Harrow School


Harrow School
Harrow Crest.svg
Mottoes Latin: Stet Fortuna Domus
("Let the Fortune of the House Stand")
Latin: Donorum Dei Dispensatio Fidelis
("The Faithful Dispensation of the Gifts of God")
Established 1572 (1243)
Type Independent school, Boarding school
Religion Anglican
Head Master Mr Jim Hawkins [1]
Chairman of the Governors Mr R C Compton
Founder John Lyon of Preston
Location Harrow on the Hill High Street
London Borough of Harrow
London
HA1 3HP
United Kingdom
Staff ~200 (full-time)
Students ~800 pupils
Gender Male
Ages 13–18
Houses 13
Colours Blue & White         
Publication The Harrovian
Former pupils Old Harrovians
Badges Rampant Lion
Crossed Arrows
Website harrowschool.org.uk

Coordinates: 51°34′23″N 0°20′02″W / 51.573103°N 0.333792°W / 51.573103; -0.333792

Harrow School, commonly known simply as "Harrow", is an English independent school for boys situated in the town of Harrow, in north-west London.[2]. The school is of worldwide renown. There is some evidence that there has been a school on the site since 1243 but the Harrow School we know today was officially founded by John Lyon under a Royal Charter of Elizabeth I in 1572.[3] Harrow is one of the original nine public schools that were defined by the Public Schools Act 1868.

The school has an enrollment of approximately 850 boys[4] spread across twelve boarding houses,[5] all of whom board full time.

Harrow has many traditions and rich history, which includes the use of Straw Hats, morning suits, top hats and canes as uniform. Its long line of famous alumni include eight former Prime Ministers (including Churchill, Baldwin, Peel, and Palmerston), numerous foreign statesmen, former and current members of both houses of the UK Parliament, two Kings and several other members of various royal families, 19 Victoria Cross holders, and a great many notable figures in both the arts and the sciences. It is widely considered one of the best secondary schools in the world along with its famous rival Eton. Good Schools Guide said the school "Does well, does the boys well, couldn't do better."

Contents

History

Various schools in the same location have educated boys since 1243, but the school in its current state was founded in February 1572 under the Royal Charter granted by Queen Elizabeth I to John Lyon, a local wealthy farmer.[6] In the school's original charter six governors were named, including two members of the Gerard family of Flambards, and two members of the Page family of Wembley and Sudbury Court.[7] It was only after the death of Lyon's wife in 1608 that the construction of the first school building began. It was completed in 1615 and remains to this day, however it is now much larger.

The school grew gradually over time but growth became rapid during Imperial times as British prosperity grew.[8] Lyon died in 1592, leaving his assets to two causes, the lesser being the school, and by far the greater beneficiary being the maintenance of a road to London, 10 miles (16 km) away. The school owned and maintained this road for many years following Lyon’s death and the whole school still runs along this 10 mile road in an event called “Long Ducker” every November. At its beginning, the primary subject taught was Latin, and the only sport was archery. Both subjects were compulsory; archery was dropped in 1771.[9] Although most boys were taught for free, their tuition paid for by Lyon's endowment, there were a number of fee-paying "foreigners" (boys from outside the parish). It was their presence that amplified the need for boarding facilities. By 1701 for every local there were two foreign pupils; this was used as a way to generate funds for the school as fees increased. By 1876 the ratio was so high that John Lyon Lower School was brought under the authority of the governors of the Upper School so that the school remained within its charge of providing education for the boys of the parish. It is now known as The John Lyon School and is a prominent independent school in England. It maintains close links with Harrow.[6] The majority of boarding houses were constructed in Victorian times, when the number of boys increased dramatically.[10]

Old Schools

The 20th century saw the innovation of a central dining hall, the demolition of small houses and further modernisation of the curriculum. Presently there are approximately 800 boys boarding at Harrow.[4]

