Alexander Society was founded by a group of boys keen to promote interest in military history. It is named after Field Marshal Alexander, the highest ranking OH in the British Army. The Society regularly welcomes guest speakers on military campaigns, military theory or personal views and memories, including the present Lord Alexander, Lord Montgomery, Professor Sir Michael Howard and Robert Hardy.
Amnesty International is the largest and most widely respected organisation campaigning for human rights in the world. The affiliated group at Harrow takes part in a variety of campaigns mainly through letter-writing.
Atlantic Society discusses American and Canadian politics, culture, and society and the relationship that these countries have with the United Kingdom. It also celebrates American and Canadian holidays like Thanksgiving and hosts lectures delivered by boys, as well as illustrious speakers such as the Canadian High Commissioner. The Society has plans to visit embassies, the American Museum in Bath, and other prominent cultural attractions.
Biology Society lets boys pursue their interest in the subject outside of the classroom. It hosts a number of talks from outside speakers and organises visits to, for example, scientific meetings at London Zoo.
Board Games Society offers gaming of a more cerebral nature, specifically German-style Euros, to boys who have heard of Wallace or Knizia or Puerto Rico or Power Grid, or who would like to find out more.
Buck Society engages in activities which promote the appreciation of music in the
widest sense. Named after Percy Buck, the Director of Music at Harrow in the
first quarter of the 20th century, the society allows boys to explore music and
the ideas and personalities surrounding it.
Caledonian Society enjoys regular Scottish reeling events with girls’ schools. Open to Sixth Formers only, a silver service supper is also usually provided.
Cheese Society promotes the awareness and appreciation of all things cheesy to invited boys from the Upper Sixth. It meets for tastings, discussions and excursions to, for example, Paxton & Whitfield, Churchill’s preferred purveyor of fine cheeses.
Classical Society offers a wide variety of activities for boys interested in the ancient world, including lectures from top University professors, readings from Classical literature, visits to sites of interest in the UK and abroad, reading weekends for Sixth Formers and annual reading competitions.
Conservation Group is involved in the management of the School’s Conservation Area and the School Farm. Activities include clearing scrub, planting trees, erecting nestboxes and conducting surveys of different habitats.
Cookery Club teaches Remove boys introductory cooking skills. Classes are taught by a professional caterer and chef.
Curtis Film Society is dedicated to art-house cinema. Each term explores a theme, such as Hitchcock, war films, films about food, through guided yet informal discussions.
Debating Society provides a forum for young speakers to develop this important skill to a high level. The main focus is the annual, year-long inter-House Junior and Senior competitions. Motions are generally drawn from current affairs but Finals are always abstract and more challenging. The best debaters are entered for the inter-school competitions and, every year, we debate at a social level against girls' schools such as Queenswood, Wycombe Abbey, North London Collegiate and Pipers Corner.
Dissection Society provides Sixth Form boys interested in Zoology, Medicine or Veterinary Medicine the opportunity to dissect organs and organisms that they do not normally encounter as part of their A-level Biology course.
The Duke of Edinburgh's Award (DofE) is available to all boys alongside their other activities. At Gold, Silver and Bronze level, boys must learn a skill, undertake a physical recreation, carry out a service and complete an expedition. At Gold level, each boy must also attend a five day residential activity. Expeditions take place over exeats or during holidays.
The Engineering Education Scheme offers Lower Sixth boys who wish to pursue a career in Engineering an opportunity to work in teams with a company on a real engineering problem. Each team has a mentor from the teaching staff and a link engineer. The problem to be solved is set in October and culminates in the April of the following year with a finished report and a presentation/assessment day. There is also a residential university workshop early in January.
Essay Club was founded in the 1850s and still meets regularly in the Vaughan Library. Members take it in turns to write and deliver an essay on a subject of their choice, for discussion with the group.
