At Hetton School we aim to provide positive experiences for all pupils by promoting the pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development through planned and coherent opportunities in the curriculum and through interactions with teachers and other adults.

We aim to enrich, extend and broaden their attitudes and beliefs not only within the school environment but also for their future lives.


To enable students to develop their personal qualities and become:

  • Responsible for themselves, accepting an appropriate measure of responsibility and able to show respect;
  • Confident and competent both academically and socially;
  • Able to distinguish between right and wrong;
  • Able to articulate their own attitudes and values;
  • Able to understand and be sensitive to the beliefs, values and ways of life of others, responding appropriately to injustice and prejudice;
  • Caring, considerate and compassionate;
  • Skilled in working collaboratively and independently;
  • Able to reflect on their learning and plan for future development;
  • Able to respond positively to challenges and problems.
  • Understand and uphold our British Values through behaviours and actions

All staff, including Support Staff and Governors, has a responsibility to promote spiritual, moral, social and cultural development and British Values. Awareness and understanding is promoted through displays around the school, the school aims, highlighted aspects of the curriculum, positive relationships between pupils, staff and community, assemblies, extra-curricular activities, cross-curricular activities, Hetton Honours, choice of visits, visitors and field trips.  In the classroom SMSC development & British Values can be promoted through activities such as reflection, use of ICT, direct teaching about spiritual, moral, social and cultural issues and British Values.



Spiritual development is the development of the non-material element of a human being which animates and sustains us and, depending on our point of view, either ends or continues in some form when we die. It is about the development of a sense of identity, self-worth, personal insight, meaning and purpose. It is about the development of a pupil’s 

‘spirit’. Some people may call it the development of a pupil’s ‘soul’; others as the development of ‘personality’ or ‘character’.

There are many aspects of spiritual development


  • An awareness and understanding of their own and others’ beliefs
  • A respect for themselves and for others

A sense of awe, wonder and mystery

  • Being inspired by the natural world, mystery, or human achievement

Feelings of transcendence

  • A respect for insight as well as knowledge and reason

The search for meaning and purpose

  • Asking “why me?” at times of hardship or suffering
  • Responding to challenging experiences of life such as beauty, purpose, suffering and death


  • An awareness of oneself in terms of thoughts, feelings, emotions, responsibilities and experiences
  • A growing understanding and acceptance of individual identity and development of self-respect


  • A sense of empathy with others, concern and compassion and an ability to build up relationships with others


  • Expressing innermost thoughts and feelings through, for example, art, music, literature and crafts
  • Exercising the imagination, inspiration, intuition and insight

Feelings and emotions

  • An understanding of feelings and emotions and their likely impact
  • A growing awareness of when it is important to control emotions and feelings

At Hetton School we aim to encourage Spiritual Development through:

  • The values and attitudes the school identifies, upholds and fosters;
  • The contribution made by the whole curriculum;
  • SRS, PSHE, Hetton Honours, tutor time and assemblies;
  • Extra-curricular activities, together with the general ethos and climate of the school.



Moral development is about the building, by pupils, of a framework of moral values which regulates their personal behaviour. At Hetton School, a cornerstone of our moral development is the notion of RESPECT. It is also about the development of pupils’ understanding of society’s shared and agreed values. It is about understanding that there are issues where there is disagreement and it is also about understanding that society’s values change. Moral development is about gaining an understanding of the range of views and the reasons for the range. It is also about developing an opinion about the different views.

Steps towards moral development include

  • An ability to distinguish right from wrong, based on a knowledge of the moral codes of their own and other cultures;
  • A confidence to act consistently in accordance with their own principles;
  • An ability to think through the consequences of their own and others’ actions;
  • A willingness to express their views on ethical issues and personal values;
  • An ability to make responsible and reasoned judgements on moral dilemmas;
  • A commitment to personal values in areas which are considered right by some and wrong by others;
  • A considerate style of life;
  • A respect for others’ needs, interests and feelings, as well as their own;
  • A desire to explore their own and others’ views;
  • An understanding of the need to review and reassess their values, codes and principles in the light of experience;
  • An understanding of rights and responsibility within the communities and society in which they live.

At Hetton School we aim to encourage moral development through:

  • Addressing moral issues through assemblies, tutor time, SRS, PSHE and other areas of the school curriculum.
  • We have a Behaviour Policy contributed to by staff, students, parents and governors.
  • We deal promptly with any discrimination or inequality (action plans in place in line with Equality Act 2010)
  • We have a home-school agreement, agreed with parents and children.
  • We promote a safe learning environment in which pupils can express their views and opinions.  
  • Have an active school council which provides opportunities for pupils to express views
  • We model through relationships and interactions, the principles we wish to promote.
  • We encourage pupils to take responsibility for their actions.
  • We acknowledge and praise good behaviour (WOW points and rewards system).



Social development is about young people working effectively with each other and participating successfully in the community as a whole. It is about the working together. It is about functioning effectively in a multi-racial, multicultural society. It involves growth in knowledge and understanding of society, society’s institutions, structures and characteristics, economic and political principles and organisations, roles and responsibilities and life as a citizen, parent or worker in a community. It also involves the development of the interpersonal skills necessary for successful relationships.

Steps towards social development include

  • An ability to adjust to a range of social contexts by appropriate and sensitive behaviour.
  • Working successfully as a member of a group or team 
  • An ability to share views and opinions with others and work towards a consensus.
  • Showing respect for people, living things, property and the environment.
  • Appreciation of others’ rights and responsibilities 
  • An understanding of the structures of society, e.g. the organisation of the family, the school, etc.

