Friends of Harrow (FoH)
Friends of Harrow was formed in 2013, bringing together parents and teaching staff in support of the School to assist in providing the best possible all-round educational experiences.
Every parent, guardian and academic staff member automatically becomes a member of Friends of Harrow, and is warmly welcomed to actively participate in events and programmes.
Through Friends of Harrow, parents and guardians have ample opportunity to contribute positively to the School community in a variety of ways using their particular skill sets and specialist areas of knowledge. Working together with the School to extend opportunities to pupils beyond those normally available, this collaboration also facilitates the growth of a cohesive and active community of Harrow Hong Kong families. In turn, undertakings of Friends of Harrow also serve to actively promote the School’s vision and core values to the wider Hong Kong community.
In its short history, Friends of Harrow has partnered together with the School on initiatives such as Summer Work Shadowing for Sixth Form, Upper School Careers’ Fair and the Whole School International Day and Long Ducker. These events have been facilitated through a rapidly growing sense of community at the School, with parents working alongside the School to not only enhance the experience of pupils, but also contribute to the wider community through charitable engagement.
Key areas of activity are support of School’s selected local and international charities; International Day; Careers' Fair and Work Shadowing; lecture programmes; welcome events for families new to the School; and social occasions for parents and members of staff.
Parent members of Friends of Harrow for 2017-18:
- Ms. Natalia Veldman, Chairman and Leader of the Communication Committee
- Ms. Grace Lan, Vice Chairman
- Ms. Stefanie Willis, Secretary
- Ms Emma Bibby, Lead of the Charity Engagement Committee
- Ms Wanda Daly, Co-Leader of the Social Committee
- Mrs. Sonu Govil, Co-Leader of the Social Committee
- Dr. Anthony Fung, Leader of the Education Enhancement Committee
- Mr. Daniel Hui, Parent Member
- Mr Stuart Sanders, Parent Member
- Mrs. Wendy Yuen, Deputy Leader of the Education Enhancement Committee
School members of Friends of Harrow:
- Ms. Ann Haydon, Head
- Miss Annabel Davies, Deputy Head
- Mr. Barney Durrant, Deputy Head
- Mrs. Kate Gower, Head of Lower School
- Ms. Jo Morris, Sixth Form Leader and Upper School Representative
- Mr. Chris Russell, Lower School Representative
Friends of Harrow Education Enhancement Sub-Committee, in conjunction with the School, organises an annual Careers’ Fair for pupils in Years 10 to 13. Pupils can speak with a variety of panellists drawn from parents and friends that represent a broad variety of professions. Since 2012, a large number of parents have been volunteering their time to support the event. In 2017, the response to the recruitment request was overwhelmingly positive, and as a result, the number of panels was increased to 21 professional areas, with half of the panellists coming from the current parent body. In addition to new volunteers, the Committee was very pleased to welcome back some volunteers who have supported in the Careers’ Fair for four years and still find it rewarding.
Personal Development Programme
The Programme aims to develop pupils' skills in self-management and development, including a variety of soft skills that enhance pupils' academic ability. Year 12 pupils who are planning their university applications are invited to have a mock interview by a group of parents. They are given an introduction to writing their curricula vitae, and go through a formal interview to explore their university and career intentions. A structured evaluation is then completed, followed by a debriefing that gives the pupil feedback on areas of improvement.
The Speaker's Forum
The Speaker's Forum is a scheduled forum to give pupils the opportunity to learn from the experience of outside speakers. The speakers are chosen based on their ability to contribute to the School's vision statement, Leadership for a better world. The majority of the seminars are aimed at Upper School pupils, but Lower School pupils are invited when it is felt that the speaker has a broader appeal. Friends of Harrow collaborates with the School to deliver the broadest possible speaker programme. Previous speakers have included Dr. Kelly Yang, Writer, and Ms. Sarah Monks, War Correspondent.
