school life with involvement and participation in all other school activities. Support within the centre provides alternative academic programmes and activities when full participation in mainstream is not possible. The centre also enables future smooth transition on completion of secondary school.

Enquiries can be directed to the Head of Department, Mrs J Richardson, or the Principal.




The Independent Living Centre (ILC) is a department within Hillcrest High School catering for the Ongoing and Reviewable Resourcing Scheme (ORRS) funded students who have a significant intellectual disability. Targeted funding for these students provides teachers time, teacher aide support and, when necessary, therapist/specialist support to ensure all students have access to the curriculum.

All students have Individualised Education Programmes (IEPs) and these are developed along with parents/caregivers, teacher and support staff. All programmes are based on the New Zealand Curriculum and emphasis is placed on Key Competencies.

Students are able and encouraged to participate in the school life depending on their individual ability, and interests and includes purposeful mainstreaming, academic, sporting, work experience and cultural activities.
For more information or placement, contact the Head of Department Mrs. M. Ellery or the Principal.