Ready for University and the Independence that Comes with it
Natasha extolled the virtues of her Sixth Form experience at Harrow Hong Kong.
“We have plenty of opportunities to step out of our comfort zone and try new things,” said the Year 12 pupil.
Already an athlete, Natasha tried various new sports and helped organise charity fundraising events this year.
The Sixth Form (Year 12 and 13) is a critical stage in education for any young adult. Going into Year 12, Natasha knew that her interest for university studies would be in the areas of childhood development and occupational therapy.
Harrow had the people, the resources and the culture to help her refine and confirm her plans.
“We learned that it is important to find something you are passionate about, something you will love,” she said.
Taking up leadership roles, weekly university preparation classes, and monthly Speaker’s Forums featuring experts in different fields are among a host of opportunities at Harrow that culminate to a readiness and maturity in Sixth Form pupils.
Opened in Hong Kong in 2012, Harrow Hong Kong is a boarding and day school. In 2018, it has a total enrolment of 1250 pupils from the Early Years to Year 13.
Jo Morris, Head of Sixth Form, said that the school plays a crucial role in supporting its pupils as they make decisions about universities and careers.
“The Sixth Form is so important because the pupils are looking forwards to university, career options and their lives as adults, with a number of key decisions to make.
“As well as having a number of dedicated staff on hand to offer and advice and support, the benefits of a Harrow education lie in the depth of subject knowledge and independent study skills the A-Level system invokes, coupled with the diverse leadership programme which provides a breadth and richness of experience which universities are really looking out for.”
Every year, Morris leads and organises annual trips to visit top universities in the US and the UK. Through these visits, pupils are better informed about university life, and the merits of each system in supporting their individual aspirations and ambitions. One such trip to visit UK universities has helped Natasha identify the specific academic programmes she will be applying to.
The Sixth Form at Harrow sees pupils following the A-Level system. Morris believes that A-Levels allow pupils to specialise in subject areas , m
While they originated from the British education system, A-Levels are widely recognised by universities in the US and worldwide. Harrow also has dedicated staff to advise pupils on applying to universities in the US and in Hong Kong.
As a boarding and day school, Harrow organises its pupil body into houses. Hannah Tyley, Assistant Head of Sixth Form, said that the House system is essential to creating a supportive environment.
House Masters or House Mistresses not only give general advice or supervision. They have designated hours to meet and talk with pupils one on one.
“The House system acts as a family, so that pupils go into the Sixth Form years already feeling understood and supported,” Tyley said.
For new pupils joining in the Sixth Form, the House system is quick to make them feel welcomed, she added.
In fact, the camaraderie built during the Harrow years often continues after pupils have left school. Many stay in touch with their teachers, and return to Harrow to give talks and share their university or career experiences.
One pupil who will soon graduate from Harrow and move on to university is Greg, in Year 13. He has already received an offer to study Engineering at his first-choice university, Cambridge’s Corpus Christi College, and is sitting his A-Level exams this summer.
Greg recalled how he decided on studying Engineering at university. In Year 11, an open evening was held where each A-Level subject available provided a taster session for their courses. Greg knew that his favourite A-Level subject would be Physics.
“From that point on, I had a lot of conversations with teachers, who all encouraged us to do what we love,” he said “I took their advice and decided on Engineering for university.”
Greg said the Sixth Form at Harrow has been all about responsibility and leadership. As a Prefect, he has enjoyed regular interactions with pupils from across the school body.
“In the Sixth Form, we’ve all had opportunities to lead and to be led,” he said.