In 2005 the school was one of fifty of the country's leading independent schools which were found guilty of running an illegal price-fixing cartel, exposed by The Times, which had allowed them to drive up fees for thousands of parents, although the schools made clear that they had not realised that the change to the law (which had happened only a few months earlier) about the sharing of information had subsequently made it an offence.[11] Each school was required to pay a nominal penalty of £10,000 and all agreed to make ex-gratia payments totalling £3,000,000 into a trust designed to benefit pupils who attended the schools during the period in respect of which fee information was shared.[12] However, Mrs Jean Scott, the head of the Independent Schools Council, said that independent schools had always been exempt from anti-cartel rules applied to business, were following a long-established procedure in sharing the information with each other, and that they were unaware of the change to the law (on which they had not been consulted). She wrote to John Vickers, the OFT director-general, saying, "They are not a group of businessmen meeting behind closed doors to fix the price of their products to the disadvantage of the consumer. They are schools that have quite openly continued to follow a long-established practice because they were unaware that the law had changed."[13]

The School Governors recently introduced Harrow to the international community by opening two new schools, one in Beijing, China, and Harrow International School in Bangkok, Thailand.[14] Also, in 2012 a new Harrow International School will open in Hong Kong.

Notable alumni

The original Old Schools, as they were in 1615
A modern view from the library to the Old Schools, one of the sets of the Harry Potter films

Harrow has many notable alumni, who are known as Old Harrovians, including seven former British Prime Ministers including Winston Churchill and Robert Peel (the creator of the modern Police Force and founder of the Conservative Party), and the first Prime Minister of India, Jawaharlal Nehru. In addition, nineteen Old Harrovians have been awarded the Victoria Cross.[8]

The school has educated three monarchs: Mukarram Jah the last Nizam of Hyderabad, King Hussein of Jordan and his cousin, Faisal II, the last King of Iraq, and had among its pupils a large number from the Thai, Indian, Malaysian and Middle Eastern royal families. A number of members of the British Royal Family have also attended the school.

Other notable alumni include writers (including Lord Byron, Sir Terence Rattigan and Richard Curtis), numerous aristocrats (including the current richest British subject, the Duke of Westminster and the prominent reformist Lord Shaftesbury) and business people (including DeBeers chairman Nicky Oppenheimer, Pret a Manger founder Julian Metcalfe) and the big game hunter and artist General Douglas Hamilton, as well as Island Records founder Chris Blackwell. In sports, the school produced the first two Wimbledon champions (Spencer Gore and Frank Hadow) as well as FA Cup creator C.W. Alcock.

Prominent modern celebrities who attended Harrow include eccentric horse-racing pundit John McCririck, singer James Blunt and actors Benedict Cumberbatch and Cary Elwes. Fictional Old Harrovians include the character Withnail from the film Withnail and I.

School traditions

Uniform

Boys at Harrow have two uniforms.

Everyday dress, worn to most lessons, consists of a white shirt, black silk tie, light grey trousers (introduced by Barnaby Lenon, and replacing the previously dark grey trousers, as the lighter grey was more traditional having been part of the uniform previously), black shoes, an optional blue jumper (sweater), a dark blue woollen uniform jacket known as a 'bluer', the option of the school blue and white scarf and dark blue woolen overcoat similar to the bluer on cold days and, notably, the Harrow Hat, often erroneously called a boater, made of varnished straw with a dark blue band. Variations include Boys who are monitors who are allowed to wear a jumper of their choice, and members of certain societies who may earn the right to replace the school standard tie with one of a variety of scarves, cravats, neck and bow ties.[15]

An alternative uniform, Sunday dress, worn every Sunday and for more formal engagements, consists of a morning suit; a black tailcoat, dark grey pinstriped trousers, a black waistcoat, black tie, braces and a white shirt. Variations include a grey waistcoat for those in the top sports teams, red waistcoats for members of “The Guild”, which is the school’s arts society, a black top hat and cane for monitors, and a hat with black speckles for boys in the 1st XI Cricket.

