The education at Channing Senior School is truly holistic. In our quest for a well-rounded educational offering we place great importance on the pastoral side of life that both feeds the academic side and balances it. We call this the Channing Experience. Of course, the academic side of life is important but equally so are the other aspects that make for a very rich and fulfilling educational experience. The Channing experience encompasses everything away from the curriculum, extra-curricular activities, clubs, music, Sport, raising money for charities and working with our partners. Find out more about all aspects of the Channing experience here:
There are many things to be proud of at Channing, but perhaps one of the most important is our Community Service.
It’s part of our Unitarian heritage and has been one of our core values since Channing started over 135 years ago.
Taking part in Community Service gives you the opportunity of taking a responsible role whilst at the same time developing leadership, social and organisational skills. At Channing, girls participate in voluntary work through the DofE Programme and through other community links in Year 12. Others do some Community Service within the School, such as Sixth Formers volunteering to organise and run lunchtime and after school clubs for the younger girls.
In normal times, you can pop into Oxfam in the Village and you’ll see some of our Sixth Formers helping to manage the shop. Others volunteer with local sport institutions, community groups such as Welcome Syrian Families, or help local students through schemes such as Mini Minds.
Another charity Channing often works with is one very close to our heart – the Alexandra Wylie Tower Foundation. Alexandra was a Channing pupil who sadly passed away. We typically organise a collection for their foodbank at Christmas and have a ‘wear pink’ (her favourite colour) day once a year to raise money.
Usually students take part in local events including the switching on of the Highgate Christmas Lights and the Summer Fair in the Square, where students can either help set up, act as a steward or perform. They also visit residential homes and hospitals and perform concerts at Christmas and at other times during the academic year. These activities help you develop into a well rounded, independent young adult and grow your confidence.
As Matilda Sharpe, one of the founders of Channing said: “Never forget that life is expecting much of you and me”. Channing students embody this quote and ensure our community, both inside and outside the school, thrives.
A wide range of co-curricular activities is offered either at lunchtime or after school.
There are a number of ways for girls to be involved in drama throughout the school – either by participating onstage, or by helping out backstage and with the technical elements.
There is a Year 7 and 8 Drama club after school and a whole-school production every year. Enthusiastic Sixth Formers run the KS4 drama club. There is also the opportunity for girls to organise and produce productions on their own.
Click here to watch some of our productions
The Music School provides a friendly, enthusiastic and stimulating environment in which musical excellence is encouraged and celebrated. We help our students develop their musical potential and respond to a variety of musical challenges. Students are given the opportunity to perform individually and in ensembles – irrespective of age or musical ability.
Our facilities are fabulous and include 13 practice/teaching rooms. Often all rooms are in use, and the place literally ‘buzzes’ with musical activity, even as early as 8 o’clock in the morning! All our rooms are equipped with high quality upright pianos, mainly Yamaha or Kawai models. Our fully soundproofed percussion studio is a superb place for our rock bands to make music and, for those interested in technology, our Music Technology room is equipped with 25 iMacs and full-size Yamaha keyboards. Each week, we have 27 co-curricular musical activities from Theory Club to Jazz Band and on most Fridays, we have ‘Music at Lunchtime’, in which pupils of any standard have the opportunity to play or sing a solo, whether they have their music lessons in or out of school.
The 30 members of the Visiting Music Staff give 400 individual lessons each week. Many of these teachers are performers in their own right. Some are ABRSM examiners, others play in or have led major national orchestras such as the Philharmonia and others have written popular tutor books for their instruments. Their expertise is invaluable and inspires our girls to ever greater achievements.
Each year, we have approaching 200 students taking ABRSM examinations and our average of 123/150 is significantly higher than the national average. The Channing Music brochure details the 35 musical events that take place throughout the year, including regular formal evening concerts.
