Scholarships and Awards
These notes are a guide to scholarships at Highgate. Parents or carers requiring guidance are encouraged to contact the Director of Admissions (applicants) or the Deputy Head (Academic) (pupils currently in the School) or the Director of Music (music awards).
We do not award academic scholarships on the strength of the entrance tests alone (or of performance in the Junior School, in the case of pupils moving from there to the Senior School). We believe that we gain a much more accurate picture of a child's academic ability after we have had an opportunity to see the quality of their work within the Senior School. Therefore we award academic scholarships towards the end of Year 7. Usually six of these are awarded to external 11+ entrants and six to those coming from the Junior School. Two further Scholarships are awarded at the end of Years 8, 9 and 10 (announcements are made the following September) on the basis of examination results, the pupil's class work and homework , and teachers' assessment of a pupil's effort and performance. There are also a small number of lesser awards, Academic Exhibitions, awarded similarly at the end of each year.
For the Sixth Form we award additional scholarships to both external and internal pupils on the basis of their GCSE results, usually a minimum of 10 A*. Internal pupils who receive such success are asked to apply for a scholarship and give evidence of their academic interests within and beyond the classroom; they are also interviewed by the Deputy Head (Academic) and the Teacher in charge of Scholars. Their academic record over their two GCSE years is also taken into account when awards are made. For external pupils performance at interview is a key factor.
The Deputy Head (Academic) reviews annually the academic performance of scholars and their attitude to their studies. If a pupil's work and attitude falls below the standard we expect from our scholars, then he may, after discussion with pupil and parents/carers and with the Head, remove the award at the end of a Key Stage (ie at the end of Year 9 or Year 11), giving at least two terms' notice.
The Deputy Head (Academic), Mr David Fotheringham, and the Teacher in charge of Scholars, Mr James Newton (the Head of History), manage our provision for scholars, an outline of which is set out below. We take this provision seriously and endeavour to ensure that the academic needs of all our pupils are met. The highest achievers are of course a very important section of our community.
Academic scholarships are honorary and do not bring with them any remission of the school fee.
The Scholars’ programme is centred on Academic Forums and educational visits. In the Academic Forums, pupils have talks from members of staff or from Sixth Form scholars on topics beyond the syllabus. Pupils are often asked to read or undertake some other form of preparation for the meetings and discussion is a key part of them; the aim is to broaden the pupils’ educational experience and horizons and to develop their skills as critical thinkers as they engage in rigorous debate on complex and challenging topics. We hope too that these forums will help further a central aim of our teaching and learning, that pupils will come to enjoy scholarly learning for its own sake. During the last academic year the range of these forums was extremely diverse, including: This talk is a “he” Why is there gender in language? (Ms Russell in Y7); What does it mean to be Human? (Dr Weston in Y8); The destruction of Palmyra: What has been lost? (Dr Jammers in Y9); What is a more useful tool to describe the world: Mathematics or English? (Ms Hyam and Mr Vaccaro in Y10); How can we judge the performance of nations? (Mr Feven in Y11) and What does Greek art tell us about war? (Mr Waller in Y12).
The educational visits are designed to introduce pupils to some of the lesser-known museums, galleries and other buildings in London: they are important for their own sake but the visits also further another of our aims, to ensure that pupils are aware of the vast array of cultural opportunities in the capital city in which they live. Currently all of our Y10 scholars spend a day in Cambridge, where they meet a college admissions tutor and are led on a tour the city by current and former university students. In the Sixth Form, scholars are entitled to two evening events in the Michaelmas and Lent terms, which this year included the debut performance of the winner of the Chopin International Piano Competition at the Royal Festival Hall, readings from the shortlisted Booker Prize nominees, a performance of Waste at the National Theatre, Professor Ian Morris speaking on Twenty Thousand Years of Hierarchy at the LSE and the temporary Alice in Wonderland exhibition at the British Library.
The Governors offer at least ten Music Awards to pupils who have gained a place through the normal entry arrangements (tests and interviews). The scale of the award is made at the discretion of the Head and Governors, depending on the strength of the field; awards of between 10% and 20% have been made in recent years, and this has been combined with means-tested bursarial support which the School will be happy to explore with successful candidates. Music Exhibitions are also offered without fee remission. All Music Scholars and Exhibitioners are offered free tuition on two instruments (including voice) with the School’s music teachers during school time. Music Awards are normally tenable throughout a pupil’s time at the School, provided progress and conduct remain satisfactory.
The Director of Music reviews annually the academic performance of scholars and their attitude to their studies. If a pupil’s progress and contribution falls below the standard we expect from our Award Holders, then s/he may, after discussion with the pupil and parents/carers and with the Head, remove the award at the end of a Key Stage (ie at the end of Year 9 or Year 11), giving at least two terms’ notice. Award Holders are expected to contribute regularly and fully to the musical life of the school throughout their career. There are regular concerts during term-time and many opportunities for solo performance. The House Music Competitions, solo instrumental and vocal competitions, workshops and masterclasses also provide opportunities for Music Award Holders to work with distinguished visiting professionals. To support our Award Holders, a Music Department-based mentoring programme is in place to ensure that pupils’ progress and musical schedule is reviewed every term and that musical and other commitments are kept in a healthy balance.