Work Shadowing Programme
The work shadowing programme finds short placements for the School's Sixth Form pupils. Friends of Harrow works with the parent body and their contacts in Hong Kong and further afield to find a variety of placements so as many Year 12 pupils as possible are able to gain a valuable insight into the world of work as they prepare to write their university applications.
Lower School Programme
Friends of Harrow organises visits for the younger pupils to support the Lower School curriculum. Following the theme of Transportation in the Summer Term 2017, Year 2 pupils had a tour of a passenger cruise liner and Year 3 visited the Kwai Chung Container Terminals.
Support for the Long Ducker
Long Ducker remains the major charitable fundraising event by the School for the nominated charities of the year, and Friends of Harrow has grown its supporting contribution of the event preparation and International Food Court re-fuelling participants into a colourful social event. On 11 March 2017, over 110 parents alone contributed to the Food Stalls and countless other volunteers immersed themselves in the event, which saw a phenomenal turnout of nearly 800 pupils, parents, staff and guests complete the Long or Short Ducker course along the MacLehose Trail. Several hundred additional participants joined at the School to enjoy food from around the world as well as musical entertainment.
Gala Charity Ball
This year’s Gala Ball “A Tropical Autumn Night” took place on Saturday 4 November 2017.
The First Charity Gala Ball took place at the Western Market in Hong Kong in 2015. The event was a culmination of months of hard work and dedication by a group of committed parent volunteers in the Gala Ball Sub-Committee. A total of HK$292,500 raised at the Live Auction was donated in equal amounts to the School's six supported charities for the year.
Support to the School’s SupportED Charities
- The Crossroads Foundation
The School’s permanent charity is The Crossroads Foundation. In the academic year 2016-17, Friends of Harrow commenced a parent engagement programme with a Tour and Coffee Afternoon for parents at The Crossroads on Friday 20 January 2017. As a result, a further “Life X-Perience” event was arranged by Friends of Harrow on Saturday 28 May 2017. Around 40 parents and children took part in “The Challenge of Water”, undertaking interactive activities designed to stimulate deeper understanding of issues of global need.
- Box of Hope
At Christmas 2017, pupils throughout the School were given the option of preparing a Box of Hope for those less fortunate. A mammoth 1,300 boxes were provided which were diligently sorted and sifted by parent volunteers. Boxes were donated to the One Sky programme, who distributed these boxes to eight orphanages around China.
- Weekly Visits to Caring Centres
Friends of Harrow members support weekly visits to Maggie’s Cancer Caring Centre in Tuen Muen and Tai Ping Pui Care and Attention Home for the elderly and mentally disabled in Tuen Mun. Pupils, parents and staff members provide a programme for the users of the Centres which includes music, arts and crafts, board games, teaching English, teaching basic computer skills and cooking.
Welcome to New Parents
In the Autumn Term, Class and House Parent representatives, Friends of Harrow Committee members and the School's Senior Leadership Team members welcome parents new to the School at a twilight drinks reception. It is the perfect informal setting for the parents to get to know each other and begin the development of relationships within the School community.
Curry & Quiz Night
Members of Friends of Harrow and staff of the School join to organise the keenly anticipated parent-teacher social evening. The challenge of the questions and delicious dishes provide a competitive and fun evening!
Friends of Harrow E-Directory provides parents with a secure online contact database facilitating communication within the parent community. Parents who opt-in to the listing retain flexibility and control over the amount and type of contact information shared. The directory can be found in the Engage parent portal.
Harrow Hong Kong App
Developed in partnership with Friends of Harrow and Digistorm Education (Australia), the Harrow Hong Kong App is designed to ensure that members of the School community are able to keep their finger on the pulse of the School. The App streamlines the delivery of important notices, news and calendar events. Parents can personalise the content they receive to be directly relevant to their children and interests. Additional enhancements include photo galleries from school events, an interactive school map linked to calendar events and a contact database.
The Harrow Hong Kong App is available for free download on both iOS and Android platforms.