We pride ourselves in being able to provide a stimulating musical environment for the most able as well as those at an elementary level. We have a number of musicians that attend the four junior departments of the main London conservatoires and play in prestigious orchestras outside of school such as the National Youth Orchestra, National Children’s Orchestra, National Youth Brass Band and the London Schools Symphony Orchestra. Past pupils have led the NYO and in recent years almost 50% of our A level students have gone on to study music at a variety of universities and colleges, though Oxbridge, Durham and Leeds tend to be the most popular.
One of the Music School’s highlights are the foreign tours undertaken. Our inaugural trip in 2009 was to Venice followed by 2011 to Vienna, 2013 to Boston, 2015 to Madrid/Segovia/Toledo and Lisbon in 2017. We returned to Venice again in October 2019 and in 2021 we enjoyed a tour to Croatia. Each tour sees us performing in prestigious, historic venues such as St Mark’s Basilica and the Schonbrunn Palace.
Music Scholarships are awarded to talented young musicians wishing to enter the school at Year 7 and Year 12. Scholarships are worth up to 50% of the fees plus free tuition on one instrument.
Peter Boxall, Director of Music.
Music Tuition for Senior School Pupils – £390 per term per instrument
You can submit a request for music tuition for your daughter by filling out the form below. However, please read the following carefully before doing so.
All lessons are subject to tutor availability. The Music Department will attempt to meet all requests for music tuition but in certain circumstances your daughter may be placed on a waiting list.
Individual lessons are 35 minutes in length and in Years 7-10 are organised on a rota. Students come out of timetabled lessons to have individual music lessons and are expected to make up any work missed. Lessons rotate from week to week to avoid missing the same subject each time.
There will be thirty lessons during the school year, however, more lessons take place in the Autumn term than the Summer due to the uneven length of each term. Lessons missed because of illness will, if possible, be made up at a later date at the discretion of the tutor. Absence for any other reason requires a full week’s notice to the tutor and Director of Music in order for the timetable to be adjusted, otherwise no refund can be made.
Students in Year 7 and Year 8 who request singing (voice) lessons are expected to join the Conabor Choir and attend practice on Fridays from 3.20pm to 4.10pm.
Instruments may be hired or bought directly from a list of approved agents. Advice will be provided about this.
Lessons are given on the understanding that no other individual tuition is received on that instrument as teaching styles are often not complementary.
Changes in tuition require at least a term’s notice in writing; otherwise a full term’s fees will be payable in lieu of notice.
Prior to their first lesson, all new pupils will receive notification of the time, date, room and the name of their new teacher. For the Autumn Term these will be distributed during the first few days of the Autumn Term by Form Tutors.
All pupils are encouraged to attend extra-curricular clubs at Channing. The Physical Education department provide a programme that caters for those girls interested in recreational sport and those girls who wish to represent the school at a competitive level.
- Table tennis
There are regular fixtures against other schools and Channing regularly enters county netball and borough athletics competitions.
- All students are welcome to attend clubs (as long as it is the right club for their year group!)
- If your child would like to take part in gymnastics, judo or cheerleading clubs they should take a letter and return the completed copy to the PE Department. There is a charge of £60 per term for these clubs.
- Students should wear PE kit to take part in extracurricular sports clubs
If students are taking part in a fixture they must wear full school PE kit. Parents are welcome to watch fixtures (and cheer!).
- If students would like to leave a venue with their parent they must inform a member of PE staff.
- If a student wishes to leave a venue after a fixture they must have written permission from their parent and this must be given to a member of PE staff before they leave the venue.
- Students will always be returned to school after fixtures unless otherwise communicated to parents.
- If fixtures are cancelled due to wet weather we will inform students and parents (via email/text) as soon as possible.
- If there are any questions or queries regarding sports clubs and/or fixtures please contact Miss Della-Porta or any member of the PE Department.
Trips and Tours
Exciting trips and tours are on offer at Channing. The PE department has recently lead ski trips to Switzerland, Canada and France as well as a netball tour to Barbados.