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On Wednesday 11 October 2023, pupils from across the whole school, along with sixth formers from our partner school, London Academy of Excellence, Tottenham (LAET), took part in our ninth biennial sponsored walk to raise money for charities selected by our pupils.

Over 2,300 pupils, from reception children through to sixth formers, took a break from lessons for the day to collectively walk more than 31,000km around the school grounds, local area and the nearby Hampstead Heath. They raised over £91,000 for UK and international charities, and donated over 300 bags of food and household goods to local food bank partners.

The money raised will be split between the six pupil-elected charities: David Nott Foundation (Pre-Prep), World Villages for Children (Junior School), Antarctic Heritage Trust (Lower School), Street Child (Middle School), Women’s Aid (Highgate Sixth Form) and Lives not Knives (LAET Sixth Form). As well as sponsorship donations, pupils brought practical items to send to North London Food Bank Aid and Tottenham Food Bank.

Adam Pettitt, Head of Highgate School, enthused: “It was so much fun to see everyone out enjoying fresh air and the pleasures of the Heath as they stepped for change! Walking with students from our sibling school who revelled in discovering the delights of Highgate Wood and the Heath’s hidden beauties added to a day of purposeful relaxation and wellbeing.”

Sixth formers from Highgate and LAET gathered at our partner school in Tottenham, before embarking on their walking challenge across Haringey. Music is a new addition to LAET’s subject portfolio, and walkers were spurred on by performances from students before setting off. On their way to Highgate, they engaged with information posters highlighting local community history, local Black history and sites of architectural significance.

Jan Balon, Headteacher at LAET, reflected: “Walking from one side of our diverse borough to the other is the best possible example of the partnership between LAE Tottenham and Highgate. Whilst there may be some sore feet today, staff and students should be proud of the money raised for such good causes and celebrate the connections made between our schools.”

Once they reached Highgate, sixth formers headed to Hampstead Heath to join students from across the school in laps of the perimeter. Pupils enjoyed the chance to develop friendships and enjoy the community spirit of the day. The fine weather showcased the wonderful views of London and the beautiful natural habitat on our doorstep. One staff member, a keen bird watcher, observed 29 species during his walk. Despite the significant distances, everyone involved invariably had a smile on their face.

Chanel Noel, Community Partnerships Director at Highgate, shared: “This sponsored walk is a great example of the Highgate and LAET school communities stepping out to complete a challenging walk for the charities that pupils selected and voted to support. It was a pleasure for our pupils to hear directly from the charities about the impact their sponsorship would make to the environment, children, and people across the country and globe.

“I am proud that we introduced a new local history element for the pupils and staff walking across the borough of Haringey and we are grateful to every parent, carer, loved one, and friend that sponsored and provided foodbank donations as we all made a step for change. This day displayed the true essence of our community engagement and our partnerships.”

The Sponsored Walk fundraising page will remain open until Wednesday 8 November. Many thanks to everyone who has kindly donated.