Congratulations to our Head Adam Pettitt on finishing his marathon in three hours and twenty-eight minutes this morning – and raising enough money to buy over 300 laptops for our partnership Year 12 pupils across London.
Starting bright and early at 6.30am, Mr Pettitt ran over 100 laps of the Junior School sports field, joined in the first half with daughter Millie, and in the second half with son Louis, and last but not least – in the final 25 laps by our School Chaplain, Father Robert, who completed his first ever 5k run one week ago.
Mr Pettitt wanted to run the marathon to help raise funds for pupils at our Chrysalis partner schools who need digital resources at home. It’s a race against time for those pupils losing their education daily with no access to online learning.
With schools closed and pupils studying online, the social gap in access to technology is stark.
Mr Pettitt says:
“The COVID-19 crisis has done much to reveal existing inequalities and injustices in our society. The impact of ‘digital poverty’ on children’s educations and futures might not be something that we’d considered in life pre-lockdown.
I am incredibly proud of Highgate@Home – Highgate’s remote learning operation – our teachers, pupils, parents and carers are working tirelessly to ensure learning continues during lockdown. One of the reasons that Highgate@Home is working so well is that all of our pupils have access to a computer or tablet: either their family’s, or borrowed from school.
Some children at our partner schools are falling behind in their education because they have little or no access to a computer. Perhaps they are sharing a smartphone with another sibling – but it’s hard to go to school on a phone. Most of these children are eligible for free school meals, where the digital divide mostly correlates.”
Laptops for all of Year 12 at Acland Burghley School
£65,000 has been raised already, which will provide all Year 12 students at Acland Burghley School with laptops at a critically important time in their A level education.
Highgate is Here
The Highgate School community is already working to help those who need it most – under the banner ‘Highgate is Here’, funds are being raised to help Highgate and LAE Tottenham families in hardship, and Highgate and LAET’s Design Technology departments are making PPE for the NHS. Highgate parents, carers and pupils are collecting for food banks, cooking meals for hospital staff, and helping the elderly and vulnerable. Pupils are making art for the Royal Free Hospital ICU corridor, and Senior School pupils are planning a virtual music festival to raise funds for local and national charities, as well as ‘Highgate is Here’, after half term.
As part of Highgate’s response as a charity to Covid-19, we’ve decided to launch a campaign to combat digital poverty – Laps for Laptops – to buy Chromebooks for our partner schools to lend to those children who most need them. We are starting with Year 12 students at Acland Burghley School, part of the LaSwap consortium, and are working with our other Chrysalis partner schools too.