Towards the end of the Summer Term, ten Year 11 students from Harrow International School Hong Kong joined their counterparts from Bangkok, Beijing, John Lyon and the Harrow School in London for the second Harrow Family Fifth Form Conference. Titled Informed Leadership for the Future, the conference delivered a stimulating week-long programme of talks, visits and events.
The four visiting speakers spoke candidly about their roles and leadership challenges in such diverse fields as corporate law, education, naval defence and the arts. Of particular note were the stories from the First Sea Lord and Chief of Naval Staff, Admiral Sir George Zambellas, which so inspired and entertained his listeners that he still features prominently in their recollections of their Conference week.
Throughout the week, students participated in a series of workshops; topics ranged from practical decision-making and ‘leading from the top’, to how to best harness and develop individual emotional intelligence in order to become effective team contributors. The lessons taught in these workshops were reinforced by a much-enjoyed teamwork day at Yellowfoot Lodge, where high-ropes activities, balancing and strategy tasks built the students’ trust in each other, and their ability to co-operate as a team. The formal portion of the conference culminated with group presentations broadly based on the UN Millennium Development Goals.
As part of their wider conference experience, students stayed in boarding houses on the Hill, where they soon developed firm friendships with the resident and visiting Harrovians; they also attended chapel, a concert, and a rousing annual Harrow versus Eton cricket match at Lord’s. Other memorable aspects of the Conference included a day trip to Oxford with personal tours of three colleges, a tour of UCL, and dinner and a show in London’s West End.
Overall, it was an enriching experience for the Year 11 students, and they left London with many happy memories, new friends and an excellent introduction to the finer points of effective leadership.