Highgate is committed to raising awareness of environmental sustainability amongst our pupils, their families and our staff.

Environmental Sustainability Update

Highgate is working to become a sustainable school by providing relevant and impactful information and teaching regarding the environment and sustainable living, and by exemplifying best practice in all our activities.

Sustainability is one of the core objectives in our School Development Plan.  Following a period of review and consultation with pupils, parents, staff, consultants and Governors we will draw up a clear and comprehensive Sustainability and Environmental Policy.  Our aim is to set measurable and ambitious short term and longer term targets.  Our Governors’ Estates Committee has been designated as the monitoring body for progress of the action plan’s objectives and we have appointed our own Sustainability Lead from the Governing body.


Highgate is among the top 10% of London schools when it comes to inspiring pupils to transform their travel and reduce the number of car journeys made.

-Adam Pettitt, Head

Our sustainability success stories


  • A Gold STARS school – In December 2018, Highgate received a “School of Excellence” award from Transport for London ahead of 1,600 other London schools, in recognition of our School bus service and other activities to reduce reliance on cars.


  • Highgate School bus service – our School bus service cut approximately 13,000 car journeys to and from Highgate throughout 2018. Our bus service began in September 2016 and is designed to accommodate the needs of working families and reduce reliance on individual cars and improve air quality locally.


  • So long to single-use cups – we have phased out single-use cups across our School. Staff first committed to not using single-use cups at all, which cut Highgate’s usage of plastic cups by 1,000 per week! This campaign has since been extended to our pupils and wider community.


  • We encourage safe bicycle use amongst our School community and our Year 10 pupils, are in contact with the local council regarding better cycling infrastructure in the area. We run a bicycle maintenance activity for Senior School pupils, while staff can join the Cycle to Work scheme.
  • Meat-free Mondays – our Dining Hall provides hot and cold food to all pupils and staff. Every day there are vegetarian and vegan options but we also have Meat Free Monday, with no meat dishes or sandwiches served across our entire School.


  • Promoting biodiversity in our grounds – we have been working to increase the number and diversity of trees and plants across our School grounds, to encourage and increase biodiversity. Within our Junior School, pupils recently planted over 1,000 new trees and built bird feeders to support this initiative.


  • Pupil-led societies and action – each school in our Foundation has a pupil-led environmental group. Our Senior School Environment Committee is a key vehicle for pupil voice, with members running awareness campaigns on re-cycling and organising an annual sustainability conference.


  • Fast-fashion free February – our Senior School Environment Committee have been looking at the impact of fast fashion. Each February we encourage everyone in School to take part in a month-long challenge of either wearing the same outfit, adopting a minimalist or capsule wardrobe or agreeing not to buy any new clothes.


  • Click through to Eco School Resources: Make a Change, a website set up by our Environment Committee co-chair and previous pupil Maryam, who created the platform to encourage other schools to launch eco-initiatives and help address the climate crisis.


  • Our Pupil-led Environment Committee have launched Green in Quarantine, a magazine focusing on ways to live sustainably during COVID times. It features everything from plant based recipes, sustainable Christmas gift ideas to news articles, all written by pupils!


Highgate School children planting tree saplings to support biodiversity

Fast facts:


  • We are reducing air pollution and carbon emissions around our School
  • We are working to reduce the energy wasted by electrical appliances
  • We are reducing plastic and paper usage across our School
  • We are promoting the use of re-cycled and re-cyclable building materials in our new and existing buildings
  • We are working to develop biodiversity across our grounds
  • We are raising environmental awareness and action throughout our School and local community
  • We operate Meat Free Mondays in our dining canteen for staff and pupils