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Highgate School is a private co-ed day school in Highgate, North London, with a history going back almost 500 years. Highgate wants its pupils to leave well-qualified, happy & employable and has won numerous awards in recent years.

The school’s 1,500 pupils aged 3-18 are educated in impressive facilities that particularly promotes languages, music and Design & Technology. Its Art and Design centre features studio and gallery space, as well as printmaking, sculpture, pottery, and filmmaking facilities, an IT suite for graphics and computer-aided design and a photography darkroom.

Along with the usual French, German, Spanish and Latin, other languages taught at Highgate School include Mandarin, Russian, and Ancient Greek.

There are 23 acres of sports facilities at the senior school, including squash courts, netball and basketball courts, an Astroturf, an indoor swimming pool and a strength and conditioning suite. The 22 sports on offer at Highgate School include football, rugby, cricket, hockey, golf, fencing, kayaking, gymnastics, water polo and basketball.

Highgate School gets impressive academic results and is very competitive to get into. In 2019, 25% of its leavers went on to study at Oxbridge and students regularly go on to other Russell Group universities.

Highgate School has no sibling policy so all candidates must work equally hard to get in. Every pupil must participate in at least one co-curricular activity per term, choosing from over 150 groups; from beekeeping to 3D animation.

Highgate’s Head, Adam Pettitt, is a modern and medieval linguist who formally taught at Eton College. He goes out of his way to get to know every pupil personally, which sets the tone for the school. Results

  • 90% of all GCSE grades in 2019 were Grade 7 or above (A*-A)
  • With a whopping 54% of pupils achieving a Grade 9.
  • 41.3% of A-levels in 2019 were awarded an A*, 76% an A.

“In 2019, 25% of its leavers went on to study at Oxbridge”

Highgate School’s 11 Plus Admissions Process

Highgate School admits approximately 190 Year 7 pupils into its senior school each year. 100 of these children come from its own junior school, while the remaining spaces go to children coming from state and independent schools; more than half of this figure from state schools. The window to register your child for Year 7 entry is from the 1st of September when they are in Year 6, until early November of that same year. There’s a registration fee of £150. Bursary applicants with a gross household income of under £30,000 don’t have to pay this fee. The job of a Nightingale Tutor can start here, we will happily guide you through this process and advise on any further questions you may have.

Highgate School’s Exam Content

All applicants are invited to sit the entrance exams which normally happen in early December. The exams test english, maths and non-verbal reasoning. Maths is a mix of short, long, and unstructured questions based on the Key Stage 2 syllabus. The ability to demonstrate logic is crucia; calculations, problem solving, shape and space are all topics that should be practiced in advance. A Nightingale tutor(our tutors) will make sure no stone is unturned when practicing and preparing your child for these examinations and offer a range of services alongside your child’s tuition. This includes:

  • Termly progress meetings
  • Guidance on school selection
  • Mock exams
  • Interview preparation
  • Verbal & Non Verbal Reasoning courses
  • Scholarship groups
  • Access to Pastoral consultants

Non-Verbal Reasoning skills test a child’s natural ability and potential, rather than their learned knowledge. Candidates are asked to problem solve, based on a series of pictures and diagrams; questions will often ask which one is the odd one out in a sequence. At Nightingale Tutors, we believe a strong performance in these tests can set a child apart and work hard to prepare our pupils for them. We will continuously expose them to similar questions as well as run courses & workshops on the subject from our classroom space. Please contact Nightingale Tutors if you’re interested in working with one of our tutors.

Highgate School’s Interview

The interview happens after the entrance exam. Around 200 candidates are invited back for an interview each January. Highgate School wants bright, confident, and friendly children who can speak effectively while listening and work well with others, particularly their classmates. Its interactive group task assesses the latter along with problem-solving skills. Highgate School needs to know that your child will be a good pupil and classmate that teachers and peers will enjoy spending time with. Nightingale tutors has a wealth of experience preparing children for the interview and will work to ensure they feel at ease & comfortable before the big day.

Your child will first take part in a fun, hands-on activity that will allow them to create something to take home with them. This is usually Design Technology.After that, a more formal group interview takes place. This activity lasts around 40 minutes; It assesses problem-solving, leadership, and diplomacy abilities. Your child should be self-assured, quick to respond, but respectful and interested when their peers talk. They will be normally put in a group of 4. Whilst Highgate’s interview process is slightly unique in comparison to other schools, Nightingale Tutors will match your child with a tutor who is very experienced with Highgate and the process.

“Highgate School unusually doesn’t offer academic scholarships upon entry into Year 7, instead awarding them at the end of Year 7, when they have seen how well pupils perform”

Highgate School’s Scholarships

  • Highgate School unusually doesn’t offer academic scholarships upon entry into Year 7, instead awarding them at the end of Year 7, when they have seen how well pupils perform. They also offer scholarships at the end of Years 8, 9, and 10 too. The academic scholarships are honorary, not resulting in money off school fees.
  • Out of 12 scholarships typically on offer, 6 go to pupils who attended their own junior school and 6 go to pupils who didn’t.
  • Music scholarships work differently: worth up to 20% of school fees, they are awarded upon entry into Year 7. Applications for these need to be in by early November, and applicants will then be asked to audition.
  • Highgate School offers bursaries worth up to 100% of school fees. You should indicate that you want to apply for a bursary on your application form.

If you are considering Highgate School for your child, please get in touch with Nightingale Tutors to discuss how we can help.


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