Beyond our Senior School classroom

We pride ourselves on the enthusiastic way that our pupils engage with our extensive programme of co-curricular activities.

Our strong co-curricular offering provides pupils with countless opportunities to have fun, make new friends, and learn beyond the classroom. By immersing themselves in Highgate life, in its fullest sense, we hope our pupils:

  • enjoy exploring their interests and enthusiasms;
  • develop personal qualities such as self-motivation, collaboration and leadership; and
  • contribute positively to our School and wider communities

At Highgate, time is set aside, each week, for every pupil to take part in at least one co-curricular venture. Our offering of activities continues to evolve and develop in response to the changing needs of our pupils and the world around us. This year we have added Origami and Chinese Studies, Yoga and Sporting Top 10.


Bee Keeping

Highgate School has 30 specialist sports coaches and teachers.


Co-curricular activities, clubs and societies on offer in the Senior School


Highgate pupils undertake 6 major drama productions a year.

Visits and trips



Educational visits form an integral part of Highgate life, so we run a vast range of local, national and international trips. Whether it is a Duke of Edinburgh trip to our cottage in Wales, a visit to Hong Kong and China with our Mandarin Department, or a residential community-based trip to our partner school in Uganda, there really is so much going on. And, with the heart of London on our doorstep, our curriculum is regularly brought alive with visits to galleries, museums, exhibitions and lectures.

In addition to making the most of our North London location, as part of our academic curriculum (and included in our fees), we run residential trips for Years 7 to 9 in the following locations:

Year 7 – three-day trip to Lille
Year 8 – three-day trip to Northumbria
Year 9 – two-day trip to the Battlefields

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    And here’s a flavour of a few other recent trips and visits:

    • drama performance trips to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival
    • regular theatre trips in London
    • sports tours to Rotterdam, Barcelona, Jersey, Atlanta, Austria (skiing) and New York (dance)
    • language exchanges to France, Spain, China, Russia and Germany
    • history of art trip to Prague
    • classics trip to Sicily
    • politics trips to the House of Commons
    • geography field trips to Iceland or to Cerrig, our School’s centre in Wales
    • Vex Robotics trip to America
    • outdoor education trip to Mount Everest base camp

Activities, clubs and societies

We have over 150 activities, clubs and societies in the Senior School to ensure everyone gets to try something different, discover a new hobby and make new friends.

Our activities fall into three categories:

Thursday Lunchtime Activities – Years 7 to 8

Tuesday After School Activities – Years 9 to 10

Tuesday After School Activities – Years 11 to 13 

We also have a wide range of Clubs and Societies that run across different mornings and afternoons.

Co-curricular Activity Rowing

Just some of our activities and clubs available:

  • Tuesday after school activities
    • Origami and Chinese Studies
    • Mindfulness
    • Cookery
    • Debating
    • Technical drama
    • Psychology
    • Hospital visits
    • Spinning
    • Photography
    • Creative writing
  • Thursday lunchtime activities
    • Sign language
    • Bee keeping
    • Robotics
    • Ultimate frisbee
    • Puzzle Club
    • Squash
    • Street and Contemporary Dance
    • Genealogy
    • Calligraphy
    • Environmental awareness
  • Other clubs
    and societies
    • Environment Committee
    • Chemistry Experiments Club
    • Vinyl and Philosophy Society
    • Random Acts of Kindness Society
    • French News Group
    • Life drawing
    • Pride Society
    • Flim Society
    • 3D Animation Club
    • Automobile Society

Sports and the arts


Across Highgate, we aim to inspire our pupils to study and to work creatively. This goes beyond the classroom, with exciting co-curricular opportunities in all of the creative arts – music, drama, and art.

The arts

We are exceptionally fortunate when it comes to sport at Highgate with extensive facilities, excellent staff and a wide range of sporting pathways available to all our pupils.


Outdoor education

Outdoor education is thriving at Highgate, providing our pupils with an experience that is unique when compared to many others in London day schools. A huge number of our pupils and staff are involved in our programme which has, at its heart, a number of core aims: to support the personal development journey of the individual; to promote fun and adventure; to recognise the value of being outside and engaging with the natural world; and to enjoy the associated benefits for physical and mental health.

Highgate runs several activities on site, making the most of our own extensive grounds our close proximity to Hampstead Heath. Outdoor education features in our sports and exercise curriculum in Years 7 and 8, and there is also a Thursday Lunchtime Activity to teach skills like fire lighting, shelter building and environmental awareness. This activity often takes place in our newly installed outdoor classroom, which provides a beautiful space for learning outdoors all year round.

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    We also venture further afield, making use of our centre in Snowdonia, Cerrig Pryfaid, which is primarily used for Duke of Edinburgh, climbing and other outdoor activities. We also run numerous other adventurous trips that are close to home or further afield. In the last two years, our pupils have climbed Stok Kangri, a 6,150m mountain in Northern India and, more recently trekked to the Mount Everest Base Camp.

    Two huge and popular aspects of Highgate’s outdoor education are Combined Cadet Force (CCF) and the Duke of Edinburgh (DoE) Award.

    CCF develops leadership and offers a varied package of training plus adventurous pursuits like climbing, kayaking, abseiling, walking and caving. Highgate’s CCF is run by our older pupils and sixth formers, who hold non-commissioned officer ranks, and School staff, with some assistance from the army.

    The Duke of Edinburgh award is internationally recognised and highly respected. It aims to help young people develop a range of skills such as teamwork, resilience and giving something back to the community. Over 250 Highgate pupils are involved across Bronze, Silver and Gold awards, meaning we are the largest centre in Haringey. Our DoE pupils are to be found volunteering, learning new skills, and doing something physical, as well as undertaking a demanding camping expedition where they learn to be self-sufficient and trek independently. In 2020, our DoE pupils carried out over 4,719 hours of voluntary work equating to £20, 528 in social value.

    Highgate School Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award at Buckingham Palace

Pupil voice

Our pupils play an active role in shaping our School community and we greatly value their ideas and input, whatever their age. Here is a sample of some of the most popular groups:

School councils – Representatives from the different sections of our School meet regularly to discuss their ideas for improving our School and making a positive difference.

Pupil Welfare Committee – This active group works closely with our Director of Wellbeing to help shape our mental health and wellbeing strategy

Environment Committee – This impassioned group is committed to helping our School drive through important sustainability initiatives

PSHE Education Committee – This group works with our Director of PSHE Education to reflect on current needs and implement change, as appropriate.

Charity and Community Action Committee – This group is committed to raising the profile of community engagement and to raising funds for our nominated charities (as voted for by our pupils each year).

Random Acts of Kindness (RAOK) – This group was founded by two Year 7 pupils who wanted to support the school and local community with gestures of kindness, charity and compassion.

Charitable giving

Each year, our Senior School pupils vote for a charity of the year, and our pupil-led Charity and Community Action Committee support this charity through a variety of fundraising events, such as bake sales, food bank donations, concerts and quizzes.

Just before the school’s closure due to Covid-19, pupils had donated 2,200 pre-loved books to The London Book Project, a charity dedicated to providing reading material for children with no access to libraries – especially beneficial during lockdown.

All Highgate pupils and staff take part in a biennial sponsored walk across London with our sibling school London Academy of Excellence, Tottenham. In 2019 the walk raised £110,000 for Great Lakes High School in Uganda.

Charity walk - Highgate School and London Academy of Excellence Tottenham
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