Clubs & Societies
Alexander Society promotes interest in military history. It is named after Field Marshal Alexander (The Head Master’s 19061), the highest-ranking Old Harrovian in the British Army. The Society regularly welcomes speakers on military campaigns, military theory, and personal views and memories.
Astronomical Society explores the universe using the School’s own observatory. The Rayleigh Observatory’s telescopes, cameras and filters are research standard, and members gather, whenever the weather allows, to observe and photograph the Moon, planets and even galaxies tens of millions of light years away.
Biology Society hosts talks from outside speakers and organises visits to, for example, scientific meetings at London Zoo.
Classical Society is for boys interested in the ancient world. Its activities include lectures from top university professors, visits to sites of interest in the UK and abroad, and Classical readings and competitions.
Computer Science Society looks at the construction and performance of hardware used in computer systems, from the humble raspberry pi to cutting-edge gaming machines, and allows members to build, configure and maximise their own desktop machines.
Cross Curricular Lecture Series takes place in the autumn term. Talks in the series are loosely based around a common theme but delivered from a variety of academic perspectives. Previous themes have included ‘the nature of evidence’, ‘origins’, ‘current myths’, ‘the nation’, ‘great rivalries’, ‘genius’, ‘decisive moments’, ‘collaboration’, ‘luck’, ‘the Great War’ and ‘creation and creativity’.
Da Vinci Society organises talks from guest speakers concerning topics in engineering and physics. It also supports boys’ engineering projects.
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 the finals are always abstract and more challenging. The best debaters are entered for inter-school competitions.
Dissection Society lets Sixth Formers interested in zoology, medicine or veterinary medicine dissect organs and organisms that they do not encounter in their A-level Biology course.
Engineering Education Scheme offers Lower Sixth boys an opportunity to work in teams with an engineering firm on a real engineering problem. The scheme involves a residential university workshop and culminates in a finished report and assessed presentation day.
Essay Club was founded in the 1850s and still meets 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.
Geography Society puts on lectures and trips, with its aim being to widen understanding beyond the Geography curriculum. Speakers range from Old Harrovian explorers, university lecturers and government scientists to the boys themselves.
Geopolitics Society debates contemporary geopolitical issues, enabling boys to broaden their knowledge of current affairs and to practise their research, analysis and argument skills.
Gore Society holds lectures on topics related to Religious Studies.
Italian Society broadens boys' understanding and appreciation of Italian language, culture, society and history through events inside and outside of School.
Lupuli (Junior Classics Club) expands the scope of Classics beyond the classroom for Shell, Remove and Fifth Form boys. Meetings are on themes such as Roman baths, gladiators, Alexander the Great, and Sparta.
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 Harrovian career choice. Members visit hospitals and museums, and attend regular talks by visiting speakers.
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.
Model United Nations (MUN) is a simulation of the workings of the United Nations. Boys act as delegates, representing the views of nations and pressing on global issues, while engaging in constructive debate to resolve them. The Society participates in a number of MUN conferences, both in the UK and abroad.
Modern Languages Society attends galleries, theatres and cinemas, and hosts speakers and travelling theatre companies. It also organises trips to Europe and further afield; these are usually homestay visits that combine linguistic study with a cultural programme of events.
Natural History Society identifies and surveys plants, animals and fungi on the School estate; records the timing of seasonal events in a national database; and organises talks and trips.
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 politicians, political commentators and members of the House of Lords.
Philosophy Society offers informal seminars on key philosophical issues, such as Scepticism and Utilitarianism. These usually involve a philosophical reading, followed by a debate. It also welcomes guest speakers.
Pigou Society is named after the famous Old Harrovian economist Arthur Pigou (Mr Marshall’s 1891³). It attracts speakers from economics, business and finance, and engages boys in discussion on these fields.
Scientific Society hosts speakers on science and technology, and the annual Rayleigh Lecture is usually delivered by someone of international standing. Visits to museums, hospitals, research centres and lectures are part of the annual programme. All members present their own talks to compete for an annual prize, and boys in the Upper Sixth are supported in independent investigations.
Trevelyan Society, named after the eminent historian and Old Harrovian George Trevelyan (The Grove 1893³), is the School's history society. It regularly hosts talks by professional historians.
Law Society discusses legal issues, listens to talks by practising lawyers and visits court to observe cases. It also offers preparation for the Law Studies Test (LNAT) and university interviews.
Property Society attends site visits to large developments and meets some of the biggest developers in the UK.
Arts and Culture
Buck Society promotes 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, it allows boys to explore music and the ideas and personalities surrounding it.
Curtis Film Society is dedicated to art-house cinema. Each term explores a theme (such as Hitchcock, war films and films about food) through guided yet informal discussions.
Fox Talbot Society is named after William Fox Talbot (The Head Master’s 1911²), Old Harrovian and pioneer of the first photograph. It runs an annual digital photographic competition, for which entrants’ work is exhibited in the Pasmore Gallery, in Junior and Senior sections.
The Harrovian is the School newspaper. Published every week during term time since 1888, it provides boys with a platform to debate, practise their journalistic skills, record events, and comment upon aspects of School, community and national life. It 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.
L.P. Hartley Society, named after one of many famous literary Old Harrovians, fosters creative writing in all its forms, meeting to discuss members’ work and to produce short stories, poems and plays.
Old Speech Room Gallery Arts Society immerses boys in the day-to-day running of the Gallery, including exhibition curation and conservation. It also arranges visits to exhibitions elsewhere.
Pasmore Society, named in honour of Old Harrovian artist Victor Pasmore (Bradbys 1923), invites practising artists to talk about their work and exhibit in the Pasmore Gallery, and makes visits to their studios.
