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Highgate is now in the throes of a new academic year and both staff and pupils will have received a copy of the ‘Blue Book’, setting out arrangements for the Michaelmas term. Our school Archivist thought it would interest the community to see the School’s arrangements calendar for the Michaelmas term 1919, 100 years ago. It highlights what a busy school we are today and how much more choice is on offer to our current pupils.

100 years ago, John Alexander Hope Johnston was the Headmaster, a ‘towering figure, for he was not only a very big man but a very tall man, and he had a very large overcoat on, and over the overcoat he used to wear his school gown. You had this terrific figure marching up with a crowd of boys…up Hampstead Lane’. (Reginald Hosford pupil 1910-1915).

The Great War had ended just a year earlier and the school was still coming to terms with the loss of 221 OCs and 7 members of staff. In September 1919, there were 550 boys on the roll, taught by 34 Masters, including the Olympian and Wolverhampton Wanders player, Reverend Kenneth Hunt. Hunt later became the Housemaster of Grindal, whose house colours are based on the Wolves football kit.

Highgate was a boarding school with two boarding houses for senior boys, School House (now the Mills Centre) on Bishopswood Road, and Fitzroy Lodge on the corner of Hampstead Lane and The Grove. Junior boys boarded at Cholmeley House, a Victorian building on Southwood Lane, which stood where Dyne House is today. The curriculum was limited to Classics, Mathematics, Science, History, Literature, Modern Languages and Music.