We are a Gold Rights Respecting School

At Hasting Hill Academy we want our pupils to:

  • be happy and safe
  • have strong relationships
  • be active in school life and the wider world

In December 2020 we were awarded Gold status for the Rights Respecting Schools Award. Since then we have continued our commitment to the award, as we want our pupils to:

  • know about rights
  • exercise their rights
  • feel valued
  • recognise the rights of others


We are so proud to share some of the amazing projects that we’ve been involved with:

Rights Knights: Article 29 - Your education should help you develop your talents and abilities.

We have a group of pupils from Years 1 – 6 who are elected every year to work to ensure every member of our school community is aware of children’s rights. They meet regularly and are proactive in improving school life. We respect the views and contributions made by our Rights Knights and aim to use these to make improvements to the school whenever possible. This is our rights Knights logo, which you will be able to see on displays around school.


At the start of the year each class created a charter to set out the rights pupils felt were most relevant to support positive behaviour; everyone in the class then agreed to the charter. These are displayed in our classrooms.

The Rights Knights also worked together to create a playground charter, which is used to remind pupils and staff (duty bearers) of our roles during OPAL play:



Right of the Fortnight: Article 42 – Knowledge of Rights

Every week during class assembly time we explore an Article from the UN Convention on the rights of the child. This is to ensure pupils fully understand what the different Articles are and what they each mean. The Right of the Fortnight is displayed in all classes and is shared with parents on our school Facebook page:

As well as learning about bullying, including cyber bullying through our PSHCE and Computing curriculums, every year we promote Anti-Bullying Week and all classes learn about the different types of bullying and what to do if you’re being bullied. We also promote ‘Odd Socks Day’, in which pupils and staff wear odd socks to celebrated diversity and difference.

Our Anti-Bullying Champions (ABC’s) are actively working towards achieving the Anti-Bullying Award. They have worked hard to raise awareness across school of the different types of bullying. They also have a strong presence on the school yard to ensure no bullying takes place and act as a ‘buddy’ to pupils who need a friend. Pupils can also make use of the ‘Buddy Bench’ if they’re feeling lonely, which the ABC’s campaigned for.

We also held a special ‘Rainbow Day’ to promote and celebrate, friendship, community and our Anti-Bullying Champions (ABCs). Every child in school took part in the “Balloon Pool” activity to help out a friend. Check out: https://www.dailymotion.com/video/x880ikv



OPAL Play: Article 31 - You have the right to play and rest.

After completing a whole school questionnaire on how to improve play times, we introduced OPAL play. Pupils in school participated in fund raising activities to buy playtime equipment. We now have a lots of amazing playtime resources!

Personal Development Week: Article 3 –Best interests of the child, Article 14 – Freedom of thought, belief and religion, Article 42 – Knowledge of rights

During ‘Personal Development Week’, which takes place the first week of term every year, all classes explore how to be a good British citizen, as well as other prominent themes such as:

  • Returning to school
  • Feelings
  • Health & Wellbeing
  • Positive behaviour
  • Democracy
  • Citizenship
  • Global Goals

Pupils also learn about British Values through our weekly whole school assembly story, as well as through our links with Wearside Youth for Christ.

PSHCE curriculum: Article 24 – Health Services

The PSHCE curriculum at Hasting Hill Academy has recently been revised and enhanced to ensure that it is reflective of the needs of pupils and that there is a consistent approach in the teaching of PSHE from Nursery - Year 6. Our bespoke curriculum has a prominent focus on pupil’s Health and Wellbeing. We also celebrate ‘Pupil Wellbeing Week’, in which we promote pupil’s understanding of living a healthy lifestyle and developing a healthy mindset.

E safety: Article 17: You have the right to reliable information from the media.

E-Safety is an integral part of our computing curriculum. At Hasting Hill we used Purple Mash Computing to delve into the topic of E-Safety; this is progressive and is taught in all year groups across school.