Photography Club meets weekly as an open studio to help boys improve their digital photography skills and learn traditional darkroom processes.
Rattigan Society is the School's drama society. Founded in 1983, it is named in honour of Old Harrovian playwright Sir Terence Rattigan (The Park 1925²). Alongside its productions (see Drama for more information), the Society also organises visits to professional theatre and welcomes distinguished practitioners to deliver its Annual Lecture. The Junior Rattigan Society allows boys in the Shell and Remove to prepare for their own annual production, and learn about acting and drama.
Shell Reading Group meets in the Vaughan Library to discuss and review classic and contemporary books and films, and to play book-related games, puzzles and quizzes, based on themes chosen by its members.
Sheridan Society, named after the celebrated Old Harrovian playwright Richard Brinsley Sheridan (1762), fosters an interest in literature and encourages boys to write. At its meetings and some public performances, members 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 to read.
Summerson Society is named in honour of the Old Harrovian architectural historian, Sir John Summerson (Rendalls 1918³). It invites speakers from the fields of art history, curating and restoration, and makes visits to galleries and buildings of interest.
Wildlife Photography Club is open to boys who wish to combine photography with an interest in natural history. Visits are arranged off the Hill to local zoos, wildlife parks and exhibitions.
Butler Society invites notable sportspeople and those involved in all different aspects of sport to speak, and its members also attend sports events. The focus is on understanding sports success as a product of a whole team's contribution - both those on and off the field.
Coarse Fishing Society loans kit to boys wishing to fish Park Lake.
Fly Fishing Club aims to introduce younger fisherman to the art of fly tying and casting, and to let them put these skills into practice on expeditions across the country to lakes, rivers and streams.
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 further afield.
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, hosts lectures and organises visits to prominent cultural attractions.
Board Games Society offers boys gaming of a more cerebral nature, specifically German-style Eurogames such as Wallace, Knizia, Puerto Rico or Power Grid.
Caledonian Society holds formal Scottish reeling events with girls schools.
Caspian Society enlightens Harrovians about the history, culture, and political and economic significance of the countries surrounding the Caspian Sea, namely Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and part of Russia, as well as those of the Caucasus region. This is achieved through lectures, meals and cultural events and outings.
Cheese Society promotes the awareness and appreciation of all things cheesy. It meets for tastings, discussions and excursions to, for example, Paxton & Whitfield, Churchill’s preferred purveyor of fine cheeses.
Cookery Club, run by a professional chef, teaches boys introductory cooking skills.
Driving lessons are available for boys aged 17 and over. Trusted and experienced instructors first teach them to drive in Harrow and the surrounding boroughs, and then on motorways, once they have passed their practical exam.
Flambards is Harrow's Christian forum and it exists to help boys investigate the truths about Jesus taught in the Bible. At meetings, a guest speaker explains a passage of scripture and then fields questions.
Hibernian Society celebrates and promotes Irish culture in all its forms. It welcomes speakers, and arranges trips and activities to appreciate and experience Irish history, festivals and traditions.
Hindu Society is for Hindu boys and others who are interested in Hinduism. It arranges talks about aspects of Hinduism and visits to local temples and other places of interest.
Jewish Society gives support and instruction to Jewish pupils. It marks major Jewish holidays and there is a Shabbat evening each term.
Manning Society promotes events of interest to Catholic Harrovians. The Society is named after the most prominent Old Harrovian Catholic, Cardinal Henry Manning (Mr Evans’s 1821³), the second Archbishop of Westminster.
Nassau Society showcases speakers and events for those with ties to or an interest in the history, culture and languages of the ‘Low Countries’: Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg.
Nehru Society is named after Jawaharlal Nehru (The Head Master’s 1905³), Old Harrovian and first Prime Minister of India. It fosters understanding of the culture, politics and society of the Indian sub-continent, meeting for films, lectures, visits, meals and cultural events.
Oriental Society promotes greater understanding between the Occidental world and the Far Eastern cultures of Japan and China. Activities include trips to martial arts performances and to the Japanese Embassy to learn about the tea ceremony; calligraphy; kimono dressing; Japanese cuisine; Yabusame (Japanese samurai archery on horseback); and a Chinese New Year banquet.
Perceval Society represents and explores African and Caribbean values, history, current affairs and culture. It is named after Spencer Perceval (1774), an Old Harrovian Prime Minister who was a supporter of the abolition of slavery and a founding member of the African Institute.
The School Farm’s 60 acres of permanent pasture is home to English Longhorn cattle, Shetland sheep, chickens, 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 careers, or who simply love animals and the countryside.
Scrabble Society encourages language enthusiasts from the Fifth Form upwards, offering friendly games several evenings each term.
Sixth Form Club gives Upper Sixth boys an opportunity to relax and enjoy some food and drink on Saturday nights, in the company of a supervising Master.
Slavonic Cultural Society is for boys studying Russian or with an interest in the culture, history or current affairs of Central and Eastern Europe. It organises cultural trips, talks and meals to celebrate festivals, sometimes inviting Russian students from other schools.
Turf Club is a horse-racing society that educates Harrovians about the industry, including breeding and training, through trips to racing stables and studs in Newmarket and Lambourn, and to Sunday racing.
Universal Challenge is Harrow’s hotly contested inter-House quiz competition. Based on the format of the BBC’s University Challenge, it 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 an entertaining finale.
Vegetarian Society promotes the nutritional and ethical virtues of a vegetarian diet. It has outings to restaurants and arranges talks, aiming to encourage healthy and rational debate.