The Head of School has the distinction of wearing full white tie during the Contio Latina, a speech delivered annually by the head boy entirely in Latin.

Another notable feature of the uniform at Harrow is that there is a separate set of sports uniform of the house colours. These include football shirts, socks, and a rugby shirt. This distinguishes members of different houses, and shows the house spirit within Harrow. As a result, the price of the uniform at Harrow is one of the most expensive in the country, amounting to nearly 2000 pounds for the whole set.[citation needed]

The Harrow uniform achieved notoriety in the mid 20th century when a 1937 photograph of two Harrovians in Sunday Dress being watched by three working class boys was taken outside Lord's Cricket Ground. The photograph was placed on the front cover of the News Chronicle (now the Daily Mail) the following morning under the tagline "Every picture tells a story". The picture was soon reproduced in other national publications and became, and remains, one of the most popular symbols of the class divide in the United Kingdom.[16]

Practices

Every new boy who enters the school is given a two week period of time called "grace" when he is not fully subject to all school rules and is shown the ropes by an assigned boy in the year above called a "Shepherd". When this period of time ends the boy sits the "new boys' test" which tests general knowledge of the school’s traditions. Some time later all new boys also sing a solo in front of their house at a house songs, officially ending their time as a new boy.

All boys are required to wear their hats when going to or from lessons and to "cap" all teachers (also known as "beaks") who pass them which is done by the boy raising his forefinger to the brim of his hat. Those who do not follow these rules are punished.

Songs

Songs have been an important part of Harrow life ever since John Farmer, a former head of music, wrote the first song in 1864. The school considers them to be a unifying force as they are sung by the boys in their houses every term. Songs are sung by the whole school to audiences of parents, former pupils of the school, and guests of honour that have, in the past, included members of the royal family and representatives from previous governments. The song Forty Years On has become known as the school song, although in reality it is one of many.[17] It features a verse about Winston Churchill, and was heard in the film Young Winston.

Sport

Harrow has been instrumental in the development of a number of sports;

The sport squash was invented in Harrow out of the older game rackets around 1830[18][19][20] before the game spread to other schools, eventually becoming an international sport.

In the development of Association Football, Harrow was one of seven schools that met to develop the 1863 Cambridge Rules, which would influence the Football Association's first set of rules, the 1863 Laws of the game.

An annual cricket match has taken place between Harrow and Eton College at Lord's Cricket Ground since 1805. It is considered to be the longest-running cricket fixture in the world[21] and is the oldest fixture at Lord's (see: Eton v Harrow).

Harrow has its own unique style of football called Harrow Football.The purpose of the game is to score a 'base', which is achieved by kicking the ball between a pair of vertical posts, located at each end of the ground, similar to rugby posts but without a cross-bar. This may be done either from open play or from 'yards' and the kick may be of any height. An important feature is the offside rule whereby a player must be behind the ball before he can play it. Handling is allowed from a kick on the volley: the ball may be caught and a call of "yards" allows the catcher a space of three running yards unmolested and a free kick out of the hands.[22]

The Harrovian

The Harrovian is the school newspaper that is published weekly during term time. Its articles are written anonymously and the school stresses that the opinions expressed in the newspaper do not reflect school policy. The newspaper is published as both an organ of record and a forum for comment, debate and the expression of individual opinions in the school. The Harrovian is also published online by the Harrow Association.[23]

Harrow curriculum

During their first year, boys (known as 'Shells' or 'Yearlings') take English, French, Mathematics, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, History, Geography, Latin, Religious Studies, Art, Music, Design Technology and Information Technology. Greek, Mandarin Chinese, German or Spanish are offered to boys with good linguistic ability, alongside or in lieu of French and Latin. Other (optional) languages such as Russian, Japanese, Portuguese and Italian are taught off-timetable. Classics (Latin and Ancient Greek) are considered very important at Harrow School.[24]

