Beyond the classroom

At Highgate, time is set aside, each week, for you to take part in at least one co-curricular venture from our extensive and innovative programme.

Our programme of co-curricular activities provides countless opportunities to have fun, make new friends, and learn beyond the classroom. By immersing yourself in Highgate life, in its fullest sense, we hope you will be able to:

  • enjoy exploring your interests and discovering new passions;
  • develop personal qualities such as self-motivation, collaboration and leadership; and
  • contribute positively to our School and wider communities

We are exceptionally fortunate when it comes to sport at Highgate with extensive facilities, highly qualified staff and a wide range of sporting pathways available to all. You will have at least one afternoon per week dedicated to sport and exercise, and there are further training sessions if you represent our School in one of our many teams.

Across Highgate, we aim to inspire you to study and to work creatively. This goes beyond the classroom, with exciting co-curricular opportunities in all of the creative arts – music, drama, and art.

We provide an extensive careers programme and preparation for university applications both in the UK and abroad (eg USA and Canada). You will be assigned a higher education mentor, who will be able to advise you on your pathway.

At Highgate, our co-curricular offering continues to evolve and develop in response to the changing needs of our sixth formers and the world around us.


Fieldwork, visits and trips form an integral part of Highgate life, so we run a vast range locally, nationally and internationally throughout the year. Whether it is a Duke of Edinburgh trip to our cottage in Wales, a visit to Hong Kong and China with our Mandarin Department, or a residential community-based trip to our partner school in Uganda, there really is so much going on. And, with all that London has to offer just on our doorstep, our curriculum is further enlivened with visits to galleries, museums, exhibitions and lectures.

  • Recent trips and visits

    Here’s a flavour of a few other recent trips and visits prior to Covid:

    • drama performance trips to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival
    • regular theatre trips in London
    • sports tours to Arnhem, Glasgow, Barcelona, Jersey, Atlanta, Austria and Canada (skiing) and New York (dance)
    • language exchanges to France, Spain, China, Russia and Germany
    • history of art trip to Prague
    • classics trip to Sicily
    • politics trips to the House of Commons
    • geography field trips to Iceland or to Cerrig, our School’s centre in Wales
    • Vex Robotics trip to Taiwan
    • outdoor education trip to Mount Everest base camp


Highgate offers a cycle of concerts,
recitals and drama performances during the year
involving over 500 pupils of all ages.


Outdoor education is thriving at Highgate. A huge number of our sixth formers and staff are involved in our programme which has, at its heart, a number of core aims: to support the personal development journey of the individual; to promote fun and adventure; to recognise the value of being outside and engaging with the natural world; and to enjoy the associated benefits for physical and mental health.

Highgate runs several activities on site, making the most of our own extensive grounds our close proximity to Hampstead Heath. We also venture further afield, making use of our centre in Snowdonia, Cerrig Pryfaid, which is primarily used for Duke of Edinburgh, climbing and other outdoor activities. We also run numerous other adventurous trips that are close to home or further afield. In the last two years, our pupils have climbed Stok Kangri, a 6,150m mountain in Northern India and, just before Christmas 2019, took part in the Canada Cup ski trip.


CCF develops leadership and offers a varied package of training plus adventurous pursuits like climbing, kayaking, abseiling, walking and caving. Highgate’s CCF is run by our older pupils and sixth formers, who hold non-commissioned officer ranks, and School staff, with some assistance from the army.


The Duke of Edinburgh award is internationally recognised and highly respected. It aims to help young people develop a range of skills such as teamwork, resilience and giving something back to the community. Highgate pupils are involved across Bronze, Silver and Gold awards, taking part in volunteering and earning new skills, as well as undertaking a demanding camping expedition where they learn to be self-sufficient and trek independently. In 2021, Highgate carried out 1,599 hours of voluntary work, equating to over £7,000 in social value.


Hours of voluntary work by DoE pupils in 2021.


Over the course of our Sixth Form, you will aim to develop a particular interest in one or two subjects which you hope to pursue at university. To support this, our departments begin enrichment classes in January of Year 12, and you are expected to attend at least one class a week. Our enrichment classes are aimed at extending subject knowledge and skills beyond your A level syllabuses.

Enrichment classes are offered not only in subjects studied as part of the curriculum but also options like engineering, medicine, psychology, finance, and archaeology.


Highgate activities, clubs and societies ensure all get to try something different, build new skills and make new friends. It is hope that, by the time you reach Year 13, you may well be leading one of our clubs or societies – either an established one or one that you founded yourself!

For our sixth formers, our clubs and societies fall under the following two categories:

Tuesday After School Activities (TAA)

Our timetabled after school programme (for those who choose in Years 12 and 13) remains a firm fixture in the diary.

Clubs and societies

Highgate has over 150 TAAs, TLAs, clubs and societies in the Senior School, often sixth former or pupil-led, that meet over lunch and after school. We welcome proposals to set up new societies.



Highgate has over 150 clubs and societies and growing!


All our sixth formers play an active role in shaping our School community and we greatly value your ideas and input. Whether it’s editing one of our twelve pupil-led magazines, founding a new publication on a topic important to you, or leading one of our pupil committees, there are lots of opportunities. A sample of popular groups to join:

Sixth Form council – Representatives from the different houses meet regularly to discuss their ideas for improving our School and making a positive difference

Pupil Welfare Committee – This active group works closely with our Director of Pupil Wellbeing to help shape our mental health and wellbeing strategy

Environment Committee – This impassioned group is committed to helping our School drive through important sustainability initiatives

Charity and Community Action Committee – This group is committed to raising the profile of community engagement and to raising funds for our nominated charities (as voted for by our pupils each year)

London Citizens Racial Justice Group – Read about our recent pupil-led Racial Justice Conference for over 200 students across London here.


Each year, our Senior School vote for a charity of the year, and our pupil-led Charity and Community Action Committee support this charity through a variety of fundraising events, such as bake sales, concerts and quizzes.

This year staff and pupils took part in a collective fundraising initiative to raise over £80,000 for North London Action for the Homeless. Each volunteer set themselves a challenge and launched a Just Giving page to help leverage donations. We had cup cake bake-athons, maths tutoring and musical performances through to record keepy-ups, burpees, bounces and a joint marathon run by our Head Adam Pettitt and LAET Head Jan Balon. Read more here.

Highgate raises £12k for homeless charity
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