Meet the Year Leaders

Mr Travis Purnell, 2W Class Teacher and Year 1 and 2 Leader

Mr Purnell holds a BSc (Hons) from Liverpool John Moores University and qualified as a teacher in 2010. Mr Purnell has held a range of posts in his career including leading on PE, English, Data, and New Staff Induction as well Year Group Leader from Years 1-6. His teaching career to date has included posts in England, Thailand, Belgium and Hong Kong. Mr Purnell joined Harrow Hong Kong in 2020 and was appointed as Key Stage 1 Leader.

Mrs Hannah Russell, 3W Class Teacher and Year 3 Leader

Hannah graduated from Edge Hill University with a BA (Hons) with QTS in English before starting her teaching career in Suffolk where she was an upper Key Stage 2 teacher for 6 years. She led Science across the school and the British Council Connecting Classrooms programme. As part of this, she led the school through two successful teacher exchanges with a school in Ethiopia.

In 2015, Hannah moved to Dubai where she taught as a Lower Key Stage 2 teacher for 3 years. She went on to join the teaching and learning team where she developed her leadership skills and developed responsive planning strategies and child-led teaching approaches across the Primary School.

Hannah joined Harrow International School in 2018 as Year 3 Leader and teacher with a passion for ensuring learning is accessed by all whilst setting high expectations to ensure quality outcomes. She has a particular interest in the power of verbal feedback, English and promoting regular reading.

Mr Christopher Russell, 4W Class Teacher and Year 4 Leader

Chris graduated from the University of Lincoln in 2004 with a BA (Hons) in Journalism. After this, he worked in Swaziland, Africa on a conservation project and then continued to travel across Africa, Australasia and North America.

Chris later attended The Forest Independent Primary Collegiate, where he did a SCITT course gaining a PGCE and attaining QTS in 2010.

Chris’ first teaching post was at Lavender Primary School in North London, where he taught for three years, teaching Reception and Year 1. Passionate about sport in education, he accepted the PE coordinator role, running both the boys and girls’ football teams, mixed cricket teams and athletics. He took the girls to the London Youth Games at Crystal Palace as the representative of the Borough of Enfield.

In 2013, Chris moved to Dubai after accepting a role as class teacher at Kings School, Al Barsha. He was there for three years teaching Year 2 and Year 4. He also accepted the role of Computing coordinator.

In 2017, Chris moved to Hong Kong and began working at Harrow international School. In his second year, he became the Year 4 Leader and has continued in this role. During this time, Chris has continued in his passion for sport in education by running The KS2 mixed cricket team. It was amazing to see the team win two cricket 6 tournaments in their first year.

Mr Theo De Vies, 5W Class Teacher and Year 5 Leader

Mr De Vies has worked at Harrow Hong Kong since August 2016 and has held a number of leadership positions within the lower school.

Mr De Vies graduated from the University of Leicester with a BA (Hons) degree in English Literature & History in 2010. He then moved to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, where he worked as a Lower School Teaching Assistant at the British School of Kuala Lumpur. Mr De Vies completed his PGCE at Nottingham Trent University and then worked at Derby High School for three years before moving to Hong Kong.

Mr De Vies is a keen sportsman and has enjoyed being part of rugby and football teams while in Hong Kong. He captained the University of Leicester First XV rugby team and also enjoys playing squash in his spare time. While in Hong Kong, Mr De Vies has enjoyed travelling around Asia and the rest of the world yet he still loves visiting his family in Sunderland and Loughborough whenever he has the chance.

Mr De Vies lives in one of Harrow’s Prep School boarding houses (Nightingale House) with his wife who is in her third year as House Mistress.