Highgate Wood Secondary School

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Highgate Wood School
Motto everyone matters
Established 1967
Type Community school
Headteacher Patrick Cozier BSc
Chair Charles Wright
Location Montenotte Road
N8 8RN
England Coordinates: 51°34′53″N 0°07′59″W / 51.5814°N 0.133°W / 51.5814; -0.133
Local authority Haringey
DfE URN 102154 Tables
Ofsted Reports
Students c. 1400
Gender Coeducational
Ages 11–18
Colours Black & Blue
Website Highgate Wood School

Highgate Wood School is a secondary school located in Crouch End in the North London borough of Haringey. It accommodates pupils aged 11–16, providing secondary education to 1368 pupils. The school also has a sixth form (ages 16–18). It has partnerships with Sport England, the Haymarket Theatre and the British Council through the International Schools Award scheme. The school has a uniform.

Most pupils come from South Haringey School, Rokesly Primary School, Ashmount School, Campsbourne School, Weston Park Primary School and Coleridge Primary School.


Highgate Wood School was founded as a comprehensive school in 1967. It replaced Bishopswood and Priory Vale secondary modern schools. Bishopswood school opened in 1961 and Priory Vale was formed in 1962 from a merger of North Harringay and Crouch End secondary modern schools[1]

Until 1987 the school was located on two sites - a lower school for pupils in year 7 and year 8, and an upper school for years 9 to 11 and the sixth form. The lower school was situated in the former Crouch End secondary modern school buildings, at the corner of Wolsley Road and Park Road, with the Home Economics and CDT wing facing onto Park Road. Some of the original buildings still stand today, converted into modern flats above shops. The upper school (located in the former Bishopswood secondary modern school buildings) now houses the whole school - including sixth form, computer centre, tennis courts, and sports hall.

In September 2013 the school reintroduced a House system DaVinci (Blue), Seacole (Green) and Edison (Yellow).

Former Headteachers: 1967–1979 Eurof Walters [2] 1979–1997 Mr James McIntyre Smith 1997–2006 Pauline Ashbee

Sixth form[edit]

The sixth form unit was twinned with that of Hornsey School for Girls in 1987, a union that was dissolved in 2009. The Ofsted inspection of Highgate Wood School in 2005 commented on its 'improving' sixth form results. Since then sixth form students have demonstrated their abilities by improving results further year on year.

Highgate Wood School now sends over 80 students each year to university or higher education. The sixth form has a limit of 230 students. The sixth form remains committed to teaching students in small groups.


Highgate Wood School's Arts college redesignation builds upon its success in the performing arts, whilst highlighting its visual arts credentials. The award recognises the high standard of work produced by Highgate Wood students, guided by highly motivated and passionate staff. Ambitious recent drama productions include 'The Crucible' by Arthur Miller, 'Yerma' by Federico Garcia Lorca and a contemporary version of Lysistrata by Aristophanes. The school's Music department has a well-deserved reputation, both for the standard of its concert performances and for the large number of students who benefit from individual instrumental tuition. Exhibitions of GCSE and A-level art demonstrate the talent and creativity of Highgate Wood students. Arts college status is helping the school to extend its activities further into the community, building on an already active programme which includes art classes for local people, music lessons and a well-established community choir. Creativity and innovation are also encouraged across the broader curriculum of the school.

Highgate Wood also has huge success within sport in Haringey. This year's year 11 boys football team, were runners up in the Haringey Cup and lost out in the semi final of the Middlesex Cup. In 2009 the team comprising year 11 students won the Haringey Cup.

Novelist Romesh Gunesekera is writer-in-residence at Highgate Wood School.[3] Publications arising from his residency include Crumbs on a Page (2009),[4] and Pages Held With Words (2011).[5]

OFSTED inspections[edit]

From the last OFSTED report in November 2011 (http://www.ofsted.gov.uk/provider/files/1872989/urn/102154.pdf): "Students at Highgate Wood Secondary School enjoy a good quality of education because the good teaching they receive secures equally effective learning and progress.

The well-planned curriculum serves the needs of students because it successfully identifies barriers to progress and makes the most of opportunities provided by organisations with which the school works in partnership. The specialist subject areas make a good contribution to students’ creative skills and to their development of confidence and self-esteem. Students benefit from good teaching, which is effectively led and managed. This is further enhanced by good use of assessment to support learning.

