We believe community service starts in the classroom and extends beyond it. Our pupils take an active part in the world around us.

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.

Pupil Volunteering Booklet


Hours spent by pupils volunteering in 2019-20 during Duke of Edinburgh training.

Volunteering activities


  • Years 7 and 8

    Our Senior School pupils begin their engagement with the local community in Year 7, when they start their timetabled programme of Thursday Lunchtime Activities.[link to beyond the classroom page]

    Many pupils choose to support younger children with literacy in local primary schools or to lead pupils in these schools in team-based play. Our local primary schools report that Highgate pupils have a substantial and positive impact, and that younger children value the mentoring provided.

    Through this experience, Highgate pupils appreciate the value of their volunteering work. They learn relationship-building skills based on establishing trust and reinforcing the self-esteem of younger pupils. Mentoring is a two-way relationship, where both the mentor and mentee develop confidence and motivation through their work together.

  • Year 9

    By the time Highgate pupils enter Year 9, we hope they see community volunteering as a part of everyday life. Each Year 9 pupil takes part in at least one full day of volunteering through our Community Day Project. Pupils devote their day to a local charitable cause (such as a charity shop or soup kitchen) or act as mentors at local primary schools or schools for children with an autism spectrum diagnosis.

    Year 9 pupils also take part in our Be The Change initiative, which sees each tutor group independently select a charitable cause to support and collaboratively plan how to raise money and awareness, and contribute time. This project culminates in a day of action where our pupils carry out their planned activities.

  • Year 10

    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.

  • Sixth Form

    Many of our Year 12 choose to work as student mentors with our Chrysalis Partnership teachers. Activities include assisting in the delivery of clubs involving children from local primary schools, working as mentors as part of the SHINE Saturdays programme, and taking part in the hospital visits programme.

    In addition, our sixth formers take a journey from participant to becoming ever more actively engaged with and leading community activity through our pupil-led Charity and Community Action Group.

  • 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. Could you make a regular weekly commitment at one of our partner schools? Our Chrysalis Partnership Programme team would love to hear from you!


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

On Saturday mornings, Highgate pupils can assist with the SHINE Literacy Project. This popular programme, which has been running for nearly a decade, sees Highgate pupils helping local primary school pupils to improve their literacy, numeracy and reading skills.

Our Year 9 ,10 and 12 pupils, can join a weekly volunteer programme at Treehouse (a school for pupils with autism). Pupils from both schools work together on a range of activities, like arts and crafts, music and exercise.

Highgate pupils also help to run a weekly club at Highgate for pupils from Holmewood School. Some of our older pupils take part in a Saturday extension programme for looked-after children in our borough.

Our Community Partnerships Director, a member of our Senior Team, meets regularly with key members of local institutions (schools, religious groups and cultural organisations) to strengthen physical and social links between the local area, and the different social and age groups.

Please contact us about getting involved and supporting Highgate’s volunteering projects: community@highgateschool.org.uk