Classroom

Our Senior School teachers are enthusiastic and well-qualified subject specialists.

ACADEMIC PRIORITIES

  • To enable all pupils to normalise academic struggle, so they see challenge as an enjoyable and valuable aspect of their learning
  • To make aspiration and ambition the guiding principles of all teaching and learning, so that teachers and pupils look beyond the limitations of terminal examinations
  • To promote scholarship for all, teaching pupils how to be academically independent and take risks
Senior School Library

ABOUT OUR SENIOR SCHOOL

Pupil choice and keeping academic opportunities open is at the heart of our curriculum. After a broad curricular experience in Key Stage Three, pupils in Year 10 have picked their preferred modern language and all non-core subjects without restriction. In Year 12 everyone studies four subjects for the full year, which pupils choose from a menu of twenty-seven options, including several which are completely new to the Sixth Form. All of our teachers are passionate subject specialists whose main aim is to teach their subjects for its own sake.

In addition to the numerous print resources, our learning platform, HERO, helps pupils organise their homework and provides access to various e-resources and extension work. The Sir Martin Gilbert Library is another great resource which holds thousands of books and hosts numerous e-resources that can be remotely accessed; our extremely helpful specialist librarians are always happy to assist pupils in browsing for a new book or more refined academic research. All our academic departments have specialist teaching rooms, equipment, access to iPads, and – where appropriate – laboratories, computer suites, studios, workshops, technicians, and subject specific libraries.

VARIETY, BREADTH AND INNOVATION

We intentionally keep the curriculum extremely broad throughout Years 7, 8 and 9, so that pupils have a chance to try every subject as a timetabled class.

  • Our Year 7 pupils follow a general Science course that introduces scientific methods and investigations; they then have lessons in the three separate sciences from Year 8 onwards
  • Alongside French, which is taught to everyone, pupils in Year 7 also take a language carousel consisting of German, Mandarin, Russian and Spanish before choosing which second modern language to focus on in Year 8; all pupils also study Latin and the most enthusiastic classical linguists can also choose to study Ancient Greek
  • We are passionate about the Creative Arts, and all pupils have weekly lessons in Music, Art and Drama, with regular opportunities to show their work and perform in front of their peers; in Drama, for example, the practical study of an entire play ensures each Y7 pupil has the chance to perform in front of the entire year
Excels at instilling a deep and genuine passion for learning as well as self-confidence —Highgate Senior School parent, 2020

1:9

In our Senior School,
our teacher to pupil ratio is 1:9.

OUR GCSEs

At Highgate, pupils take ten GCSEs or IGCSEs in class sizes of up to 24. In Year 9, pupils start their courses in Chemistry, Biology and Physics, and in Year 10, pupils start English Language, English Literature, Mathematics and one language from either French, German, Mandarin, Russian or Spanish.

Pupils then choose their remaining subjects from Art, Classical Civilisation, Computer Science, Design Technology and Engineering, Drama, Geography, Greek, History, Latin, a second Modern Language, Music and Religion Studies.

NON-EXAMINED COURSES IN YEARS 10 AND 11

Throughout both Year 10 and Year 11, pupils have sports afternoons, complimented by exercise lessons in Year 10; there are also lessons dedicated to PSHEE.

Pupils also have a fortnightly academic lecture on something quite intentionally off syllabus. This is a good opportunity for introductory talks in Philosophy, Economics, Politics and History of Art, which are all new subjects that pupils might be considering for Sixth Form study, but other lectures have included talks on evolution, why wood burns, and the Israel / Palestine conflict. In Year 10, pupils also have a day of Sixth Form taster lessons.

Senior School Careers Workshop

Our Senior School departments

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