Our pupils take an active part in the world around them through volunteering and fund-raising

Through volunteering, we encourage our pupils to take an active part in the world in which they live. This community service fosters our pupils’ sense of responsibility and self-esteem, whilst providing an important insight into social patterns and ways of life.

We believe all at Highgate have a moral responsibility to play a full part in the life of the local community, and that our participation can benefit the community, ourselves and our School.


The number of carloads donated to FoodbankAid in 2022

Volunteering activities


  • Years 7 and 8

    Pupils in Year 7 and 8 take part in community-based volunteering projects during Thursday lunchtimes.

    These include Partnership Reading, in which pupils visit a local primary school and support a child with their reading. Our pupils mentor the same children for an entire term, meaning they have a genuine impact and can see the progress their mentees are making. Another activity they participate in is Primary Play Leaders. This option gives pupils the opportunity to visit a local primary school each week and plan exciting sporting activities for the children there. The children benefit greatly from the interaction with Highgate pupils, who help them develop key team-building and leadership skills. In addition, our pupils learn valuable lessons about how to run sessions and a wonderful bond is forged between the pupils of the two schools.

  • Year 9

    In Year 9, pupils spend a day fully dedicated to volunteering at local events as part of our Community Day initiative. This programme meant that every pupil in the year group gave a day of their time in 2021-2022. Activities ranged from carrying out conservation work on Hampstead Heath, to supporting the functions of a food bank, to assisting in a local primary school. These projects gave the pupils a sense of independence and empathy and allowed them to understand how good it feels to ‘give back’ through helping others.
    Pupils in Y9 and above are also actively engaged in community action with Citizens UK, a community organising network that works with members throughout the country. These pupils learn how to identify needs with in a community and how to bring change through organised action.

  • Year 10 onwards

    Our Year 10 pupils continue the volunteering started in Year 9 and focus some of their efforts on environmental causes. In the summer, all pupils take part in an environmental day of action. Activities range from developing and maintaining outdoor spaces in local primary schools to clearing and revitalising local areas of diversity and natural beauty with a view to protecting and maintaining our local environment and ecosystems.

    Many pupils from Year 10 onwards also take part in the Duke of Edinburgh Award. Each iteration of this award requires evidence of a long period of consistent volunteering.

    Highgate pupils across Years 9, 10 and 12 volunteer weekly in a lunchtime session as part of a ‘buddy scheme’ with the pupils at a school for children and young people with a diagnosis of autism.

  • Sixth Form

    Many of our Year 12 pupils choose to work as student mentors with our Chrysalis Partnership teachers. This year, activities included assisting in the delivery of clubs involving children from local primary schools and with a local “Wellness Cafe” for elderly people in our community. This year also saw significant involvement from Year 12 and 13 pupils in the Haringey section of Citizens UK, a people power alliance of diverse local communities working together for the common good. By taking part, our pupils learn the power of community organising, develop their leadership qualities, and collaborate with their peers to work towards a better, fairer society.

  • Staff volunteering

    Highgate staff support our partnership work by giving up their time, and sharing their expertise, on projects and activities with our partner schools and local community.

  • Parent volunteering

    There are different ways in which our parents and carers volunteer at partnership schools. For example, our “Better Reading Partners” initiative sees volunteers spend an hour (or more) reading with children at local state schools. This helps primary, secondary and special needs pupils develop a love of literature, whilst consolidating key reading skills. This project is highly rewarding for volunteers and has contributed to a rise in reading standards for children.

It is wonderful to see that Highgate reaches out to schools in the wider community. —Highgate Senior School parent