At HMS, we have developed a curriculum, learning environment and enrichment activities that provide opportunities for Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural (SMSC) development. We understand that SMSC development is essential to our pupils' learning and wellbeing and we strive to promote these values throughout school life. SMSC development is demonstrated at HMS through: curriculum planning which allows for in-depth discussion, debate and questioning as part of daily learning; the atmosphere of our school in that we provide exciting and engaging opportunities for extra-curricular learning including visits; opportunities for pupil leadership as well as fostering a climate of mutual respect and participation. This is encapsulated by our 'School Ethos Statement'.


When you visit our school, please enjoy viewing our SMSC wall in the main reception. As you walk around the site, spend time taking in the great displays around school - these truly capture the values of our school and have SMSC at the heart of their content. We also have a bank of evidence in school that demonstrates the huge range of opportunities that we offer in school to promote the values of SMSC.

Pupils' Spiritual development is shown by their:

  1. Beliefs, religious or otherwise, which inform their perspective on life and their interest in and respect for different people's feelings and values
  2. Sense of enjoyment and fascination in learning about themselves, others and the world around them, including the intangible
  3. Use of imagination and creativity in their learning
  4. Willingness to reflect on their experiences.

Pupils' Moral development is shown by their:

  1. Ability to recognise the difference between right and wrong and their readiness to apply this understanding in their own lives
  2. Understanding of the consequences of their actions
  3. Interest in investigating, and offering reasoned views about, moral and ethical issues.

Pupils' Social development is shown by their:

  1. Use of a range of social skills in different contexts, including working and socialising with pupils from different religious, ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds
  2. Willingness to participate in a variety of social settings, cooperating well with others and being able to resolve conflicts effectively
  3. Interest in, and understanding of, the way communities and societies function at a variety of levels.

Pupils' Cultural development is shown by their:

  1. Understanding and appreciation of the wide range of cultural influences that have shaped their own heritage
  2. Willingness to participate in, and respond to, for example, artistic, musical, sporting, mathematical, technological, scientific and cultural opportunities
  3. Interest in exploring, understanding of, and respect for cultural diversity and the extent to which they understand, accept, respect and celebrate diversity, as shown by their attitudes towards different religions, ethnic, socio-economic groups in the local, national and global communities.


  • RE lessons provide in-depth study of religions including Christianity, Islam, Judaism and Hinduism.
  • HMS has Talent – a glittering array of talent graces the stage at HMS when pupils get the chance to respect each other’s varied talents and skills.
  • Through literature, pupils explore religion and beliefs including Sikhism in Year 5 English through character study and research.
  • Pupil Voice – surveys developed by subject leaders to collect pupil opinion, allowing our pupils to establish their own identity and influence school life.
  • Visits by members of religious groups as part of the assembly programme.
  • Annual concert of carols and readings at Hexham Abbey.
  • Educational visit to Holy Island.


  • Our pupils raise a huge total for a range of charities including Children in Need. Pupils plan and manage their own stall for a whole school fayre.
  • HMS has a well-established behaviour policy which encourages a safe and stimulating learning environment. Our elected School Council has an input in monitoring this system.
  • Our House Plus system is celebrated weekly through the pupil-led production of ‘House News’ bulletins. These inform the rest of the school of the current totals.
  • Pupils are actively encouraged to plan and lead assemblies on current affairs and topical issues such as ‘Climate Change’.
  • Reflections on major world events such as Armistice Day and the Nepal Earthquake disaster.


  • Every year, our year 8 pupils are nominated and elected, through a ballot process, to become House Captains. This allows opportunity for community spirit and pupil leadership.
  • Our KS2 pupils visit the Kingswood Centre in Penistone for a weekend residential break. 70 pupils attended in 2015 and enjoyed a weekend of challenges and personal development.
  • A group of pupils worked with pupils at Hexham Priory Special School last year to act as peer buddies and take part in reading, play and classroom activities.
  • Year 8 English Leaders supporting the literacy development of younger pupils in school.
  • Key Stage 3 Debating Society.
  • HMS Orchestra selected to open the town’s annual Christmas celebrations.
  • Selection and training of our Young Sports Leaders from Key Stage 3.
  • All pupils benefit significantly from a wide-ranging extra-curricular programme.


  • ‘International Week’ allows pupils to explore the wider world and cultural diversity.
  • Lions of Zululand visited HMS for the day and delivered workshops.
  • A visit by the family of HMS pupils to deliver sessions on life in Afghanistan based on their own personal experiences.
  • Pupils in KS2 enjoyed a visit from the M and M theatre group who delivered a magnificent performance of ‘Oliver’.
  • KS3 were visited by acclaimed author, David Almond, who delivered reading and writing workshops.
  • Professor Brainstorm visited school to deliver an action-packed science workshop to years 5 and 6. What an inspirational hour!
  • A workshop led by artists from Opera North followed by a subsequent visit to an opera performance.
  • Participation in an art project on Hadrian’s Wall.
  • Residential visits to Holland and France to experience life in other countries.