Aims and ethos

Founded over 450 years ago, Highgate is one of the UK’s leading co-educational independent schools.

Highgate offers three schools in one:

Our Pre-Preparatory School is for pupils aged 4-7 (Nursery, Reception, Years 1 and 2). We have around 150 pupils and are based on Bishopswood Road in Highgate, overlooking our sports grounds.

Our Junior School is for pupils aged 7-11 (Years 3, 4, 5 and 6). We have around 400 pupils and are based on Bishopswood Road, in a new building that opened in May 2017.

Our Senior School is for pupils aged 11-18 (Years 7 to 13). We have over 1,220 pupils and most teaching takes place on our North Road site, in the heart of Highgate Village. Pupils also have lessons in art, design, engineering and technology in our Mills Centre, on Bishopswood Road.



the percentage of sixth formers awarded
A* or A for their A levels in 2020
(or Pre-U equivalents).

Aims and ethos

Learning and scholarship

Highgate is a place for learning and scholarship where we:

  • Develop learning as an end in itself and as a way of living
  • Are ambitious about what and how our pupils learn
  • Cultivate confidence, creativity and risk-taking in our pupils as they study, in preparation for higher education and the world of work
  • Value and promote different intelligences

We do this by being rigorous, engaged and learned as teachers; by recognising the distorting effect of exams; by promoting independence, buzz, aspiration and collaboration; by encouraging pupils to seek enjoyment in challenge and fun in their learning.

A very active, pupil-led environment committee — TES Judge 2020
A rare and magical combination of the high-flying and the humble — The Good Schools Guide 2019
What they have done for disadvantaged pupils, getting them into good universities, is unbelievable — TES Judge 2020
The school’s pastoral care is outstanding – empathetic, always available and very responsive — Senior School Parent 2020
A safe, happy and exciting place — TES Judge 2020

A reflective community


Highgate is a reflective community where we:

  • Play an empowering part in our local and wider communities, and teach our pupils to see caring for and serving others as a way of life
  • Promote sustainability in our teaching and our actions as a school
  • Help our pupils practise making moral decisions, learning good manners and the instincts of courtesy
  • Enable our pupils to connect with others, regardless of similarity or difference
  • Foster awareness in our pupils of the advantages of their education, and their determination to put these to use in their lives
  • Model and foster open-mindedness, kindness and thoughtfulness

We do this by supporting learning in local schools and sponsoring the London Academy of Excellence Tottenham; by offering bursaries; by putting service to others at the core of school life; by challenging prejudice and valuing and understanding difference; and in respecting our ethos as a school with an inclusive and Christian tradition.

Exemplar for the healthy life


Highgate is an exemplar for the healthy life where we:

  • Nurture self-confidence, self-belief, strength of character and resilience in our pupils
  • Equip our pupils to grow and thrive in their emotional, mental and physical health
  • Allow all pupils enjoy childhood to the full, and to grow up at a pace suited to them and their needs
  • Enable pupils to make and sustain friendships

We do this by working proactively and in partnership with parents and carers; involving pupils in a wide choice-led range of co-curricular activities; by putting well-being at the heart of our decision-making; by encouraging our pupils to enjoy life and to seek happiness in what they do.

Our Head, Mr Adam Pettitt, leads our Senior School and is responsible for the overall direction of our Pre-Preparatory and Junior Schools. Highgate is governed as a single charitable foundation.

Former pupils remain part of our community by becoming Cholmeleians (OCs). Our Cholmeleian Society, with our Development Office, organises dinners, reunions, and careers events, and supports OC sports teams.

Our Community
Head's blog
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