During their second and third years ('Removes' and Fifth Form), boys work towards their GCSE examinations. By the end of the third year all boys will have taken English Language, English Literature, French, Mathematics, Religious Studies and a Science. In addition to these core subjects pupils choose, in a wide variety of combinations, four other subjects from History, Geography, Latin, Classical Civilisation, Greek, German, Spanish, Italian, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Music, Art and Design Technology.[24]

In the Sixth Forms all pupils are expected to take AS-level in at least four main subjects, going on to A-level in at least three. There are many to choose from including English Literature, French, German, Spanish, Italian, Latin, Greek, History, Geography, Economics, Business Studies, Ancient History, Classical Civilisation, Government and Politics, Religious Studies, Mathematics, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Design Technology, Physical Education, Music, Music Technology, Art, History of Art, Theatre Studies, Statistics and Photography.[24]

School grounds

Harrow School has 24 tennis courts which include acrylic, hard and synthetic lawn which belong to Harrow Lawn Tennis Club (HLTC)

Harrow is not built on a campus: it is fully integrated into the surrounding area; there are private houses and shops on the hill, and the main road through the hill is a normal public highway and indeed a bus route. The school is made up of some 400 acres (160 ha) of playing fields, tennis courts, golf course, woodland and gardens.

The School also owns its own working farm. Currently on the farm are a herd of English Longhorn cattle and a flock of Shetland Sheep. Until 2003 it was a working dairy farm.

School houses

House name and Colours[5]
Bradbys- Purple and White
Druries- Red and Black
Elmfield- Purple and Black
Gayton- (over-spill house)No colours
The Grove- Red and Blue
The Headmaster's- Pink and White
The Knoll- Yellow and Black
Lyon's- Green and Black
Moretons- White and Blue
Newlands- Yellow and White
The Park- Red and White
Rendalls- Magenta and Silver
West Acre- Red, White and Blue

Harrow School divides its pupils, who are all boarders into twelve houses, each of about seventy boys, with one these houses, Gayton, used as an overflow. Each house has its own facilities, customs and traditions, and each competes in sporting events against the others.

These boarding houses at Harrow shares a legacy of the whole Harrow history, houses also compete against each other in a variety of activities and fight for trophies to increase the house's reputation. Nowadays, one of the most important aspect of Harrow life would be the house system since Harrovians are generally passionate and devoted into their house, where they also endeavour their best to win competitions for the house.

Until the 1950s there existed what were known as 'small houses' where only 5-10 boys stayed at one time while they waited for a space in a 'large house' to become available (hence the use of the term large house in this article). A twelfth large house, Lyon's, was built in 2010 and opened at the beginning of 2010 Autumn term.[5]

House Masters, deputy House Masters and their families live in the boarding houses and are assisted by House Tutors appointed from the teaching staff. Every House has a residential House Tutor, who maya or may not also be the deputy House Master. The House Master oversees the welfare of every boy in his care; for parents he is the main point of contact with the School.[5]

Each House has a resident Matron and sick room. The Matrons are supported by the School's Medical Centre where trained nursing staff offer round the clock care. The Medical Centre is under the direct supervision of the School Doctor who is available on the Hill every day for consultation.[5]

There are no dormitories: a boy shares his room with a boy of the same age for the first three to six terms and thereafter has a room to himself. It is very much his own place, his home for the term, where he keeps his belongings, puts up his pictures, does his work and leads much of his social life. Each House has at least one year-group-specific Common Room with newspapers, television and video. All have their own gardens and sports facilities.[5]

Fees and charges

As of 2010, Harrow School charges £29,670 (about €36,000 or $47,000) per year for board and tuition.

