The arts

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


At Highgate, our musical activities encourage the beginner or further the talented musician. We have the following Senior School instrumental ensembles:

  • a senior symphony orchestra
  • chamber orchestra
  • senior woodwind ensemble
  • several jazz bands
  • brass group

Our three choirs provide music for Sunday Choral Evensongs, with a further three covering a range of repertoires. Numerous chamber groups rehearse weekly and we have regular concerts, plus masterclasses, workshops and an annual house music competition.

Our Music Department arranges four main concerts a year, one in a major London venue. Recent themes have included a celebration of music by female composers. Other popular activities include our Young Musician of the Year award and our annual JS Bach Day. In addition, our annual Composition Competition fosters independence and excitement around composition.


Individual music lessons are available with specialist visiting teachers in all the main instruments and in singing. Certain orchestral instruments may be available to learn, for free, through a rare instrument scheme specifically aimed at beginners (at the discretion of our Director of Music)

Individual music lessons are rotated throughout the school day to ensure that portions of different lessons are missed each week and the system is fair for all pupils. No pupil may miss sport for individual music lessons.


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 by the closing date of Friday 8 November 2019 (11+) or Monday 21 October (16+). 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 2020 entry.

Music Scholarship Application Form 11+


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), South Pacific, 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. Beyond the classroom, you 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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