The arts

We inspire our pupils to think and work creatively. This includes extensive co-curricular opportunities in music, drama, DT and art.


From the whole school House Vocal Competition to our 200 strong choirs, our three orchestras, wind and brass bands, chamber music, percussion ensembles and our thriving popular music scene.

Highgate’s musical life is lively and varied, and everyone is encouraged to participate in co-curricular musical activities beyond the classroom. We have more than 40 ensembles rehearsing each week, and over 50 performance opportunities in the course of a single year, we truly believe there is something for everyone.

Download our Music Booklet


  • Orchestras: Symphony, Sinfonietta and Lower School Sinfonia
  • An auditioned Chamber Orchestra
  • Chorale – our flagship auditioned choir
  • Training Choir and Contemporary Choir
  • Boys’ and Girls’ Chapel Choirs
  • Symphonic Band and Lower School Concert Band
  • Senior Brass Ensemble
  • Jazz Orchestra and several small jazz bands
  • Chamber Music: over 20 string and piano groups
  • Percussion Ensembles
  • Student-led pop bands and singer-songwriting duos
  • Music Tech Club and singer-songwriting sessions


Individual music lessons are available with specialist visiting teachers in all the main instruments and in singing.


A Highgate music award can consist of tuition in one or two instruments or voice and/or a remission of a percentage of school fees. Music awards are open to applicants at 11+ and 16+ and are awarded following two rounds of auditions.

Interested candidates should submit a music scholarship application form to our Admissions Office. All candidates must satisfy the academic requirements for a place at Highgate before they will be considered for a music award.

Music Award information for 2022 entry.

11+ Music Award application form

16+ Music Award application form

Pupils develop excellent creative and performance skills in music and drama

— ISI Report 2021


Every encouragement is given to you to participate in drama, as actors, in stage management, or assisting with sound and lighting. Our separate drama studio provides additional rehearsal and performance space.

Recent productions include Oliver! (shown at RADA), Guys and Dolls, West Side Story, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Sweeney Todd, Les Misérables, The Trojan Women, The Bacchae, Medea, The Tempest, and a promenade of A Christmas Carol.

Small-scale plays are staged most terms, some by younger pupils, and there is a biennial French play.


Our excellent Art Department has facilities for painting, print-making, life drawing, sculpture, pottery, photography, and film-making. All equipment including canvasses are provided. Beyond the classroom, pupils can take part in a number of clubs and societies, ranging from life drawing to experimental print-making. Our studios are also open every evening, from 4pm-6pm, so anyone is able to come and work on a creative project of their choice.

Our Mills Centre for Art and Design provides dedicated gallery and studio space, with pupil work regularly exhibited around our School.

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