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A Conversation with Art
Mrs Rachel Dent, Head of School, read to the City Campus children and reflected on the role that reading plays in education, and in our lives.
City Campus
Overview
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At City Campus our curriculum combines the best of the National Curriculum in England with the values and best practice from here in Beijing to inspire children to reach their fullest potential.
Creative Reading
At Harrow Beijing, we aim to develop a love of reading with all our students. We want to encourage our students to develop into well-rounded individuals with an extensive knowledge of the world and to help with this we provide a number of reading initiatives and guides to help them along their literary journey.
The opportunities we provide include Battle of the Books, House Battle of the Books, The Subway Lines, The Panda Book Awards, the Sixth Form Reading Challenge, our annual whole school Book Week celebrating books and reading, and bespoke library lessons delivered to Year 5 - 8. We also provide recommended reading lists for everyone from Early Years through to an Oxbridge reading list for our older members of the school.
It is proven that reading activities encourage wider reading which in turn improves mental health, reduces stress levels, improves general knowledge, helps develop our empathy with others, expands our vocabularies and improves our communication, focus, concentration and writing skills. Reading books exposes our students to new ideas while allowing them to think and process information which ultimately improves their overall analytical skills.
‘You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me.’ ― C.S. Lewis.
Learning Support
The Learning Support Department at Harrow Beijing is dedicated to creating engaging learning environments that foster academic success and address barriers to learning in the least restrictive environment possible.
The department strives to work together with other teachers, families and community professionals to foster the healthy development of all our students, including those with or without a formal diagnosis of a special educational need or disability.
We are well resourced across the whole school, with a full-time Learning Support Coordinator in both Lower School and Upper School, and a number of dedicated Learning Support and Intervention Teachers. The department works collaboratively with school leaders and teachers to ensure that our commitment to quality first teaching permeates all of our practice.
The Learning Support Department's remit also involves organising appropriate access arrangements for those students meeting the strict criteria of the JCQ and CIE regulatory examining boards. As students approach formal exams at IGCSE and A Level, the Learning Support Department works closely with the Educational Psychologist to support those students entitled to additional access arrangements.
The Learning Support Department maintains and shares an interest in current educational research, training and resources in an attempt to provide optimum outcomes for students and appropriate support, advice and training to the rest of the teaching body.
Gifted & Talented
At Harrow Beijing, provision for gifted and talented students is a critical area of our school curriculum. There is an emphasis throughout on setting aspirational targets for all students, and enabling gifted students to develop both a deeper understanding of subject areas and a love of those same subject, alongside growing their talents within specific disciplinary contexts. Equally, our staff work outside formal lesson times with students identified as gifted and talented, whether as a part of the department extra-curricular offering, or in informal lunch-time drop-in sessions. This extends to competitions such as the UKMT or Chemistry Olympiad, as well as initiatives within the Harrow Group of Schools such as the Harrow History Essay Competition or Creative Writing anthology.
When students enter Sixth Form, university coaching plays a key role in both guiding our students towards subjects and courses which meet their individual gifts and talents, as well as 1:1 coaching from subject specialists continuing to develop these interests. The Extended Project Qualification is a key part of this, allowing students to further their understanding of a particular area, with support from a subject specialist.
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Campus News
On Wednesday, the Harrow Beijing City Campus held a winter carnival. Winter Olympics sports such as Bobsleigh, Curling and Skiing were introduced to the students in the activities. Support and anticipation for the upcoming Beijing Winter Olympics were expressed by colouring iconic symbols. In addition to experiencing winter sports, proper outdoor exercises also enhanced children’s physical fitness. Children raced on the playground pushing tires with great passion and enjoyment. The cold didn’t bother them at all!
Last Thursday, students at Harrow Beijing City Campus performed in a joyful, winter-themed show. Bells jingled all the way, and everyone celebrated the end of the year with spectacular programmes. A musical production ‘Frozen’, including singing and dancing, gave the audience an immersive and entertaining winter experience. The Kung-Fu performance displayed the spirit and discipline of our students. Between each performance, teachers and students expressed their holiday wishes. We also had a special visitor last week at City Campus! Santa travelled from the frozen North Pole to the slightly less frozen lands of Beijing to meet the children and hand out presents. He was glad to come once again to City Campus and he wishes all the children of the world a very happy holiday!
