Pastoral care

Highgate’s pro-active pastoral care underpins all of our activities: wellbeing is at the heart of all our thinking.

We know joining a Sixth Form is a big change, even if you are currently in Year 11 at Highgate. We try hard to ensure your transition is as smooth and stress-free as possible.

You are placed into one of our 12 houses and join a tutor group of around 17 other pupils, whom you will see every morning for registration and for other breaktime slots. Your tutor will normally stay with your group for your two years in the Sixth Form and is the go-to person for  anything to do with school – from academic issues, to future plans, or if you just want to talk about something.

As well as form tutors, every house has a Head of House who also supports you academically and pastorally, as well as the other pupils in the house. They will be the person who liaises with your teachers and parents/carers, and if you have any concerns, academic or otherwise, your Head of House is on hand.

‘The house system
is integral to the excellent
pastoral care’

—Tatler 2019

OUR HOUSES

Once a week the whole House attends a House Meeting, providing an opportunity to meet those in the years above and below. There are inter-house activities and competitions, from netball and football to debating and drama. One of the many highlights is our House Singing competition (usually in September), which gives our new Year 12 pupils (and Year 9s) a brilliant occasion to meet other members of their house.

The House system provides a smaller community feel, where you can build friendships, take part in a variety of events, and hopefully make some great memories.

PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT

Highgate Sixth Form offers a rewarding opportunity for greater independence and responsibility, both in your studies and your personal development.

There are various ways to play your part in our School community. We have a Sixth Form Council, which represent the views of pupils in Years 12 and 13. There are two Year 13 House Captains; Heads and Deputy Heads of School; and fifty Prefects. Our two Heads of School and their four Deputies are elected by their year group, while our Prefects are sixth formers who apply for their position, undertaking a selection process that mirrors what you would expect when applying for a job.

Our prefects act as leaders within their year group and our wider School community, promoting the ethos of the School and acting as role models and mentors for pupils in younger years.

PSHEE

Pupil wellbeing it at the heart of all our thinking. We want this to be an inclusive environment where you feel able to explore your thoughts and identity alongside your academic journey. To be part of a welcoming community, where you can help shape growth (for yourself and within the School) and develop your own sense of wellbeing.

Our Personal, Social, Health and Economic Education (PSHEE) and Relationship and Sex Education (RSE) programme is age-specific and responsive to topical issues and feedback. It is developed with pupils in mind and we encourage open dialogue to help us address topics you feel are most relevant. In addition to timetabled sessions, much of our PSHEE is embedded in our community values that we practice every day.

Our parents and carers

Education is a shared venture. At Highgate, we see our sixth formers, their parents/carers and our teachers co-existing in a virtuous triangle, where each side is fully involved with, and supportive of, the other.

Day-to-day contact is usually through our Heads of House, rather than with individual teachers; this ensures that there is someone in the School who has the full picture.

Academic progress is monitored by regular learning reviews, providing a snapshot of how your child is performing, on top of written reports. Tutors, Heads of Year/House and Heads of Section analyse feedback from teachers, offering encouragement and, where necessary, strategies for improvement. Each year group has an annual parents’ consultation meeting, at which all teaching staff are present. There are two of these for Y12 pupils – one early in the academic year, where we see how pupils are settling with the more independent way of working, and the other following the summer exams.

Our online ‘Parent Portal’ hosts a range of information and resources to assist on topics such as bereavement, mental health, alcohol and drugs, online safety, pornography and sexuality, among many others. We also run age-appropriate in-school sessions on topics such as relationships, substances, consent, life beyond school etc – often with guidance of outside speakers.

The Highgate School Parents Association aims to foster a sense of community within the parent body. It also offers a chance to feedback to the School any questions or concerns you may have. Additional parent forums are offered to explore topics in greater depth, for example Race and Ethnicity, and Anti-Sexism.

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