Students succeed at Highgate Wood because of the good quality care, guidance and support they receive. Well-targeted care, guidance and support enable students to maximise their potential because their specific needs are correctly identified, and intervention strategies are carefully and sensitively implemented. Particularly strong is the support provided for the more vulnerable students who are at risk of underachieving.

The popular sixth form enjoys a positive reputation locally and, through good leadership and management, it complements the provision provided in Years 7 to 11. Some of the most effective teaching is in the sixth form.Students’ good achievement is secured through an appropriately diverse curriculum offer and they are well prepared for the next stage of their lives. Sixth-form students speak highly of the provision and are empowered to develop as increasingly independent learners." The overall grade for the inspection was good.

Notable former pupils[edit]

  • Anna Shaffer- English actress, best known for her role as Ruby Button in teen soap opera Hollyoaks, and for her role as Romilda Vane in the Harry Potter film series. [6]
  • Tiana Benjamin - actress in the BBC soap opera Eastenders (attended from 1995 to 2000)[7]
  • Ellen Cheshire - author of various books on Film directors, actors and genres (attended from 1981 to 1986)
  • Chipmunk - Musical artist [8]
  • Laurie Cunningham (d.1989) - footballer, played for Real Madrid and England[9]
  • Sway DaSafo - Internationally acclaimed musical artist / performer / producer (attended from 1994 to 1999[10]
  • Scarlett Alice Johnson - actress in the BBC soap opera EastEnders (played role of "Vicky Fowler") (attended from 1997 to 2002)[11]
  • Judge Jules - radio DJ / musical recording artist (attended from 1978 to 1983) [12]
  • Mikele Leigertwood - professional footballer (Reading FC)
  • Jobi McAnuff - professional footballer (Reading FC)
  • Gary McKinnon - allegedly "the biggest military computer hack of all time." (further citation / permission needed for this claim.) (attended from 1977 to 1982)[13]
  • Robert Peston - journalist and BBC Business Editor (attended from 1971 to 1978) [14]
  • Sonique - musical artist / performer / producer (attended from 1979 to 1984)[15]
  • Paul Cocksedge - Lighting designer and Artist.
  • Naomi Kritzer - American Science Fiction Author (attended from 1986 to 1987)[16]
  • Mat Zo - British electronic music producer, composer and DJ.[17]


  1. ^ "Hornsey (including Highagte) Education". British History Online. University of London. Retrieved 2009-01-03. 
  2. ^ http://hwsnewsweekly.blogspot.com/2009_10_01_archive.html
  3. ^ http://www.firststory.org.uk/2010/05/31/highgate-wood-school-haringey/
  4. ^ http://www.amazon.co.uk/Crumbs-Page-Anthology-Highgate-School/dp/0857480006
  5. ^ http://hwsnewsweekly.blogspot.com/2011/06/news-weekly-859.html
  6. ^ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anna_Shaffer - retrieved 25.02.2014
  7. ^ http://www.tianabenjaminonline.moonfruit.com/tianabiography/4516853288 - retrieved 25.12.08
  8. ^ Kintue, Vivien (2009-08-26). "Why Chipmunk is chirpy about his A-levels". The Guardian (London). 
  9. ^ Peston, Robert (2005-11-27). "This slightly odd little boy wanted to go to Balliol... and a 'bog standard' comp got me there". The Daily Telegraph (London). 
  10. ^ http://www.muswellhilljournal24.co.uk/content/haringey/muswellhilljournal/... - retrieved 25.12.08
  11. ^ http://www.hornseyjournal.co.uk/content/haringey/hornseyjournal/news/... - retrieved 25.12.08
  12. ^ Passed/Failed: An education in the life of Judge Jules, DJ - www.independent.co.uk/student/career-planning/getting-job/... - retrieved 25.12.08
  13. ^ Tottenham, Wood Green and Edmonton Journal COMPUTER hacker, Gary McKinnon has been refused the right to appeal the Home ... www.tottenhamjournal.co.uk/content/camden/hamhigh/news/highgate.aspx - retrieved 25.12.08
  14. ^ Peston, Robert (2005-11-27). "This slightly odd little boy wanted to go to Balliol… and a 'bog standard' comp got me there". The Daily Telegraph (London). 
  15. ^ BBC News | UK | Dance star's homelessness crusade - www.news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/1433406.stm - retrieved 25.12.08
  16. ^ http://naomikritzer.livejournal.com/profile - retrieved 08.12.13
  17. ^ https://www.facebook.com/matzomusic/posts/10152133946757059

External links[edit]