Harrow's strong ethos and clear values
Before it opened in 2012, many wondered if Harrow International School Hong Kong would live up to its billing in providing a first-class education and something more.
The School’s Head Ann Haydon is confident that the expectations of both pupils and parents have been met over the intervening years, and that the long-term mission of nurturing future leaders with the ability to create a better world is very much on track.
Explaining that a “unique thread” links Harrow Hong Kong with its UK counterpart, Haydon notes that this is based on having the same ethos and valuing the same principles.
“We are proud of our people and achievements. The school is committed to offering a real breadth of education, and we care passionately about pupils’ character development, and general happiness.”
The school’s guiding principle is for pupils to develop the motivation, skills and determination to make a positive difference to the world. In different situations, they are also encouraged to lead from the front, be effective team players, and act as positive role models.
“Leadership is a Harrovian quality,” Haydon says, noting in passing that Winston Churchill was former pupil in the UK. “Young people must learn how to lead and how to work collaboratively. They also need to be good decision makers and be adaptable, flexible, positive and independent thinkers.”
These characteristics are developed in part through the curriculum, and also through personalised attention and activities both inside and outside the classroom.
The teaching staff challenge pupils to explore ideas for themselves and give every opportunity to discover new talents and develop them to a high level. This could be in Music, Art, Drama, on the sports field, or by taking part in social enterprises or charitable initiatives.
“Our pupils are encouraged to connect with the local, national and international communities and have a desire to do good,” Haydon says. “We want them to make a positive difference and strongly believe that they can use their knowledge, skills and talents to make life better for other people by developing six leadership attributes outlined in the School’s motto Leadership for a better world.”
The Harrow education and the leadership attributes will guide through students’ life.
“No matter where they are, they will need leadership skills to overcome challenges and solve problems,” Haydon says. “Life is full of challenges, so young people need the relevant skills to tackle them and the confidence to adopt a solution based approach.”
Six keys to success
Classroom learning and outside activities focus on developing six attributes outlined in the school’s motto Leadership for a better world. These are :
- Contributing positively to the community
- Applying knowledge with compassion
- Solving problems collaboratively
- Solving problems creatively
- Making fair and just choices
- Facing challenges with determination
The school wants to see a caring, respectful community in which everybody thrives. This objective also provides a useful framework for teachers, pupils and parents in their interactions with each other.
Better communications by engaging parents
Harrow Hong Kong understands the importance of engaging with parents and makes a special effort to maintain good lines of communication.
The parents and teachers’ association, Friends of Harrow, provides practical support and additional opportunities to enhance education, at the same time promoting productive relationships within the school community.
Various sub-committees organise social events to enhance the educational experience and the interaction among members of the School community, including talks by guest speakers, opportunities to “shadow” different professionals at work, and sessions on presentation skills for pupils.
Ann Haydon assumed her position as Head of Harrow International School Hong Kong at the start of the academic year 2017-18. As a leading educator, she is committed to getting the very best out of young people and preparing them to go on to top universities around the world and to be the “leaders of tomorrow”.