Hetton School

Hetton School

Name Hetton School
Website http://www.hetton.org
Ofsted Inspections
Address North Road, Hetton-le-Hole, Houghton le Spring, DH5 9JZ
Phone Number 01915623322
Type Secondary
Age Range 11-16
Religious Character Does Not Apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 575 (51.7% boys 48.3% girls)
Number of Pupils per Teacher 15.5
Local Authority Sunderland
Percentage Free School Meals 37%
Percentage English is Not First Language 0.7%
Persistent Absence 20.2%
Pupils with SEN Support 17.7%
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this school?

The school has improved since the previous inspection. However, pupils' learning across the curriculum is variable.

They learn more in some subjects than in others. In subjects such as geography and physical education, teachers provide pupils with the foundations for learning. However, this is not the case in every subject.

Senior leaders are working with teachers and external partners to ensure that the curriculum is well planned and delivered in all subjects.

Pupils take part in a range of clubs and activities that expand their horizons. They develop their independence through the Hetton honours programme.

Pupils develop responsibility by raising m...oney for local food banks. They benefit from a well-developed careers programme that helps them in their next steps.

Most pupils concentrate well in lessons.

Pupils benefit from stable routines in lessons. Adults build respectful relationships with pupils. More pupils are attending school well.

Increasing numbers of parents and carers are putting their faith in the school. Despite this, some parents and pupils still have concerns over behaviour.

Pastoral staff and the safeguarding team provide support for pupils.

Most pupils that inspectors spoke with said that they felt safe in school. They said that staff take bullying seriously and deal with any known problems that arise. However, some pupils have recently expressed concern that teachers are not aware of the hurtful comments they receive from some of their peers.

Leaders have started to improve curriculum plans and staff training, so that pupils are better supported.

What does the school do well and what does it need to do better?

The quality of education is inconsistent. Pupils do not learn well across the whole curriculum.

Pupils gain less secure knowledge in key stage 3. In some subjects, pupils do not acquire the knowledge and vocabulary needed to complete complex tasks. This leads to gaps in their understanding.

Staff have worked with other schools to strengthen curriculum plans. They have introduced new strategies in lessons to help pupils to remember more over time. Pupils find this helpful, particularly at key stage 4.

Disadvantaged pupils are learning more because of this. New plans are in place to integrate remote education into the school curriculum.

Some pupils benefit from bespoke support to address their reading and communication needs.

However, broader strategies to develop pupils' reading have been underdeveloped over time. Pupils told us that they do not feel encouraged to read more widely. Although leaders have developed lists of key vocabulary, unfamiliar vocabulary is not always securely taught in class.

Pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) get extra help. Some pupils benefit from highly specialist input. The new special educational needs coordinator (SENCO) is working more closely with staff.

There is a stronger focus on how teachers will adapt the curriculum to meet pupils' needs. However, some parents do not feel that their children get the right help.

Leaders have developed a Hetton honours programme.

Through this, leaders develop pupils' character and wider sense of social responsibility. Leaders are developing an 'Acceptance for all' programme to promote equality and awareness of the protected characteristics. Careers education matches pupils' individual needs.

Leaders have secured improvements in pupils' behaviour and attendance. Pupils behave well in lessons. Incidents of exclusion for poor behaviour have declined.

Leaders have taken highly effective action to improve attendance. More pupils want to attend regularly. Teachers treat pupils with respect.

Pupils are generally confident that teachers address any known incidents of bullying or harassment. However, some negative behaviour has gone unnoticed. Some parents remain concerned about aspects of behaviour.

Some pupils told us that teachers are not always aware of the sexist and racist language directed at them by their peers. They are not confident in reporting this to staff. Leaders are mindful of new government guidance in this area and have updated the curriculum to improve this aspect of the school's work.

Leaders consider the well-being of staff. Staff feel well supported in their work. Teachers in the early stages of their career value the guidance they receive.

Leaders are providing more intensive training to build staff expertise. Leaders have helped staff to develop their approaches to remote learning.

Governors hold leaders more stringently to account.

They are committed to their roles. They improve their expertise through regular training. Governors know the school increasingly well.

Governors work with improvement partners to check the school's performance. They check the impact of improvement actions.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

The members of the safeguarding team take their responsibilities seriously. They train staff well and provide regular updates on safeguarding issues. Staff know what to do if they have concerns over a child's welfare.

The safeguarding team works with pastoral staff to support pupils' welfare. Leaders pursue any concerns over pupils' safety with rigour and sensitivity. They have developed purposeful links with safeguarding partners.

Leaders carry out thorough checks on the suitability of adults working at the school. Governors are well trained on safeguarding issues. External partners provide additional guidance and assurance on safeguarding practice.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

• The implementation of the curriculum is variable. This leads to pupils making weaker progress in some subjects than in others. In some cases, teachers ask pupils to complete complex tasks before they have acquired the necessary knowledge.

This contributes to gaps in pupils' knowledge and understanding. This is more evident at key stage 3. Leaders should ensure that teachers build pupils' knowledge and understanding securely over time.

They should spend the time needed to explain new vocabulary and concepts. This will enable assessment to give an accurate picture of what pupils have learned. ? Pupils do not read widely enough.

Strategies to encourage pupils to read more purposefully across the curriculum are underdeveloped. While regular assessments of pupils' reading ages take place, teachers do not always have the strategies at hand to improve pupils' reading. Leaders need to accelerate plans to introduce new reading programmes.

They also need to train staff to help pupils read with greater focus and purpose. ? Although behaviour is improving, some pupils are upset by the language used towards them by other pupils. They do not always report this to teachers.

They are not confident that this will be addressed, because in the past, systems have not been in place to manage this well. Leaders need to continue to develop stronger systems to listen to pupils and to respond to their concerns. They need to check the impact of their plans to ensure that the curriculum clearly teaches the importance of respectful relationships between all pupils.