The Cholmeleian, Summer 2010
Head Master's Introduction
I was touched to receive from a good friend a Wills’s Cigarette Card (less the cigarettes) featuring Highgate School; like Alan White (HG 1950), he had spotted it on Ebay (The Cholmeleian, Winter 2009). From this collector’s item I learnt what I had not understood before, that the School’s motto, Altiora in votis, is a play on words: ‘Aim for higher things’. True or not, the motto serves us well today: this edition takes as its theme our Knowledge Curriculum, one of the ways in which the School is ensuring that pupils and teachers continue to aim high, and higher than the ‘A stars’ which now augment the ‘A’ level qualifications awaiting our sixth-formers.
We now know the complexion of our new government. Education has, of course, seen its fair share of policy debates. They have centred on the ability of central government on the one hand and head teachers and their schools on the other to drive up standards. Independent schools like Highgate cherish their freedom – their independence – to innovate, to determine priority and to measure what is worth measuring. Interest in the world beyond, and a determination to change it for the better, are qualities which need fostering in young people, and really worth measuring. The signs are that school life does stimulate debate, opinion and controversy; not only is Politics a popular A level subject, The Arbiter, Highgate’s in-house political magazine, has entered its fourth year and continues to question decision-makers, provoke response and create an agenda. School councils flourish and bring their ideas to the Head Master and his team. Year 10 pupils have had an insight to the workings of Parliament in their ‘KC day’: surely there would be something wrong with a school system where pupils do not have to analyse political systems and the operation of political power before reaching the age to vote?
In the last edition of The Cholmeleian, the Chairman set out the goals for our fundraising campaign. Even at this very early stage we have had pledges for support, generous donations and legacy bequests from OCs, former parents and current parents. Whenever we talk to Cholmeleians and parents about the difference that every gift – no matter how small – will make, we are struck by the enthusiasm and commitment of your response. As the campaign evolves and grows, the School will be sharing more news with you in the future issues of The Cholmeleian. If at any time you would like to have a discreet conversation about supporting our fundraising appeal (and the tax efficient ways to do so), please don’t hesitate to contact Robert Wilne, the Director of Sir Roger Cholmeley’s Charity, at the School. Whatever gift you are able to make, you can be certain that its impact will be long-lasting, far-reaching and life-changing.
To read the Summer edition of The Cholmeleian, download a PDF copy.