The School Farm consists of 60 acres of permanent pasture that is home to a large herd of English Longhorn cattle, a growing number of Shetland sheep, a flock of chickens, a pair of donkeys and a Harris Hawk. In it, boys gain hands-on experience of modern organic livestock husbandry and grassland conservation management through activities such as animal-handling, tractor-driving, hedgerow-planting, poultry-breeding and biodiversity-monitoring. The Farm is a valuable asset for boys who are interested in a veterinary or land management career, or who simply love animals and the countryside.
Fly-Fishing Club's main aim is to introduce younger fisherman to the art of fly tying and casting and to let them put these skills into practice as soon as possible on numerous expeditions across the country to lakes, rivers and streams.
Flambards is Harrow's Christian Forum and it exists to help boys investigate the truths about Jesus taught in the Bible. A guest speaker explains a passage of scripture and then fields questions from the floor, after which refreshments are served.
Geography Society puts on a number of lectures and trips. Its aim is to widen understanding beyond the usual Geography curriculum. Speakers range from OH explorers, university lecturers and government scientists to the boys themselves.
Geopolitics Society debates current geopolitical issues. This year topics have included the civil war in Syria, the international spying and phone hacking scandal, US gun laws and the recent crisis in Ukraine. The Society is boy-led and a good way for those hoping to study Humanities at University to broaden their knowledge of current affairs and to practice their research, analysis and debating skills.
Gore Society holds lectures on a topic related to Religious Studies.
Hadow Society is for anyone interested in taking on demanding outdoor activities, and who is fit enough to do so. Boys must plan expeditions themselves, in an effort to promote individual responsibility and the ability to work as a team.
The Harrovian is a newspaper that comes out every week during term time. It seeks to provide boys with a platform to practise their journalistic skills, to record School events, to comment upon aspects of School, community and national life, and to provide a forum for debate. A team of editors is responsible for producing The Harrovian but contributions come from all parts of the School. It has been in continuous publication since 1888 and is subscribed to by the University Libraries at Oxford and Cambridge, as well as by The British Library and The National Libraries of Scotland and Wales. Visit www.theharrovian.org for back issues from the past 180 years.
Harrow Rifle Corps (CCF) is a voluntary organisation that gives boys in the Remove and Fifth and Sixth Forms an insight into the military way of life. It is a tri-service CCF contingent, including a Royal Marines section. It is run by a Commanding Officer (a Master), a Second-in-Command (a former member of the Welsh Guards) and an RSM (a former Green Howards WO1 RSM). Training is challenging and the focus is on developing leadership potential. Activities include drill, basic military skills, climbing, swimming, canoeing, shooting, survival training, first aid, signals, fieldcraft, assault course, equestrianism and paintballing. An annual camp takes place in MOD training areas including, recently, in Wales, France, Germany and Cyprus.
Hindu Society is for Hindu boys and others who are interested in Hinduism. We arrange talks about aspects of Hinduism and visits to local Temples and other places of interest.
Italian Society looks to broaden boys' understanding and appreciation of Italian language, culture, society and history, through events both inside and outside of School.
Jewish Society gives support and instruction to Jewish pupils. We mark major Jewish holidays and there is a Shabbat evening each term.
Law Society is for any Sixth Former interested in the law. The Society meets for discussion of legal issues, talks by practising lawyers and visits to court to observe cases. We offer preparation for the Law Studies Test (LNAT) and university interviews.
Lupuli (Junior Classics Club) aims to expand the scope of Classics beyond the classroom for Shell, Remove and Fifth Form boys. Meetings are on themes such as Roman baths and Gladiators, Alexander the Great, and Sparta.
Manning Society promotes events of interest to Catholics in the School. The Society is named after our most prominent Catholic Old Harrovian, Cardinal Henry Manning (Mr Evans’s 18213), the second Archbishop of Westminster.
Marmots is one of the oldest Clubs in the School. It makes up to six climbing trips a year to crags in places such as the Peak District, the Lakes, Portland Bill and Wales. The culmination of the year is often a week-long climbing trip to destinations in Spain, Wales, Bavaria and others. Boys are taught to climb on the Sports Hall Wall before venturing outside.
Mathematical Society arranges speakers on diverse mathematical topics, with financial mathematics a particular focus. It aims to provide boys with a flavour of the financial industry and of the skills needed to be successful in this very competitive job market.
