The strength and importance of our pastoral provision is one of the fundamental elements of a Harrow Hong Kong education and is essential to the wellbeing and success of our pupils. From the day the School opened, there has been a significant emphasis on the quality of relationships in the School community and the emphasis has been on establishing positive, respectful relationships. This is summarised through our Social Vision statement, which makes clear to all stakeholders how we want to treat each other within the School community.
‘A caring, respectful community in which everyone thrives’
Our Social Vision statement is, of course, closely aligned with the leadership attributes outlined in the School’s overall vision statement, Leadership for a better world. The School defines ‘leadership’ as making a positive difference through people, and the exemplification of this social vision helps to further equip and challenge our pupils to use their knowledge, skills and talents (now and in the future) to make life better for others – whether this is within the local or School community or on a global scale.
Facing Challenges Programme
The Facing Challenges programme at Harrow Hong Kong seeks to encourage and develop resilience amongst its pupils. Our pupils face a variety of personal challenges in their everyday lives. Health, social, economic and academic issues can all prove to be obstacles that prevent them from realising their potential or affect their wellbeing. The Facing Challenges programme aims to develop resilient individuals who embody the leadership attributes – dealing with problems positively and always looking for the solutions to any setback.
The Facing Challenges programme, therefore, is one of the cornerstones of our pastoral education provision. The background of positive psychology, which underpins so much of what we do in the School, has been central in the creation of our resources for this programme, in which the sessions aim to be interactive and practical.
In the Pre-Prep School, rather than teaching these topics through Theme lessons, a discrete lesson has been introduced as ‘House Time’, to mirror the principle and philosophy of the Upper School House Discussion meetings. Topics such as wellbeing, active listening and growth mindset are all explored, and pupils are required to actively model and develop these concepts.
Parenting Programme and Support
The School Psychologist, Dr. Gogna, runs parenting courses. It is the cornerstone of the School’s pastoral care provision and it is heartening to see so many parents embracing the tenets of positive psychology. The stronger the philosophical alignment of parents and the School, the more effectively we will be able to work together to allow our pupils to thrive at School.
The Partnership Agreement between Home and School which all parents sign on their children’s entry to the School, is the formal outline of the expectations of the key stakeholders in the School community: the School, parents and pupils. Underpinning this is the expectation of a regular two-way flow of relevant information, observations and perceptions between parents and the designated people who oversee the pastoral care of our pupils: the Class Teacher in the Lower School and the House Master or House Mistress in the Upper School. We encourage parents to play their part in ensuring that an effective, positive partnership develops, because such engagement has a strong positive impact on pupils’ academic attainment, extra-curricular achievement and emotional wellbeing.
Dr. Reena Gogna became the School's first psychologist when she arrived in 2013. She undertook her doctorate in Educational and Child Psychology and previously worked for Cambridgeshire County Council as a Child and Educational Psychologist with responsibilities attached to 19 schools. Dr. Gogna leads parenting workshops and programmes, group programmes for pupils to promote resilience, and training for staff on developing their own pastoral care of pupils. Through the School’s pastoral system, she advises, consults and supports staff and parents in addition to providing support to pupils individually and in small groups. At present, Dr. Gogna is undertaking an MSc. in Psychology and Neuroscience of Mental Health at King’s College London.