Our Senior School teachers are enthusiastic and well-qualified subject specialists.
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.
Excels at instilling a deep and genuine passion for learning as well as self-confidence —Highgate Senior School parent, 2020
In our Senior School,
our teacher to pupil ratio is 1:9.
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.
Highgate’s Art Department believes art is for everyone and that it is through creative activities that pupils learn about themselves, the world around them and gain important life-skills. Art is taught in form groups up to Year 8, you are then taught in smaller groups from Year 9 onwards.READ MORE
Classical Civilisation, Greek and Latin
Highgate’s Classics Department offers wide-ranging scholarship on the civilisations of ancient Greece and Rome, exploring these cultures through the study of literature in translation, history and art/archaeology. We are responsible for the teaching of Latin, Greek, Ancient History and Classical Civilisation in Years 7 to 13.READ MORE
Highgate’s Computing Department offers a high quality education that equips you to use computational thinking, and be creative in solving problems.READ MORE
Highgate’s Design, Technology and Engineering Department spans throughout the curriculum from KS1-5. All the content of the DTE curriculum is linked to context, the outside world and is interdisciplinary in nature. Former Design Technology & Engineering students go on to have exciting, rewarding and innovative careers. Some go on to work for top Design Engineering firms such as Rolls Royce and Dyson, in a range of disciplines from product development and innovation, to protecting intellectual property. Others have become entrepreneurs and inventors, launching successful companies in cutting-edge fields of technology, such as Litho, an augmented reality ring.READ MORE
Highgate’s Drama and Theatre Studies Department lets you become part of a creative, reflective community, where you develop confidence, communication, team building, listening and analytical skills. In Years 7 to 9 pupils have a Drama lesson once a week and it is then a popular GCSE option in Year 10. Sixth formers who successfully complete our A Level build a thorough understanding of drama and theatre, learn to think critically and analytically, and develop their imagination, equipping them with important transferable skills for life after school. Trips to the theatre are a regular occurrence, as are workshops and talks delivered by industry members.READ MORE
Highgate Economics Department offers a pacey, exciting and scholarly A level that exposes our sixth formers as soon as possible to the subject’s core technical models. It remains one of Highgate’s most popular A level subjects and we achieve excellent results, supporting a good number of Oxbridge applicants each year.READ MORE
Highgate’s English Department aims to develop an enduring engagement with, and enthusiasm for, English literature and language amongst all our pupils. Our School has a long and distinguished literary tradition: the poets Nicholas Rowe (Laureate 1715-18) and Gerard Manley Hopkins were educated at Highgate, and John Betjeman was taught by T.S. Eliot in 1915.READ MORE
Highgate’s Geography Department focuses on twenty-first century global challenges in order to prepare you to be an active citizen’s role in a changing world.READ MORE
Highgate’s History Department introduces you to the rich historical debates at the heart of our chosen topics, and teaches that history is an ongoing debate about what really happened and what really mattered in the past.READ MORE
History of art is offered as a non-examined course in Year 11 and as an A level course in Year’s 12 and 13.
Highgate’s History of Art Department examines many works of art and architecture first hand during lesson time, as well as during visits to museums and galleries in and around London.READ MORE
Highgate’s large and successful Mathematics Department strives to ensure every one of our pupils becomes the best mathematician that they can be. Standards across our School are high and, yet, we are equally proud of our record in helping pupils who find it difficult to develop confidence in the subject or to achieve strong examination results.READ MORE
French, German, Mandarin, Russian and Spanish
Highgate’s Modern Languages Department covers French, German, Mandarin, Russian, and Spanish. We ensure language learning is fun and interactive, and provides lifelong skills.READ MORE
Highgate’s Music Department ensures you develop knowledge of the musical language through the study, creation and performance of music across a range of styles and genres. Each week, we have over 35 musical ensemble rehearsals and over 450 individual music lessons taking place.READ MORE
We offer an examined course in Year 10 and Year 11 in Religion and Philosophy.READ MORE
Our Politics Department encourages interest and engagement in the fast changing and unpredictable world of politics.READ MORE
Biology, Chemistry and Physics
Our three sciences – biology, chemistry and physics – are taught as part of a general science course in form groups up to Year 7. You have separate lessons from Year 8 onwards and we follow the IGCSE.READ MORE