At Hetton School we aim to encourage social development through:

  • Fostering a sense of community with common, inclusive values.
  • Providing opportunities for pupils to work in a variety of social groupings within the class and across the school (such as the school council).
  • Providing positive whole school experiences, e.g. school productions, Awards assemblies, after school activities, residential opportunities and Hetton Honours.
  • Encouraging pupils to develop valuable personal qualities, e.g. thoughtfulness, honesty and respect by modelling these behaviours.
  • We help pupils to resolve tensions and conflicts supported by the pastoral system and peer mentors.
  • We have school council meetings.
  • We encourage children to support nominated charities through school events (various)



Cultural development is about pupils’ understanding their own culture and other cultures in their town, region and in the country as a whole. It is about understanding cultures represented in Europe and elsewhere in the world. It is about understanding and feeling comfortable in a variety of cultures and being able to operate in the emerging world culture of shared experiences provided by the television, travel and the internet. It is about understanding that cultures are always changing and coping with change. Promoting pupils’ cultural development is intimately linked with schools’ attempts to value cultural diversity and prevent racism.

Steps towards cultural development include:

  • An ability to recognise and understand their own cultures and values;
  • An ability to appreciate cultural diversity and to respect other peoples’ values and beliefs;
  • Having an openness to new ideas;
  • Having a willingness to participate in artistic and cultural events, recognising and understanding images/icons which have significance and meaning in a culture.

At Hetton School we aim to encourage cultural development through:

  • The Hetton School Equality & Diversity Policy;
  • We celebrate children’s particular gifts and talents, regardless of culture;
  • We work with outside agencies to support the needs of children as appropriate;
  • We raise children’s awareness of other cultures through assemblies, Hetton Honours, tutor time and Curriculum plans;
  • Our SRS curriculum provides opportunities for learning about other cultures;
  • We report incidents of racism and act upon using our ClassCharts System.

British Values


All have a duty to ‘actively promote’ the fundamental British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty, and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs. 

  • Democracy – it is the people of our country that elect the government to run Britain on our behalf
  • The rule of law – we respect our laws and keep to them at all times. We do what is right.
  • Individual liberty – we have the freedom to make choices, to carry out actions and hold beliefs so long as they do not harm others
  • Mutual respect and tolerance – toward those with different faiths and beliefs and for those without faith

Steps towards upholding British Values can include:

  • Providing an understanding of how citizens can influence decision-making through the democratic process
  • Develop an understanding that the freedom to hold other faiths and beliefs is protected in law
  • Develop an acceptance that people having different faiths or beliefs to oneself (or having none) should be accepted and tolerated, and should not be the cause of prejudicial or discriminatory behaviour
  • Develop an understanding of the importance of identifying and combatting discrimination

At Hetton School we aim to encourage understanding of our British Values through:

  • The Hetton School Equality & Diversity Policy;
    • ensuring all pupils within the school have a voice that is listened to, and demonstrate how democracy works by actively promoting democratic processes such as a school council whose members are voted for by the pupils
    • We celebrate children’s particular gifts and talents, regardless of culture;
    • We work with outside agencies to support the needs of children as appropriate;
    • We raise children’s awareness of British Values through assemblies, tutor time and Departmental Curriculum Plans;
    • Our SRS, Hetton Honours, PSHE & Citizenship curriculum provides opportunities for learning about our British Values;
    • We act upon any incidents which go against our British Values in line with school policy.

“My eldest son left school in 2007 so there was never any question of which school my youngest would attend in 2012. However, what a huge difference I’ve found in the school from then until now. The school is very well led with the Head being a major presence, the staff are very well respected, approachable and helpful at all levels. Examination results continue to improve which is fantastic. Pupil moral is great with reward schemes, extra-curricular activities and school excursions open to all.”

Parent of Year 8 Student

"Parents and carers are broadly supportive of the school and its new leadership. They feel that their children are well cared for and supported"

Ofsted Quote

“As parents, we are always impressed with the way in which Hetton School staff listen to comments or concerns, and act quickly and effectively, particularly when relating to pupil progress and wellbeing. There’s a good community feeling. Hetton School has good systems in place to support students’ individual attainment. It offers good opportunities outside of the school day for pupils to progress further. We’re well aware that standards and results at Hetton School have risen in recent years and continue to do so.”

Parent of Year 7 and 10 Student

"Pupils are proud of their school and its caring, tolerant ethos".

Ofsted Quote

“I am very pleased with the pastoral support. Hetton School value the opinion of students and this can only help to build self-confidence into adulthood.”

Parent of Year 10 Student

"The quality of leadership and teaching in the local authority resource provision for pupils who have speech and language difficulties enables pupils to make strong progress".

Ofsted Quote

“I have been very impressed with how well my daughter has settled into Hetton School. She has made some very good friends, gets on well with her form tutor, enjoys her lessons and has made good academic progress. The school keeps me up-to-date with how she is doing and acknowledges when she has done something of particular merit. The Parents Forum gives us a voice to bring up any issues that arise and for the school to ask our opinion also. I would definitely recommend Hetton School to any prospective pupil or parent, and with a new build coming, Hetton will finally have the building this good school deserves.”

Parent of Year 8 Student
Tyne and Wear School Sports Alliance
Triple P
The FA Charter Mark
Sunderland Mental Health Charter Mark
Sunderland Anti Bullying Charter
STEM Ambassadors Logo
Sunderland Active Gold Standard
Foundation of Light
DFE 2016 Character Charter

Staff Information

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