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As the end of the school year approaches, the Senior School pupil leadership team are preparing to hand over to their successors, who were announced this week following a pupil and staff vote.

Jiya and Henry (centre in the headline image) will take over from Lara and Ayden in the roles as Heads of School, supported by their deputies Asger, Narelle, Sam and Sophia, who will replace the 23-24 team – Frida, Gabriel, Jonah and Pia.

The 2023-24 Heads and Deputy Heads of School

The Pupil Heads and Deputy Heads will steer the pupil leadership team from September, which this year includes both the lower school prefects and the house captains. They will be working closely with the chairs of Sixth Form Council, as well as helping to support the work of other clubs and societies where they can. The purpose of this team is to represent pupil experiences and help implement positive change.

Jiya and Henry enthused: “We are both incredibly proud to be elected as the new Heads of School and we can not wait to get started.

From captaining sports teams, leading societies and running initiatives we feel prepared to take the leap into such a headline role; we feel incredibly lucky to have been given the opportunity to use these experiences to create direct changes that will positively impact the rest of Highgate School and our wider community.

We are keen to continue the incredible work of our predecessors, which particularly focused on inclusion and diversity, as well as focusing on various other areas, such as pupil volunteering opportunities and refining the current house system.”

Senior School pupils and teachers voted last week for the six new Heads and Deputy Heads of School

The outgoing cohort of pupil leaders took time to reflect on their experiences from the last year, and throughout their time at Highgate, in a legacy video for their peers. They shared personal experiences of joining societies, taking on leadership roles, mentoring younger pupils and giving back to the community.

This year’s Head of School, Ayden, explained that he first started to get involved “when I began going to Charity Committee and Citizens, and every time I did something for those societies, I felt really good about it.”

The transition to Head of School was a daunting prospect for Lara, who needed encouragement from her friends and family to go for it. “I’m really glad they did, because I’ve become a lot more confident. I think that it’s important that people break out of their comfort zones and do things they wouldn’t necessarily do otherwise.”

Other pupil leaders speak of the cross-year group friendships that have developed because of their work and sharing common experiences. They urge younger pupils to consider getting involved – for their personal enjoyment as well as the feeling of responsibility. Max explains, “There’s this sense of community at Highgate – we all benefit from this community, but you need to take part in it as well in order to maintain it.

New for this year’s pupil leaders, will be a leadership training day in June as part of their personal development. This will include training as peer mental health champions and looking how good leadership can manifest in many ways – encouraging pupils of all personalities to have confidence in the skills that they can offer.