PE: Article 2 – Non discrimination, Article 23 – Children with a disability, Article 24 - Health

At Hasting Hill Academy, our PE curriculum gives pupils the opportunity to explore disability sports such as: Boccia and disability archery.


Black History Month: Article 2 – Non discrimination, Article 30 – children from minority groups

Pupils learn about diversity, different races and cultures through a structured PSHCE and RE curriculum. Pupils from Reception - Year 6 learn about a chosen black hero during ‘Black History Month’. We also have a range of books in school, which celebrate diversity and these are used in class assemblies/ reading areas.

Christmas Jumper Day: Article 24 – Health, Article 26 – Social security, Article 27 – Adequate standard of living

Every year we all wear our favourite festive jumpers and the Rights Knights select a worthy cause to support a great cause. This has included Changing Lives; a national charity that supports over 17,000 people each year, including those experiencing homelessness, domestic violence, addictions, unemployment & more and Cancer Research.

This kindness is supported throughout the year with our continued generous donations to help the local food bank.



Healthy Living: Article 24 – Health

We have a strong emphasis on making healthy choices at Hasting Hill Academy and we learn about healthy living through our Science, PSHCE and PE curriculum. We are also currently working towards achieving the Healthy Schools Award.

Multi-faith Week: Articles 2 – Non discrimination, 22 – Refugee Children, 14 – Freedom of thought, belief and religion

As well as learning about diversity, different races and cultures through a structured PSHE and RE curriculum, pupils at Hasting Hill Academy celebrate a Multi-faith week each year, in which we explore our understanding of religions such as Buddhism, Sikhism and Islam. 

During ‘Multi-faith Week’ Early Years visit Bethany Christian Centre and Lower Key Stage 2 visit Gurdwara, Sunderland as part of their studies on Sikhism.



Restorative Justice

At Hasting Hill Academy we have a whole school approach to positive behaviour and we encourage pupils to take ownership of their own behaviour. All staff are fully trained in restorative justice.

British Science Week: Article 29 – Goals of education

Every year we celebrate British Science Week. Here’s some of our pupils exploring how to melt ice to save trapped dinosaurs, painting with different textures and making bubble snakes! 

Refugee Week: Articles 22 – Refugee Children and Article 30 – Children from minority groups

Every year we invite guest speaker Steve Newman, Amnesty International and refugees into school to lead an assembly and deliver class workshops. To date, we have welcomed refugees from Afghanistan, Kurdistan and Iran to share their experiences with pupils.



Ukraine Appeal: Articles 22 – Refugee Children, Article 27 – Adequate Standard of Living, Article 30 – Children from minority groups

Our Rights Knights have been instrumental in organising donations to help support refugees who are fleeing conflict in Ukraine. They asked for donations of nappies, wipes, baby food pouches, sanitary items, toothpaste, toothbrushes, toiletries, hairbrushes, new gloves, new hats, new socks, new clothes etc. All donations were then transported to a refugee camp in Poland. 

Rights Knights meeting with Local MP: Article 12 – Views of the Child, Article 42 – Knowledge of Rights

Our Rights Knights met with Bridget Phillipson via zoom call and asked some really thought provoking questions about refugees living in Sunderland and about their rights. They asked how refugees are supported from the local community, and what we could do as a school to offer our support.

Bridget told the children that there’s currently approximately 400 refugees living in Sunderland, (including children) mainly from Pakistan and Africa. Bridget also thinks we will start to see some arrivals from the Ukraine very soon. 

The children were praised for their ‘great work in raising awareness of the challenges faced by refugees, and for providing practical support’ through the appeal that they led for Ukrainian refugees.



Tree Planting Day: Article 29 – Goals of education

We held a whole school family tree planting day to support the work of our school Eco Team and to strengthen pupil’s knowledge and understanding of biodiversity.

World Children’s Day: Articles 1 – Definition of the child, Article 4 – Making rights real

The whole school celebrate UNICEF’s ‘World Children’s Day’ each year, in which each class explores and learns about one of the 17 Global Goals.