We call our partnership work with local schools and community groups Chrysalis.

Our Chrysalis Partnership work started in 2008 as a Year 12 summer school for just 12 schools. Chrysalis has grown to become a year-round programme involving partnerships with 48 schools.

Chrysalis Fellows are responsible for supporting partnership teachers and leading their own projects. This year, the Chrysalis Fellows were pivotal in ensuring that our partnership work continued throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. 

We aim to ensure that our Chrysalis projects meet four key criteria: impact, sustainability, tackling disadvantage and mutuality. 

'Few independent schools can match Highgate’s efforts to promote social mobility' Times and Sunday Times Parent Power 2020
'We can continue to use the strength of partnerships to tackle society’s challenges.' Sarah Butterworth, Community Partnerships Director

Help for children in care 

Our Accelerator Programme is designed and delivered by Highgate for children in foster care or care homes, drawing on expertise and close partnerships through the School’s work with schools and community groups, including the virtual schools of Camden, Haringey and Islington.

The programme works to support children and their parents/carers in a safe space in which young people can be themselves and thrive. The project emphasises a culture of high aspiration and self-confidence, with further aims to address the gaps in educational attainment between looked-after children and their non-looked-after peers, to raise their awareness of higher education and prepare them for the world of work.  

London Academy of Excellence, Tottenham

In 2017, Highgate became the primary educational sponsor of the London Academy of Excellence in Tottenham (LAET). LAET, is an academically rigorous sixth form in a community where such opportunities are lacking. It aims to give pupils the opportunity to attend some of the highest-ranking universities in the UK.

Highgate provides governance and is the lead education sponsor. Tottenham Hotspur is the business sponsor and provides vital financial and logistical support. Highgate seconds both teaching and support staff, meaning the equivalent of six teachers from Chemistry, English, Geography, Mathematics and Physics spend between two days and five days per week teaching at LAET. In addition, Highgate also provides the Director of Academic Studies, an HR manager and five members of the governing body.



Chrysalis Summer School

The Highgate Chrysalis Summer Schools (2021) included several academically rigorous tutorials for Years 10 and Year 12, alongside Higher Education talks from universities and careers workshops. The lessons were tailormade to each year in order to pose academic challenge and introduce new subjects. For those entering Year 13, there was the added focus of applying to competitive universities and courses with advice on personal statements, choosing courses and practice for admissions tests. Through these sessions we hope that more participants will apply to and secure places at Russell Group universities including Oxford and Cambridge, reducing the underrepresentation of students from the state sector at these institutions.

Sport at Highgate's Summer School at LAET

‘What they have done for disadvantaged pupils, getting them into good universities, is unbelievable’


—TES Award Judge 2020


Partner State Schools


Hours spent on partnership work by Highgate teachers and the Chrysalis team

Example Chrysalis Projects

Arts and Humanities

  • 2019-2020 saw the second iteration of Band on the Run, a project in which the Highgate School Symphony Orchestra goes ‘on the run’, touring local schools.  
  • Pupils from two local primary schools were invited to form a collaborative Junior Choir and Drama Club. 
  • Minimus: Starting Out in Latin is a unique course for 7-10 year olds, providing a lively introduction to the Latin language and the culture of Roman Britain. 
  • We developed an innovative series of weekly Primary Debating Workshops 

Access to Higher Education

We build university access into all of our Chrysalis programmes. In addition,  

  • Our annual Oxbridge Conference, welcomed 172 Year 12 pupils from our partner schools.  
  • 240 Year 13 pupils from our partner schools had a mock interview with a member of Highgate’s expert teaching or support staff. 
  • We provide access to weekly preparation sessions for the Maths and Physics Aptitude Tests required by the most prestigious universities.  22 pupils who wouldn’t have otherwise been able to prepare for these tests, attended our weekly sessions in 2019-2020. 


  • Our morning maths clubs, aimed to develop pupils’ problem solving skills and introduce the concept of methodical thinking through the exploration of the work of celebrated mathematicians. 
  • Our Royal Institution Maths Masterclasses have been developed in partnership with the Royal Institution to bring enriching Maths teaching to pupils from partner schools. 
  • Our programme of Maths Enrichment Days has become extremely popular with our partner schools. These sessions, delivered for pupils in Key Stages 3 and 4 from Highgate offer a day of enrichment around a central theme for example, Combinatorics, Possibilities & Impossibilities and Fluid Dynamics. 


Our Science partnership projects are highly varied and are designed to generate enthusiasm and result in pupils feeling empowered to engage with Sciences at the next level. 

  • As If By Magic, an innovative and engaging lecture designed by Dr Andrew Szydlo, is a central part of our partnership science provision. 
  • After-school Science provision in local primary schools has been a very well received project for a number of years. 
  • In 2019-2020 we continued our long-established weekend Sci – ence masterclasses in Chemistry and Physics for pupils in Key Stage 4.