Emma Thompson’s daughter: ‘I left Highgate School after classmates called me a hippy’

The 15-year-old daughter of Hollywood actress Emma Thompson has revealed she left prestigious Highgate School after her classmates laughed at her for being a “hippy”.

Gaia Wise said the taunts began after she began campaigning for climate change after a Greenpeace trip to the Arctic with her mother last year.

She is now studying for her GCSEs at her West Hampstead home in a classroom at the back of the house specially built for her by Ms Thompson and father, the actor Greg Wise.

She said in an interview with the Mail on Sunday: “When I came back, I got a lot of people telling me to stop being such a hippy.”

She added: “I tried to get people to listen. It’s ridiculous how many teenagers on their phones call you a hippy for being interested in this.


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“You get proper stick for it. There were many reasons why I left, but that was one of them.”

Ms Thompson had previously said she pulled her daughter from the school earlier this year because formal education amounted to a “sausage factory”.

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Gaia, who attended a Greenpeace protest with her mother on the South Bank last week, said: “I’m really trying to get my generation involved in everything. I just love doing this on a weekend. Some people think it’s really sad, but I go and talk to people and I love it.”

A spokeswoman for the school said: “At Highgate, we take pupils’ welfare very seriously and we work hard to create an atmosphere of inclusion, where all feel welcome. Our culture encourages and fosters those who develop an interest in important social issues and we admire the fact that many young people here champion causes, such as the environment.

“While we cannot talk about individuals, we constantly want to learn from our pupils’ experiences and take seriously any feedback - positive or negative. Equally, we are sure that if any peer was to learn that they had contributed to a friend’s unhappiness, they would be taken aback and would also want to learn from this.”

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