Highgate School was established in 1565 by a Royal Charter of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the First. Sir Roger Cholmeley, our Founder, was granted Letters Patent to found ‘a grammar school…for good education and instruction’.
The external appearance of the majority of the Senior School buildings originates from the nineteenth century, constructed under the dynamic leadership of the Head Master, Rev. John Bradley Dyne (1838-1874). This includes the notable North London landmark of the School Chapel, which dominates the western end of Highgate High Street, and which was restored to its full glory in 2013.
The Junior School was also founded in the nineteenth century and moved to its present site on Bishopswood Road in 1938. This building has given way to a new school which is under construction on the same site and will open in December 2015, the School’s 450th anniversary year. The Junior School is currently housed in comfortable, spacious temporary accommodation on Senior Field.
The Pre-Preparatory School opened in 1993 and, like the Junior School, enjoys a beautiful aspect over the main school playing fields towards Hampstead Heath.
Former pupils of the School remain part of the School community by automatically becoming Cholmeleians (taking our Founder’s name) or, more familiarly, OCs. The Cholmeleian Society, in conjunction with the School and its Foundation Office, organises dinners, drinks receptions and careers events, and supports OC sports teams which play in a number of leagues. The School fosters contact between OCs and the School by arranging regular social occasions and reunions throughout the year: we like to think that the global family of Cholmeleians is an incredibly valuable source of advice, support and comradeship for all pupils moving on from Highgate.