A few select students can obtain either means-tested bursaries for exceptionally able students of poorer parents or excellence-based scholarships to reduce this amount. Scholarships (30 per year, awarded before the admission to Harrow) can reduce fees by 5-10%, bursaries can reduce fees in some rare hardship cases by up to 95%.[25]

The Peter Beckwith Harrow Scholarship, which includes a means-tested bursary which may pay for up to the entirety of the school's fees in some, but by no means all, cases for the duration of the pupil's time at Harrow School, was featured in a Channel 4 documentary. However this documentary implied that the scholarship pays for all the fees in all cases.

Old Speech Room Gallery & Museum

The Old Speech Room Gallery & Museum is located in the Old Speech Room, which was built in 1819-1821 as a room to encourage public speaking.[26] The gallery was opened in 1976 to house the School's collections, which include Egyptian and Greek antiquities, English watercolours, Modern British paintings, books and natural history artefacts. There is a set of gilt Easter eggs created by contemporary gold and silversmith Stuart Devlin, which have been designed in the tradition of Fabergé eggs and include surprise interiors. There are also some sculptures, including portrait busts of such Old Harrovians as Richard Brinsley Sheridan and Lord Byron.

The paintings include Sir Winston Churchill's A Distant View of Venice, 1929. Other artists include George Romney, David Jones, Victor Pasmore and Richard Shirley Smith.

The Museum hosts themed exhibits from its collections. Admission is free.

Headmasters

  • 1608-1611; Anthony Rate
  • 1611-1615; Thomas or Henry Bradley
  • 1615-1621; Rev William Launce
  • 1621-1628; Robert Whittle
  • 1628-1661; William Hide
  • 1661-1668; Thomas Johnson
  • 1668-1669; Thomas Martin
  • 1669-1685; William Horne
  • 1685-1691; William Bolton
  • 1692-1730; Thomas Brian
  • 1730-1746; Rev James Cox (absconded)
  • 1746-1760; Thomas Thackeray
  • 1760-1771; Robert Carey Sumner
  • 1771-1785; Benjamin Heath
  • 1785-1805; Joseph Drury
  • 1805-1829; George Butler
  • 1829-1836; Dr Charles Longley
  • 1836-1844; Christopher Wordsworth
  • 1845-1859; Dr Charles John Vaughan
  • 1860-1885; Rev Henry Montagu Butler
  • 1885-1898; James Welldon
  • 1898-1910; Dr Joseph Wood
  • 1910-1925; Lionel Ford
  • 1926-1934; Dr Cyril Norwood
  • 1934-1939; Paul Cairn Vellacott
  • 1940-1942; Paul Boissier
  • 1942-1953; Ralph Westwood Moore
  • 1953-1971; Robert Leoline James
  • 1971-1981; Michael Hoban
  • 1981-1991; Ian Stafford Beer
  • 1991-1999; Nicholas Raymond Bomford
  • 1999-2011; Barnaby Lenon
  • 2011- : Jim Hawkins

