Highgate Wood Secondary School

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Highgate Wood School
Motto Everyone Matters
Established 1967
Type Community school
Headteacher Patrick Cozier BSc
Chair Chris Tully
Location Montenotte Road
N8 8RN
51°34′53″N 0°07′59″W / 51.5814°N 0.133°W / 51.5814; -0.133Coordinates: 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
Houses DaVinci, Seacole, Edison
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 Haringay 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.

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 [1] 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 has enjoyed success in the performing arts. Ambitious recent drama productions include 'The Crucible' by Arthur Miller, 'Yerma' by Federico Garcia Lorca, a contemporary version of Lysistrata by Aristophanes and the Madness musical Our House. 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. It has established excellent results in mathematics and science, whilst also nurturing talents in English.

Novelist Romesh Gunesekera was writer-in-residence at Highgate Wood School.[2] Publications arising from his residency include Crumbs on a Page (2009),[3] and Pages Held With Words (2011).[4] The author Keren David is currently working with the school as part of the Patron of Reading scheme.[5]

OFSTED inspections[edit]

From the last OFSTED report in November 2011[6]: "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.
  • 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 (attended from 1977 to 1982)[13]
  • Alison Joseph - crime novelist
  • Kate Murphy- broadcaster and historian
  • Robert Peston - journalist and ITV Political 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. ^ https://web.archive.org/web/20110818045332/http://hwsnewsweekly.blogspot.com/2009_10_01_archive.html. Archived from the original on August 18, 2011. Retrieved October 29, 2011. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  2. ^ https://web.archive.org/web/20120425121607/http://www.firststory.org.uk/2010/05/31/highgate-wood-school-haringey/. Archived from the original on April 25, 2012. Retrieved October 29, 2011. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  3. ^ Romesh Gunesekera. Crumbs on a Page: An Anthology by the Highgate Wood School First Story Group. Amazon.co.uk. ISBN 9780857480002. Retrieved 2016-01-26.
  4. ^ https://web.archive.org/web/20120425121607/http://hwsnewsweekly.blogspot.com/2011/06/news-weekly-859.html. Archived from the original on April 25, 2012. Retrieved October 29, 2011. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  5. ^ http://www.thetottenhamindependent.co.uk/news/13841622.School_appoints__Patron_of_Reading_/
  6. ^ [1][dead link]
  7. ^ "Tiana Biography - Tiana Benjamin Online". Tianabenjaminonline.moonfruit.com. 1984-10-05. Retrieved 2016-01-26.
  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. ^ [2][dead link]
  11. ^ https://web.archive.org/web/20100630012725/http://www.hornseyjournal.co.uk/content/haringey/hornseyjournal/news/. Archived from the original on June 30, 2010. Retrieved January 7, 2014. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  12. ^ "Getting a Job | Student". The Independent. Retrieved 2016-01-26.
  13. ^ [3][dead link]
  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. ^ "UK | Dance star's homelessness crusade". BBC News. 2001-07-11. Retrieved 2016-01-26.
  16. ^ "Naomi Kritzer : Profile". Naomikritzer.livejournal.com. Archived from the original on 2016-08-18. Retrieved 2016-01-26.
  17. ^ "Mat Zo - It's funny how you sometimes only appreciate good..." Facebook. 2013-12-09. Retrieved 2016-01-26.

External links[edit]