This week, Friends of Harrow held the appreciation meals at Hegezhuang Campus and City Campus to express the gratitude to all teachers and staff at Harrow Beijing. The appreciation banquet is one of Harrow Beijing’s traditional celebrations dating back to its establishment. Although many FoH activities have been cancelled due to the epidemic in the past two years, FoH still managed to go ahead with this cosy reunion in the cold early winter in Beijing. In addition to the exquisite decoration and delicious food, FoH also customized printed masks and postcards as souvenirs. Harrow Beijing would like to take this opportunity to sincerely thank Friends of Harrow and all our Harrow parents for your long-standing support.
Last Friday, City Campus held the traditional Harrow Ducker. Usually an outdoor event, the AQI forced us indoors. This didn’t stop the fun though. Students raced around a complex obstacle course, going through tunnels, over benches, in tyres, and down slides in order to be crowned the Ducker winner! Each Year group raced, divided into boys and girls. Head of Sports, Mr. Allan Longmuir, ran with our front runners as they completed two laps of this tricky course. The top three runners were rewarded with bronze, silver, and gold medals. Each student received a ribbon for their participation.
Mid-Autumn Day is considered one of the most important festivals in Chinese culture. Families and friends gather to celebrate the occasion and it is often the best time for moon watching. In China, there are many folktales and poems about the moon and its significance, and mooncakes are always regarded as a delicacy. Recently, a series of activities around the Mid-Autumn Festival took place at Harrow Beijing to promote and develop an understanding of Chinese tradition, and celebrate the day Early Years students explored Mid-Autumn themed activities in class. Students in Pre-nursery painted Osmanthus trees with their fingers. At Nursery and Reception, children made paper rabbits out of cups and plates, and decorated lanterns with Chinese characters saying “Happy Mid-Autumn Day”. These lanterns, alongside mooncakes made of light clay, were later displayed in the corridor. The campus felt distinctively festive! On Thursday, the Zhili Society organised a mooncake workshop for Upper School. Students and teachers made mooncakes with their own hands and celebrated together at lunch time. Pre-prep students also experienced the making of mooncakes with the help of teachers and catering staff. The round and sweet Chinese pastry is considered as a symbol of reunion and happiness. Shortly before the Mid-Autumn holiday, parents at City Campus were invited to join their children for a family day. They made mooncakes together outdoors and shared a picnic in the campus against the beautiful backdrop of early-autumn.
On 10 September, Friends of Harrow treated teachers at the Hegezhuang and City Campus to a special afternoon tea. Snacks and drinks were prepared with thought and kindness, to express thanks to the teachers and celebrate the day. Today, at the first Assembly of the year, students and the school leaders expressed their appreciation for all the teachers’ hard work and wished them a very Happy Teachers’ Day. On this special day, Harrow Beijing sincerely appreciates the wonderful support and cooperation we receive from our community members. We will carry on thriving with Courage, Honour, Humility and Fellowship at the forefront of all we do!
Harrow Beijing warmly welcomed its students back to school on the first day of September. With old friends reunited and newcomers joining, the campus regained its liveliness and air of academic pursuits. Pupils are entering the 2021-2022 academic year with a refreshed outlook after a long summer break, teachers are well-prepared, and classrooms are re-decorated. All is made ready for students to start a new term. Message from the Head Welcome back to the new school year! I hope you have had a restful and enjoyable break with your families and friends. I am sure that the students are ready to get back to school and see their teachers and friends, and I know the staff are very excited to meet their new students on 1st September! During the Summer Holiday break the Senior Leadership Team (SLT) have been meeting regularly to establish the highest quality provision, both pastoral and academic, for the opening of school. To support our students’ emotional wellbeing at the beginning of school all students will be focused on pastoral issues. As well as some of the usual ‘Getting to Know You’ activities which we undertake to help classes become an effective team, they will also be involved in a variety of fun activities which will help them settle back into school after the long absence. In this way, we can settle students back into the learning environment and school routines, and make sure they are ready to begin the new school year feeling safe, happy and excited. Kind regards, Miss Davey Head of Lower School A very warm welcome back to the new academic year. I would first of all like to congratulate all of our Year 11-13 students on their outstanding achievements in the summer examinations. The results are fantastic and all the more remarkable given the challenges of the global pandemic and is testament to the resilience and determination of our students, and our teachers and support of our parents. I want to thank our parents for their continued support of the Harrow School Community, and I am very much looking forward to working with you during the year. With my very best wishes. Mr Tom Nolan Head of Upper School During the summer vacation, school facilities were renovated and repaired. At the Hegezhuang Campus, the exteriors were renewed. The Upper School library was extended allowing students to benefit from a wider variety of book collections, and a larger reading zone while the Sixth Form students will enjoy studying in a bespoke area in the library. Our City Campus relocated and expanded its library. The original space is now used as a parent lounge, a reserved space for Open Mornings and parent sessions. 
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