We asked TOM HICKS, Principal Deputy Head (Pastoral and Wellbeing) at Harrow International School Hong Kong, to run us through a typical boarding day at the school, and share some other insights.
The School Day
The boarders wake up around 7am and then head to breakfast where they can choose from a range of local, continental or English options. Harrow chefs love making food exciting for the pupils. Next, the boarders join the day pupils for a normal day of lessons and activities. This includes taking part in one of the many amazing opportunities the school offers, from horse riding to drama to forensics club. You name it – Harrow probably offers it!
After school, the boarders have some free time before dinner, which might be a themed meal, like the spooky one we had at Halloween recently, or a boarders’ barbecue. Then there is time for prep, during which the boarders can benefit from the support of one of our dedicated tutors – or you might often see an older pupil helping a younger one with their homework. For those needing it, specialist English language tuition is offered.
After prep, there’s normally a fun activity like a quiz, some sport, or a special event like an open air movie night, scavenger hunt or even a Just Dance contest.
Sleep is an important part of wellbeing, and boarders all hand in their phones and laptops in order to be well rested for another busy day at Harrow. Above all, the boarders love being with their friends and learning to live independently.
Settling into boarding life at Harrow
We know that living away from home for the first time is a big step for anyone (parents, too!). Harrow’s induction programme gets all the boring admin out of the way ahead of a pupil starting so they can focus on getting to know their new friends and roommates.
All pupils are assigned a buddy in the same year group, an older mentor and a “shepherd” who helps make sure they don’t get lost on the large Harrow campus.
Weekends at home
Boarding at Harrow is a great step on the way to growing up, but our pupils still get to go home on a Friday night for a family weekend. We think it’s the best of both worlds for everyone.
Help is always at hand
“There’s a large support network at Harrow, and the most important people in the houses are the House Masters or Mistresses (HMs). They are supported by an Assistant HM who also lives in the house, a matron and a resident Gap tutor – typically a student who is between school and university; they are all role models for the pupils.
“Each pupil has their own tutor once a week who delivers our Facing Challenges programme, which focuses on all aspects of a young person’s wellbeing. We also have a School Psychologist and a team of counsellors. Our pupils are incredibly kind and caring and often it may be a senior pupil who offers their support, too. We aim for Harrow to feel like an extended family.”
This article first appeared in the Winter 2020 issue of Expat Living magazine. Subscribe now so you never miss an issue.