Medical Society gives boys an introduction to Medicine, a popular career choice for many Harrovians. Boys can attend visits to hospitals and museums, as well as regular talks by visiting speakers, including many Old Harrovians.
Medieval Society promotes understanding of the Middle Ages by hosting talks on subjects including medieval history, literature, theology, art, architecture and science.The Society also organises visits to exhibitions and sites of medieval interest.
Modern Languages Society attends galleries, theatres and cinemas and organises visits from notable speakers and travelling theatre companies. We also organise trips abroad, usually homestay visits that combine linguistic study with a cultural programme of events. There are annual trips to Spain, France and Germany as well as frequent visits further afield to countries such as China, Cuba and Russia.
Natural History Society identifies and surveys plants, animals and fungi on the School estate, and also records the timing of seasonal events in a national database. Talks and trips are also organised.
Nehru Society is named after a famous Old Harrovian, Jawaharlal Nehru (The Head Master’s 19053) and fosters understanding of the culture, politics and society of the Indian sub-continent. It meets for a mixture of films and lectures on the Hill. Visits elsewhere include meals and relevant cultural events.
Oriental Society promotes greater understanding between the Occidental world and the Far Eastern cultures of Japan and China. Past activities have included trips to Sadlers Wells to see Shaolin: Martial Arts Performing Monks and a Chinese acrobatic circus, and to the Japanese Embassy to learn about the Tea Ceremony, calligraphy, kimono dressing and Japanese cuisine; Yabusame (Japanese samurai archery on horseback in Hyde Park); and a Chinese New Year banquet.
Old Speech Room Gallery Arts Society immerses boys in the day to day running of the Gallery, in exhibition curation and in conservation of the collections, which are of national importance. The Society also arranges external visits to exhibitions elsewhere.
Palmerston Society is named after the fifth of Harrow's seven Prime Ministers, Henry Temple, 3rd Viscount Palmerston (Dr Bromley’s 17952). It is run by Sixth Form boys and regularly hosts leading politicians and political commentators, such as Lords Heseltine, Lamont, Tebbit and Archer; MPs David Blunkett, Michael Ancram, George Galloway, Boris Johnson, Ann Widdicombe and Michael Howard; and commentators Madsen Pirie and Bill Deedes.
Pasmore Society, named in honour of Old Harrovian Victor Pasmore (Bradbys 19231), invites practising artists to talk about their work and visits artists' studios. Exhibitions of contemporary artists and boys’ work in the Pasmore Gallery change fortnightly during term time and are open to the public.
Philosophy Society offers informal seminars on key philosophical issues, such as Scepticism and Utilitarianism. These usually involve a philosophical reading, followed by a debate, and we also welcome guest speakers.
Photography Club helps boys improve their digital photography skills and learn traditional darkroom processes. The culmination is the Fox Talbot Competition, which is open to all boys in the School and has a senior and a junior section. Entrants’ work is exhibited in the Pasmore Gallery.
Pigou Society is named after the famous Old Harrovian economist AC Pigou (Mr Marshall’s 18913). It attracts high-profile speakers from economics, business and finance, and engages boys in discussion on these fields. Previous speakers have included Michael Heseltine (former Deputy Prime Minister), Patrick Minford (leading free market economist) and Ian McCafferty (Chief Economic Advisor to the CBI).
Property Society is directly linked to the Old Harrovian Property Club and is for boys interested in the property world. We attend site visits to large developments and meet some of the biggest developers in the UK.
Rattigan Society is the School's main Dramatic society. Founded in 1983, it is named in honour of Sir Terence Rattigan OH, one of the greatest British playwrights of the twentieth century. The Society stages a major production in the Ryan Theatre each year. Usually every other year, this is a large-scale musical production. Top School musicians join professionals in the orchestra, girls from neighbouring schools play the female roles, and a professional choreographer teaches the dance routines. In other years, the Rattigan Society stages a great classic play. The Society regularly stages other smaller productions, both in the Ryan Theatre and the Drama Studio. These are usually boy-directed, and sometimes written by the boys as well. The Society also organises visits to professional theatre productions and holds the Rattigan Society Annual Lecture, given by distinguished theatre practitioners including James Dreyfus OH, Peter O'Toole, John Sessions, Timothy West and Richard Curtis OH.
