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Hillside Avenue

Primary and Nursery School

Everyone will grow to be the best they can be

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Global Research School

Hillside Avenue is proud to be a Global Research School within the Global Spirit Ed international schools network. Global Spirit Ed supports a worldwide group of schools with a common interest and moral purpose in empowering pupils through a personalised approach to learning to develop a strong sense of self-regulation and prepare them for their future in a changing world.

As one of a small number of Global Research Schools, at Hillside Avenue we work closely with leading academics and other schools in the network to provide excellent education, develop our staff and be involved in research and development to support  improvements in practice.

Our research work includes:

  • utilising Coaching as a core approach to both staff and pupil development
  • enhancing Pupil Agency so that children can become self-organising, proactive, self-regulating, and self-reflecting in their learning
  • how understanding of cognitive development can inform curriculum design


Pupil Coaching

We began exploring the benefits of pupil coaching in 2019 through workshop-style projects with pupil-driven outcomes and the coaching centred on pupils developing ideas and approaches to achieve their outcome. During remote learning in the covid-19 pandemic, we continued coaching through live home-school video links and found that pupils really benefited from discussion around their learning more generally, their experience and challenges with on-line learning and how to develop their study skills.

Regular Coaching now forms part of our curriculum provision for Year 5 and Year 6 pupils, who all keep learning journals in which they note challenging areas, jot down thoughts and ideas and set themselves goals in their studies. The coaching sessions consist of small groups of pupils working with their class teacher to explore their learning approaches, skills and challenges.

This video shows one of our coaching sessions in action in one of our Year 6 classes at Hillside Avenue: 

SAIL Coaching in action

Global links

Within the Global Spirit Ed network are Swedish Kunskapsskolan, whose experience and success with Pupil Agency provides inspiration to other schools within the network.


Kunskapsskolan have a high-performing student-centred culture, where the learning focus on Pupil Agency enables pupils to progress through learning at their own pace and with ownership of their learning path. Coaching and workshops are core features in Kunskapsskolan, which give pupils devoted time individually and in small groups to work intensively with teachers.




The six values within Kunskapsskolan are 'Act globally, Show decisiveness, Learn to learn, Be collaborative, Be innovative, and Live digitally'. At the end of their time in Kunskapsskolan, pupils are equipped with a strong sense of independence, resilience and responsibility which means they are well-prepared for their adult lives.  


In Kunskapsskolan learning, pupils move through a 'goal journey' where everyone moves through common goals as they develop their learning. The goal journey may typically be: identify > explain > link > strategise. This is similar to the UK 'depth and mastery' approach being developed in many schools and used here at Hillside Avenue.





“Each student is unique. We mix different kinds of learning situations, and the blend is different for every student to accommodate their personal way of learning.”

“The idea behind the foundation of Kunskapsskolan was that human beings are equal but different. Each of us learns in a different way. The key in education is not to compete against others, but to make sure that you make the best use of your own personal resources.” - Peje Emilsson, Kunskapsskolan’s founder.


Authentic relationships, high expectations, a problem-solving approach, and collaboration are core parts of the KED Program, and those factors provide real improvements for students, according to John Baumber, Founder and Leader of Global Spirit Ed.

Here at Hillside Avenue we will continue working with support and training from Global Spirit Ed to develop our curriculum with collaboration, problem-solving and coaching, developing Pupil Agency so that children

We are prepared for the world and our future - to take responsibility, take on challenges and solve problems


   can take increased responsibility for how they learn best, in order to

   actively develop cognitive and learning skills.


   Two graduate students who came back to visit their school, Kunskapsskolan

   Trelleborg in Sweden, reflected on what they had learned from being educated

   through Kunskapsskolan. They said: "We have learned to plan our time. We are

   prepared for the world and our future. We are able to take responsibility, take on

   challenges and solve problems. We can plan our own opportunities and see

   what we can achieve."