See also

References

  1. ^ http://www.harrowschool.org.uk/1502/overview/from-the-head-master/
  2. ^ "Harrow school threatens to drop A-levels". The Guardian (London). 2006-10-31. http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/2006/oct/31/schools.alevels. Retrieved 2010-07-22. 
  3. ^ Tyerman, Christopher (2000). A History of Harrow School. Oxford University Press. pp. 8–17. ISBN 0-19-822796-5. 
  4. ^ a b "Inspection Report on Harrow School". Reports. Independent Schools Inspectorate. October 2006. Archived from the original on 2008-03-20. http://web.archive.org/web/20080320190034/http://www.isi.net/reports/2006/0485_06.htm. Retrieved 2008-01-11. 
  5. ^ a b c d e f "Houses". Harrow School. http://www.harrowschool.org.uk/default.aspx?id=67. Retrieved 2009-10-10. 
  6. ^ a b "Harrow school". British History Online. http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=22134. Retrieved 2007-12-19. 
  7. ^ Harrow School. Edward Arnold, London. http://books.google.com/books?id=XwYCAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA29&lpg=PA29&dq=%22harrow+school%22+%22page+family%22&source=bl&ots=_h3DwS7Oqj&sig=7ZGW5xAHTTxcyiW4Yr91SrQ2w7U&hl=en&ei=iTcaS5ezGYeqtgOJsdH-BA&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CAgQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=%22harrow%20school%22%20%22page%20family%22&f=false. Retrieved 2009-12-05. 
  8. ^ a b "History of the School". Harrow School. http://www.harrowschool.org.uk/html/overview/tradition/history/. Retrieved 2009-10-10. [dead link]
  9. ^ Archery--Romance-and-Elite-Culture-in-England-and-Wales--c--1780-1840 Martin Johnes. Archery, Romance and Elite Culture in England and Wales, c. 1780-1840
  10. ^ Tyerman, Christopher (2000). A history of Harrow School. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-822796-5. 
  11. ^ Halpin, Tony (2005-11-10). "Independent schools face huge fines over cartel to fix fees". The Times (London). http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_and_style/education/article588559.ece. Retrieved 2010-05-04. 
  12. ^ OFT.gov.uk
  13. ^ "Private schools send papers to fee-fixing inquiry". The Daily Telegraph (London). 2004-01-03. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/1455730/Private-schools-send-papers-to-fee-fixing-inquiry.html. Retrieved 2010-03-15. 
  14. ^ "Harrow International School, (Beijing)". Harrow Beijing. http://www.harrowbeijing.cn/. Retrieved 2009-10-09. 
  15. ^ "Harrow Terminology". Tradition. Harrow School. http://www.harrowschool.org.uk/default.aspx?id=8. Retrieved 2009-10-09. 
  16. ^ Jack, Ian (2010-03-23). "The photograph that defined the class divide". The Guardian (London). http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2010/mar/23/ian-jack-photograph. Retrieved 2010-05-04. 
  17. ^ "The school Song". Tradition. Harrow School. http://www.harrowschool.org.uk/default.aspx?id=9. Retrieved 2009-10-09. 
  18. ^ "History of squash". squashplayer.co.uk. http://www.squashplayer.co.uk/history_of_squash.htm. Retrieved 2010-06-05. 
  19. ^ "History". worldsquash.org.uk. http://www.worldsquash.org.uk/history1.html. Retrieved 2010-06-05. 
  20. ^ "History of squash". talksquash.co.uk. http://www.talksquash.co.uk/guides/history_of_squash.html. Retrieved 2010-06-05. 
  21. ^ "The oldest fixture of them all". cricinfo.com. http://www.cricinfo.com/columns/content/story/211281.html. Retrieved 2010-06-05. 
  22. ^ "Harrow Football: The Game". Tradition. Harrow School. http://www.harrowschool.org.uk/default.aspx?id=7. Retrieved 2009-10-09. 
  23. ^ "The Harrovian online". Harrow School. http://www.harrowschool.org.uk/default.aspx?id=318. Retrieved 2009-10-09. 
  24. ^ a b c "Academic Life". Academic. Harrow School. http://www.harrowschool.org.uk/default.aspx?id=46. Retrieved 2009-10-09. 
  25. ^ Scholarships and bursaries, Harrow School, 2009
  26. ^ Old Speech Room Gallery & Museum

Literature

  • Rimmer, Rambles round Eton and Harrow, (London, 1882)
  • Thornton, Harrow School and its Surroundings, (London, 1885)
  • Harrow School Register, 1801-93, (London, 1894)
  • Minchin, Old Harrow Days, (London, 1898)
  • Williams, Harrow, (London, 1901)
  • Archibald Fox, Harrow, (London, 1911)
  • G. T. Warner, Harrow in Prose and Verse, (London, 1913)
  • Arnold Lunn, The Harrovians, (London, 1913) ISBN 1453809481
  • Christopher Tyerman, A History of Harrow School 1324-1991 (Oxford, 2000) ISBN 0198227965

External links


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