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Sport and Exercise (SpEx) at Highgate is a vibrant and forward thinking programme, which has benefitted from significant recent investment in both staff and facilities. There is a shared ethos in all areas of the school, which involves an innovative re-thinking of school based Sport and Exercise.

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SpEx is a pupil-centred programme which unlocks potential by exposing individuals to experiences and opportunities which guide them towards an outcome that they are invested in. Key to this is the unique way in which Sport and Exercise interact in each part of the programme. Specialist teachers and coaches are used to deliver SpEx at every stage, and implement a curriculum which challenges every pupil. The aim of SpEx is to ensure a high quality sporting experience for all pupils, which leads to a lifelong involvement in physical activity and sport.

Our SpEx staff coach, manage and inspire pupils across the school in a wide range of sports. SpEx is underpinned by a Strength and Conditioning programme which all pupils participate in, including voluntary sessions before school which regularly attract over seventy-five pupils. Highgate pupils show outstanding commitment to extra-curricular practices and sports clubs which are essential to ensure the quality of pupil experience. There is a diverse programme of extra-curricular fixtures which run both midweek and on Saturdays. These take place in our focus sports - Football, Eton Fives, Cricket, Athletics and Tennis for boys; Netball, Hockey, Tennis, Cricket and Athletics for girls; as well as in Swimming, Water Polo, Fencing, Cross-Country. It is not unusual for over 200 pupils to play for the School in the various teams fielded on Saturdays or Sports afternoons. For example, in one week of the Michaelmas term Highgate fields fifteen Football teams to play Charterhouse, and up to thirteen Netball teams.

The SpEx programme includes an extremely diverse range of other sports and activities such as Gymnastics, Dance, Rock-climbing, Sailing, Kayaking, Rowing, Squash, Golf, and Health and Fitness. For those who are not members of School team squads an established inter-house competitions structure provides competitive sport at a difeerent level. Whatever their ability or interest, all pupils are able to find a place in Highgate Sport. The standards achieved in most sports are very good. The School produces many County standard sportsmen and sportswomen and in recent years has seen Highgate pupils win National titles and go on to gain International representation in Athletics, Cross Country, Eton Fives, Fencing, Swimming and Water Polo, as well as Footballers gaining places at Professional clubs such as Charlton Athletic and Leyton Orient.

Highgate has a long tradition of sporting success on which we wish to build. Excellent links are already established with local sports clubs, Haringey Borough and Middlesex County, and keenly contested House competitions are held in many sports, providing additional competitive opportunities for a significant number of pupils. SpEx tours take place annually with Seniors visiting (Barbados/Atlanta), and Middle School pupils travelling to (Jersey/Barcelona). The most recent Cricket tour was to Sri Lanka.

Thirty-two full and part-time SpEx staff are supported by over twenty teachers in delivering the SpEx programme. The department is based around the well-equipped Mallinson Sports Centre (MSC). It is adjacent to the playing fields, near the Junior and Pre-Preparatory schools and within a few minutes’ walk of the Senior school. The Centre comprises a large sports hall (with 2 Cricket nets), cardiovascular training and weights room, swimming pool and mezzanine hall (with 2 further Cricket nets). In addition, there is a dance and movement studio, squash and eight Eton fives courts. The Centre manager and staff provide a significant programme of community use; they also support pupils’ activities within the Centre and provide administrative assistance. The school also has twenty acres of playing fields, including an all-weather pitch, which can accommodate ten netball courts, a full-size hockey pitch, or twelve tennis courts. Additionally, there is a multi-use games area that provides six cricket nets, three tennis courts, two netball courts, and a hockey training facility. Also have recently re-instated additional Cricket facilities and now have two grass cricket squares onsite, and an artificial wicket close to the school, as well as a further 6 new cricket nets installed onsite.

Pupils are encouraged to use the sports facilities outside school hours for the purposes of specific training, recreational sport or general fitness, as well as having the opportunity to train as part of academies at the MSC.

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