Get Highgate School essential facts below. View Videos or join the Highgate School discussion. Add Highgate School to your PopFlock.com topic list for future reference or share this resource on social media.
Highgate School, formally Sir Roger Cholmeley's School at Highgate, is an English co-educational, fee-paying, independent day school, founded in 1565 in Highgate, London, England. It educates over 1,400 pupils in three sections - Highgate Pre-Preparatory School (ages 3-7), Highgate junior school (ages 7-11) and the senior school (11+) - which together comprise the Highgate Foundation. As part of its wider work the charity was from 2010 a founding partner of the London Academy of Excellence and it is now also the principal education sponsor of an associated Academy, the London Academy of Excellence Tottenham, which opened in September 2017. The principal business sponsor is Tottenham Hotspur FC. The charity also funds the Chrysalis Partnership, a scheme supporting 26 state schools in six London boroughs.
Cholmeley, a former Chief Justice and local landowner, decided to found a charitable school "for the good education and instruction of boys and young men" in Highgate and the local parishes. On 27 April 1565 he was granted by Edmund Grindal, the Bishop of London, some land on the site of the old gatehouse to the Bishop's park and hermit's chapel (opposite the Gatehouse Inn, which still exists). A new chapel and buildings for the school and the local curate, who was expected to be the teacher, were built. The chapel also served as a chapel of ease for Highgate residents.
However, by the early nineteenth century a dispute arose because the charity was spending more money, and the curate more time, on the local chapel than on the pupils. A House of Commons commission visited in 1819 and found the Master, the Rev Samuel Mence, was paying a sexton to teach the boys. In a long and bitter action brought in the High Court against the Trustees it was contended that this was contrary to its founding charitable deed. Lord Chancellor Eldon, in his 1827 judgment, agreed, finding "the charity is for the sustenance and maintenance of a free Grammar school". The trustees were forced to comply and a separate local church for Highgate, St Michael's, was built in South Grove after a successful local appeal. Mence struggled on at the school until 1838 when there were only 19 pupils.
An expansion of the school occurred under the next headmaster Rev Dr John Bradley Dyne (Fellow of Wadham College, Oxford) between 1838 and 1874. Under Dyne, by the 1870s the school had largely dropped free provision for local parish boys and alongside the day places boarding was encouraged for boys from the upper and upper middle classes; fees were introduced and academic standards improved.In the period up to this time the school was known commonly as the Free Grammar School at Highgate, the Highgate Grammar School, or the Cholmeley School. Like other public schools, Highgate followed Dr Arnold at Rugby School in introducing the house system. Also like other public schools, Dyne flogged the pupils with a birch rod.
In the 1860s land was acquired in Bishopswood Road, which provided extensive sports fields and on which several boarding houses and private residences were built. During this period the current chapel and main buildings were erected, designed by Reginald Blomfield (who had also designed Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford). A fragment of the older school building, a gateway with a rusted bell mechanism above between the porter's lodge and the main school building, remained intact until 2006 when the bell was refurbished and the old entrance itself rebuilt in a more modern style. The senior school continues to occupy today the island site in Highgate Village on which it was founded.
During the Second World War the school's buildings were commandeered by the British government and the school was evacuated to Westward Ho! in Devon, returning to Highgate in 1943.
The poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge was buried in the school chapel, his grandson an Old Cholmeleian. However, in 1965 after a row with the council there was a ceremonial disinterring of Coleridge at which the then Poet Laureate John Masefield spoke and the remains were reburied at St Michael's parish church just a few hundred yards away.
Highgate School has the oldest public school freemasons' lodge, Cholmeley Lodge No 1731, formed in 1878, part of the Public Schools Lodges Council.
Until recently the school had two blocks of Eton Fives courts, one structure with ten courts (of which six were built in 1899 and a further four added c.1913); a second block of eight courts constructed in the 1920s was removed in 2014.
Boarding and weekly boarding at Highgate declined in the years up to the early 1990s when the last boarders left. In 1993 one of the former houses was converted to create the coeducational pre-preparatory school.
In 2001 the school announced its intention to become fully co-educational ending over four hundred years of single sex education, and girls joined the Senior and Junior schools from 2004. According to the Good Schools Guide "Its decision to go co-ed has helped to put its popularity and academic standards on upward trajectories".
In April 2006 the Mills Centre for Art, Design and Technology was opened, incorporating an area commemorating former director of art Sir Kyffin Williams.
In January 2013 the Charter building was opened by former pupil and Governor Lord Hill.
Throughout 2015 the school celebrated its 450th anniversary. In January 2015 a museum opened, which can be visited by the public on Saturday mornings in term-time.
In September 2016 a new building for the junior school opened.
Chapel Quad, with "Big School" on the left, and the chapel
The school operates a house system like many other public schools and upon reaching Year 9, pupils are placed in a house. These houses are Northgate, Southgate, Westgate, Eastgate, Queensgate, Kingsgate, Midgate, Fargate, Heathgate, The Lodge, School House and Grindal. This system, which Dyne, like other public school headmasters, copied from Arnold's at Rugby School, was established to create "house spirit" among the students, allowing for both academic and sporting competitions among the houses. Some of these, like School House, Grindal and The Lodge used to be boarding houses. However, other houses, such as Kingsgate, are newer, having been created by a dissaffected group of Westgateans in the 1970s.
The title Head has been used since March 2015.
This article's list of alumni may not follow Wikipedia's verifiability policy. Please improve this article by removing names that do not have independent reliable sources showing they merit inclusion in this article AND are alumni, or by incorporating the relevant publications into the body of the article through appropriate citations.(May 2018)
Former pupils of Highgate School are called Cholmeleians or Old Cholmeleians ("OCs"), after Sir Roger Cholmeley. The alumni are organised as the Cholmeleian Society, founded as the Old Cholmeleian Club in 1893, although annual dinners had been held since 1859. Both the School and the Society organise social events, and a magazine, The Cholmeleian, is published twice a year. Notable Cholmeleians include: