At HILLS we encourage our students to delve into a variety of extra-curricular activities. We introduce students to a broad range of experiences in the areas of Outdoor Education, Performing Arts (Drama, Dance and Music), Sport (competitive and recreational), Public Speaking and Debating.
Students also have the opportunity to participate in academic competitions that challenge them to strive for excellence.
Students who participate in activities beyond the classroom develop their self-esteem, gain organisational and leadership skills, and appreciate the importance of teamwork. It also is a space where students are able to be extended beyond the level of their peers and compete at a national or statewide level, depending on the activity.
NATURE AND THE ENVIRONMENT
HILLS is blessed to occupy 19 acres within the picturesque Adelaide Hills. Our school is a fascinating place where students are immersed in nature which stimulates and inspires both creativity and curiosity. Our unique backyard allows our learning environments to extend beyond the four walls of the classroom into a space where students can learn, grow and play with nature. Students have the unique and specific benefits from outdoor learning which are essential for healthy brain and socioemotional development. We strive to bring joy to education by re-establishing connection with the natural environment and promoting a curriculum which advocates sustainability.
The environment provides access to Nature Play for all children and it is delightful to see our ELC children engaging with grubs, mud, plants, cubbies and imaginative play most days. This continues throughout the Primary School and our Year 7 cohort are blessed to have their classroom in a renovated farmhouse with access to their own garden, chooks, Onkaparinga River and fire-pit. Our resident kangaroos, kookaburras and ducks capture the imagination of all our students at Verdun. We recognise that HILLS is so blessed to have access to this marvellous property and appreciate the opportunity to be involved in programmes like Water Watch, Frog Watch and Bird Watch.
Our access to Nature is captured in the Young Education Leaders Program (YELP) which is facilitated by the Natural Resource Management team in the Adelaide Hills.
HILLS is pleased to have a very active Parent Environment Group which advises the School about care for our property including our gardens, Nature Playspaces, tree planting, maintenance of weeds and future plans.
HILLS is also privileged to have access to our own Wetlands, located on the HILLS property. Most of our Secondary classrooms look out over the best scenery in the Adelaide Hills and picturesque gums while having access to over 19 acres of natural environment.
HILLS seeks to honour the sporting talent, interest and passion of our HILLS students, many of whom are very sport oriented, as well as learning and practising skills as part of the ELC, Primary and Secondary Physical Education curriculum. We compete against many Schools from Year 4 to Year 12 in both the SAPSASA and SACSA carnivals. HILLS has been very successful over many years and is often a State Champion at a particular year level in Netball, Touch Rugby, AFL, Basketball, Soccer, Swimming or another sport where we have entered teams.
EXCURSION, CAMPS & MISSION
HILLS students learn significantly from the excursions which are tailored to each specific year level. As well as these rich experiences, students from Year 3 to Year 12 engage in a formal camps program. The aim of these experiences is to encourage strong relationships with their year level educator and peers.
Overnight experience at the School (1 Day)
Camp at Mylor Adventure Camp (1 Day)
Camp at Narnu Farm (3 Days)
Camp at Wirraway (3 Days)
Kangaroo Island (7 Days)
Camel Trek – Flinders Ranges (6 Days)
Ecology Experience at Robe (6 Days)
Mission Immersion Experience – The Rite Journey
Outdoor Education Camp
Year 11 + 12
SPECIAL GROUPS AND CLUBS
HILLS organises a variety of clubs each year that students can participate in to extend their interests and talents beyond the classroom. We provide students with the opportunity to discover new interests and build positive relationships with others.
Some of these clubs have included our Eco Team, Debating, Kids News, Children’s University, Logic, Chess, Drama, Reading, Wellbeing and STEM.
The opportunity to develop leadership skills is given to students at HILLS through all years of schooling. From small areas of class responsibility in the Primary years, to Student Leadership, House Captain and School Captain responsibilities offered in later years. Peer leadership responsibilities are given to all students as they move through the school, with our older students buddying with students in the Primary years. These relationships are developed very early in the year and strong bonds are often formed and continue over the course of the student’s schooling.
THE ARTS & INSTRUMENTAL PROGRAM
HILLS students have the opportunity to learn a variety of instruments through our well-established and vibrant instrumental program delivered by professional instrumental instructors. Individual and group instrument tuition is available on wind, woodwind, piano, voice, strings, drums, bass guitar and guitar. Parents wishing their child to take private instrumental lessons during the school day may contact the Music Educator or complete and return the appropriate enrolment forms.
There are also opportunities for students to work in small group musical ensembles, choirs and orchestra.
The Arts feature strongly within HILLS from the ELC to Secondary. The ELC has specific Music, Drama and Dance activities each week and over 100 students learn instruments at the Primary campus. Many of these students celebrate their Music skills in the Orchestra, Band, Choir and Ensembles. We celebrate public performances of the classroom Music programme with concerts and the annual Year 7 Musical is highly anticipated. Our Secondary School students have the opportunities to participate in Musicals, Plays and Dramas and play in the Secondary Chapel Band.
Creating school spirit, culture and caring for students is central to everything we do at HILLS. To ensure that this flourishes, we have our House system, consisting of four teams – Grivell, Sandow, Beaumont and Gallasch, named after people significant to HILLS. Our House system forms the basis of our care, ensuring each student is known, recognised and supported throughout their learning journey. The school conducts swimming and athletics carnivals, as well as special House days. This is also a space where year groups interact with one another, allowing for Primary and Secondary students to help, guide or mentor and relate positively with one another.
SERVICE & MISSION TRIPS
Our focus is on fostering an awareness of the needs of others at home and at school, and learning about environmental issues. Service learning projects spring from the curriculum, including various community-based fundraising activities and involvement. Some of our Secondary students have the opportunity to go on Mission Trips, and some students complete community service outside of school hours.
HILLS outdoor education program helps develop our students’ sense of adventure, resilience, leadership, responsibility, lateral thinking and teamwork. With a series of engaging camps, our students in Years 9 to 12 discover the power of self-reliance and motivation, and deepen their bonds with each other and their educators. Their confidence and self-esteem are boosted as they step outside their comfort zones.