Gillespie Primary School
Gillespie Road, Highbury, London, N5 1LH
T: 020 7226 6840 F: 020 7354 8537
Gillespie Primary School | Extra-Curricular
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Beyond the National Curriculum.

At Gillespie we enrich and develop curriculum opportunities through partnerships, collaborations, after school clubs and through special projects; enabling deeper study of particular subjects, enhancing the quality of learning experiences for our pupils.


Gillespie has a specialist music teacher who provides a vibrant music education to pupils across the school. This includes every child learning a stringed instrument in their last three years at school. All children sing and perform throughout their school life and as part of their study of the National Curriculum have opportunities to create and compose music and learn about music structure and notation .

We are very proud that Gillespie was one of the first schools in Islington chosen to introduce Music First. This is a music initiative in which every child in Year 4, 5 and 6 is loaned a string instrument and given free tuition. The children learn to play together, performing in regular assemblies and concerts with our partner schools in Islington including Highbury Grove Secondary School. Our children have also had the opportunity to perform in concerts at The Royal Albert Hall, The Barbican and regular performances at The Union Chapel in Islington. For more information about Music First please see the ‘Partnerships’ section of this website.

Pupils are also able to join After School Music Hub at Highbury Grove to further develop their skills and musical experiences.


Children in Year 4 have swimming lessons once a week as part of their regular class timetable. They are taken by school bus to Highbury Fields Pool where they are taught to swim by a qualified swimming instructor and encouraged to enter for certificates. A teacher is present during the swimming lessons.

Everyone takes part unless there is a medical reason for not doing so in which case please write to the class teacher. Your child will need a swimsuit, swim cap and towel, all with their names attached, and a means of tying back long hair where necessary.

Outings and Trips

All classes make several trips a year to museums, art galleries, theatres and parks. Some are local, others involve a short journey on public transport. We also are developing bi-annual and annual trips for particular classes to visit partner schools in Hambridge and to visit the annual science festival at Cheltenham.

Every year we organise a residential trip to Cardfields Environmental Centre in Essex- for the older children, usually with an environmental focus and emphasis on outdoor activity.

Beyond the National Curriculum

At Gillespie we enrich and develop curriculum opportunities through partnerships, collaborations, after school clubs and through special projects; enabling deeper study of particular subjects, enhancing the quality of learning experiences for our pupils.

Extended School

We offer an extended school day from 8:00am until 6:00pm. We provide a breakfast club at the school and have a partnership agreement with Elizabeth House Playcentre who provide high quality after school provision daily and in the holidays.

Pupil Involvement

We engage pupils actively in the life of the school so that they have a voice and a role to play in its development.