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Developing Tomorrow’s Leaders

Updated: Oct 31, 2022

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“It did not take us long to realise that Harrow Hong Kong is more than just a school, but a way of life, a culture, a family.”

Since opening its doors in 2012, Harrow International School Hong Kong has quickly established a reputation as one of the leading schools in Hong Kong and in Asia, combining the best of a British education in a vibrant, international setting.

Embedding elements of philosophy and practice from its mothership Harrow School in London, academic excellence is integral to Harrow Hong Kong’s ethos and can be evidenced through its exemplary public examination record.

In 2017, 35% of all A-Level grades achieved by Harrow Hong Kong pupils were A*; 67% of all grades were A* or A, and almost 90% were A*-B. Thirty-two of its pupils achieved straight A* or A grades across all of their subjects.

The School’s Sixth Form curriculum which provides the grounding for this success is based on the British A-Level system studied over two years, which makes for an inspiring academic environment and fosters a deep understanding in pupils of their chosen subjects.

For Year 13 pupil and current Head Girl Emma Bilney, the merits of the A-Level system are clear. “We have found that the A-Level curriculum grants us the freedom to specialise and streamline our knowledge and interests in preparation for university,” she explained.

“We can focus and study each subject at a more in-depth level and I feel I have benefitted greatly from being able to narrow my subjects down to the ones that I have a genuine passion for.”

Pupils in Year 12 are also encouraged to complement their A-Level studies with an Extended Project Qualification – a research project on any topic of their choosing – which provides an extra boost to university applications. More importantly, Bilney explained, “it helps pupils ‘engage in a process that teaches them the skills to work independently in preparation for degree-level study.” Harrow Hong Kong alumni can now be found studying a range of subjects in leading universities all around the world, including Oxford, Cambridge and Imperial College in the UK, the Ivy Leagues in the United States, and top establishments in Hong Kong, Canada, Australia and beyond.

Opportunities to Lead

But, as Bilney also points out, the strength of a Harrow Hong Kong education lies in a far richer experience, which prepares pupils for the challenges of life and careers far beyond the crescent-shaped school building near Gold Coast.

“Pupils of all ages extend their learning beyond the classroom through the numerous extra events within the School’s Leadership in Action programme. This provides a diverse range of opportunities and immerses us in extra-curricular activities both inside and outside Hong Kong, such as the Model United Nations at Harrow Hong Kong, and in Singapore and Hague, and nationwide cultural and sports competitions in China, Spain, the UK and the USA.”

The School is under new leadership this year, with Ann Haydon having taken up the reins as Harrow Hong Kong’s Head at the start of the 2017-18 academic year.

An award-winning educator and joining after nine years as Principal of the prestigious Surbiton High School in the UK, Haydon is entrusted with maintaining Harrow Hong Kong’s high standards. Her guiding principle is that pupils should develop the motivation, skills and determination to make a positive difference in the world.

“We believe that success should be measured not only by examination grades but by one’s influence on the world and our focus is based on learning, leadership and values,” Haydon explained.

“The willingness and ability to learn, to lead, to create, to compete and to care are fundamental aspects of a Harrow education. It is my view that an education full of opportunities is one where we can truly get the very best out of our boys and girls.”

The world of work into which today’s pupils will emerge is ever-changing. Employers are looking for recruits not just with an academic background, but who are team players and good decision-makers. They are looking for people who have a positive attitude to new experiences and who are able to demonstrate flexibility.

Haydon believes that a Harrow Hong Kong background provides just that.

“We have a responsibility not only to ensure that our pupils are prepared for university but that they have the relevant skills to compete for jobs in the global market.”

To that end, the School defines six attributes which is looks to develop in pupils under its ‘Leadership for a better world’ motto:

  1. Contributing positively to the community

  2. Applying knowledge with compassion

  3. Solving problems collaboratively

  4. Solving problems creatively

  5. Making fair and just choices

  6. Facing challenges with determination

“I want us to develop leadership skills in all our pupils and to give them the confidence and self-belief to believe that anything is possible,” Haydon continued.

“Whether our young people want to be astronauts or ambassadors, sculptors or surgeons, politicians or a Prime Minister, we will inspire, encourage and empower them to fulfil their dreams.”

Prospective Sixth Form pupils are invited to learn for themselves how their career aspirations can be supported and what makes a Harrow Hong Kong education so special at the School’s upcoming Sixth Form Opening Evening:

Wednesday 18 October 2017 • 7.00pm-9.00pm

This is aimed at pupils who will be starting Year 12 in August 2018 and will be sitting their IGCSE examinations (or equivalent) in May/June 2018.

For further information and to reserve places, visit the School website at

Click for our Harrow School profile.


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