Scientific Society hosts high profile speakers on science and technology. The annual Rayleigh Lecture is usually delivered by a speaker of international standing, such as Lord Todd, President of the Royal Society. Visits to museums such as South Kensington, hospitals like nearby Northwick Park and research centres including Rutherford Appleton Laboratory are part of the annual programme. Boys are taken to scientific lectures at London venues such as The Royal Institution and all boys present a lecture on a topic of their own choice, to compete for an annual Prize. Boys in the Upper Sixth are supported in independent investigations and we encourage participation in national competitions such the Chemistry and Physics Olympiads and a Medical Essay Competition.
Shaftesbury Enterprise ensures the presence of community partnerships and philanthropic activity in the extra-curriculum. We believe that Harrow boys should be outward-looking and compassionate, and should understand their privilege. In the spirit of the great 19th century reformer and philanthropist, the 7th Earl of Shaftesbury OH, Shaftesbury Enterprise ensures that every boy participates in charity work, whether this is raising sponsorship money by running in the annual Long Ducker, providing companionship for local elderly people through Community Service, or organising their own fundraising events. We also put forward selected boys and Beaks to be involved at a strategic level in charitable work, such as Spear Harrow, the Harrow Club and John Lyon’s Charity.
Shell Reading Group meets in the Vaughan Library to discuss and review classic and contemporary books and films. We have themed events around different genres and play book-related games, puzzles and quizzes. The group is led by the librarian and the group members decide on the books and themes to discuss.
Sheridan Society, named after the celebrated OH playwright Richard Brinsley Sheridan, fosters an interest in literature and encourages boys to write. At its meetings, boys read poems, plays and short stories, discuss their own creative work and listen to favourite lyrics and music. The Society also sees plays in London and invites professional poets, such as Kate Clanchy, Simon Armitage, Andrew Motion, Tobias Hill, Clare Pollard and Les Murray, to give readings of their work. The Society gives poetry and prose readings to a wider public on important dates such as Ash Wednesday and Midsummer's Eve.
Slavonic Cultural Society is for boys studying Russian or with an interest in the culture, history or current affairs of Central and Eastern Europe. The Society organises cinema, theatre, opera, ballet or exhibition trips; talks on different aspects of Russian life and culture; meals to celebrate traditional Russian and Eastern European festivals and restaurant trips. In the truly Slavonic spirit of hospitality, we also invite Russian students from other schools to join us at some events.
Summerson Society is named in honour of the distinguished Old Harrovian Architectural Historian, Sir John Summerson (Rendalls 19183). The Society invites speakers from the fields of Art History, curating and restoration and makes visits to galleries and buildings of interest.
Trevelyan Society, named after the eminent historian and Old Harrovian GM Trevelyan (The Grove 18933), is the School's main History Society, and regularly gathers to hear lectures by professional historians, including Professor Richard Holmes, Professor David Starkey, Professor Sir John Elliott and Professor Rosamond McKitterick.
Turf Club is a horse-racing society that educates Harrow boys about the industry, including breeding and training. We do this through trips to racing stables and studs in Newmarket and Lambourn, and to Sunday racing.
Universal Challenge is Harrow’s lively and hotly-contested inter-House quiz competition. Based on the format of the BBC’s University Challenge, the Universal Challenge is a fast and furious test of general knowledge in which teams compete not only for the prestigious Guild Challenge Cup but also for the right to take on a team of teachers in a viciously entertaining competition finale.
Vegetarian Society promotes the nutritional and ethical virtues of a vegetarian diet. The Society has outings to vegetarian restaurants and arranges talks by outside speakers. It aims to encourage healthy and rational debate.
Wildlife Photography Club is open to anybody who wishes to combine photography with an interest in Natural History. Visits are arranged off the Hill to local zoos, wildlife parks and exhibitions.