Graduate story – Linn L

Every year, Harrow Beijing students achieve outstanding results, opening the doors to the world’s top universities. This year, our graduating students have been admitted to world-renowned universities including the University of Cambridge, Imperial College London, University College London, the London School of Economics and Political Science, Northwestern University in the United States, and the University of Toronto in Canada, all of which are ranked within the top 50 globally.

Next, we will glimpse into the impact of Harrow Beijing’s educational experience through interviews with some outstanding graduates. In this issue, let’s delve into the growth story of Linn L, who has been admitted to UCL.


UCL Architecture

Join Harrow Beijing in Year 8

A Family Trip Sowing 

the Seeds of Architectural Art

Linn told us that when she was young, she once visited the Mogao Grottoes in Dunhuang, where she developed a strong interest in the cave structures, thus planting the seeds of an infinite yearning for architectural design. “I’ve always loved drawing since I was little, had strong hands-on abilities, and enjoyed going to the theater to watch plays. After coming to Harrow Beijing, I truly began to study art and design, allowing my talents and interests to flourish,” Linn said.

Linn believes that architecture is a fusion of reality and ideals. As an architect, one needs to unleash creativity within the constraints of reality and infuse imagination. This balance between art and reality is highly appealing to Linn, allowing her to find equilibrium between the two realms.

The Journey of Dreams 

Begins at Harrow Beijing

After joining Harrow Beijing, Linn not only developed outstanding academic abilities but also pursued Design and Technology courses during her GCSE and A Level. These courses offered various project design options, guiding students through stages from initial research and discussions with teachers to designing, setting standards, and producing tangible products, thereby opening up a new world of design experience for her.

“Designing requires not only design skills but also the ability to communicate with the target customers, write proposals, and think innovatively and logically. For example, in designing toys, one must study the preferences of children, such as liking brighter colors and avoiding sharp edges. Currently, I am working on a project to redesign the school theater. I need to collaborate with teachers from various disciplines to address relevant professional issues, such as identifying problems with the theater with drama teachers and finding solutions,” Linn explained.

Linn believes that her experience studying DT at Harrow Beijing is a crucial factor for being admitted to the architecture design program at UCL. “Many competitors’ schools do not offer this course. This course is very helpful for architecture majors,” Linn told us.

Design and Technology at Harrow Beijing is a compulsory subject from Year 6 through to Year 9. From Year 10 onwards it is offered as an optional subject where it is delivered through the GCSE and A-Level courses. Harrow Beijing has recently invested heavily in this subject and it now boast 2 state of the Art Design and Technology rooms and an electronics and Textiles room. All rooms are clean, modern and packed full of the latest tools, machinery and new Technologies, including 3D Printers, Laser cutters  and CAD software. The innovative and hands-on curriculum is highly favored by students at Harrow Beijing.

Infusing Music-Inspired 

Elements into Architectural Design

The experience of learning piano since childhood has made it an indispensable part of Linn’s life. “Playing the piano is not a one-time thing. Once you stop practicing, your skills will decline. This also tells me that whatever you do, you have to keep doing it consistently. It’s a long-term effort that requires perseverance,” Linn said.

For this long-standing hobby, Linn found a space to showcase it at Harrow Beijing. Every semester, Harrow Beijing organizes various performing arts events such as music and drama, providing students with opportunities to demonstrate their talents and abilities, which Linn thoroughly enjoys. For example, in Year 11, she participated in the advanced concert held by Harrow Beijing at the Steinway Music Hall. Her exquisite piano skills left a profound impression on the live audience and became a highlight in her college application portfolio. At the same time, as a student music ambassador, she developed her leadership, collaboration, and communication skills through planning and organizing school activities.

Art is interconnected. “Through piano study, it made me start paying attention to the integration of acoustics and architectural design, such as how sound propagates in theaters, incorporating it into my own project studies. This also allowed UCL to see my deep research and passion for the profession, ultimately extending an offer,” Linn expressed.

Simultaneous Development 

of Personalized Traits and Academic Abilities

Speaking of the biggest change since enrolling in Harrow Beijing, what Linn feels most deeply is the emphasis on cultivating students’ ability to independently solve problems and personalized development. “For example, I enjoy art and playing the piano, and the teachers are very supportive, providing me with platforms to showcase my talents. Here, academic performance doesn’t completely define who you are. Sometimes my thoughts are quite unconventional, and the teachers also give me ample space and support to implement my creative ideas. Harrow Beijing not only provides students with abundant opportunities for extracurricular activities but also fosters a strong overall academic atmosphere, shaping a conducive learning environment,” Linn said.

Academic English proficiency serves as the foundation for in-depth subject learning and is a common challenge faced by all students aspiring to attend top overseas universities, including Linn. “When I transferred from a public school to Harrow Beijing, my English wasn’t very good initially. Teachers from various subjects would provide personalized guidance on reading according to individual situations. I found reading more helpful than rote memorization for improving English because language proficiency development extends beyond grammar and vocabulary. The teachers at Harrow Beijing were very understanding of the challenges faced by new students adapting to an all-English learning environment. They employed mature teaching methods and were eager to assist students,” Linn recalled.

Newcomers to Harrow Beijing are timetabled with a greater number of Language & Learning classes where appropriate in order to support students at their differing levels of ability. At Harrow Beijing, the low student-to-teacher ratio enabled Language and Learning teachers to tailor study plans for individual student. Students in the Sixth Form are scheduled for lessons called ‘English for Academic Purposes (EAP)’. These lessons are focussed towards helping students prepare for IELTS and TOEFL tests, which are often required for admission top universities in the world. Linn expressed that she has also greatly benefited from the school’s language courses since joining Harrow Beijing.

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