Boys experience opportunities for leadership throughout their School career by helping to run extra-curricular programmes, by having a position of responsibility, and by carrying out their duties. All of these activities have service at their core. Every role at Harrow is thought of as job, not an accolade, an opportunity to serve the community rather than being rewarded by it.
Harrow's 20 or so School Monitors lead and set an example to their peers. Their three-day training course incorporates team building, safeguarding instruction, pastoral case studies, public speaking and listening skills. In the Houses, they work closely with their House Master and their House equivalents to ensure that all aspects of School and House life run well, consultatively and in the boys' best interests. Central to their role is the shared recognition that this is a job, not a reward: indeed, when they receive their key to the Vaughan Library to mark their appointment, those present do not applaud. Instead, they are congratulated once their work is complete.
Aside from School Monitors, the most senior positions of responsibility at Harrow include House Monitors, The Philathletic Club and The Guild. Other opportunities for leadership arise much earlier in a boy's School career: by helping to run the Shell Drama, Soccer and Project programmes; by being a Head of Passage; by acting as peer mentors; by captaining a sports team; by being secretary of a society; and by carrying out their duties. These elements link together, irreducibly, to provide the fabric of progressive School life. All have service to the community at their core.
Harrow Rifle Corps
The School's tri-service CCF contingent, the Harrow Rifle Corps, provides leadership development and an insight into military life for boys from the Remove year onwards. Instructed by senior cadets, activities include drill, basic military skills, climbing, swimming, canoeing, shooting, survival training, first aid, signals, fieldcraft, assault course, equestrianism and paintballing. An annual residential camp in Ministry Of Defence training areas also takes place.
Through Shaftesbury Enterprise, boys engage purposefully and genuinely with the local community, in the spirit of the 19th-century reformer, philanthropist and Old Harrovian, the 7th Earl of Shaftesbury (The Head Master's 1813³). Every boy is able to participate in charitable work, whether teaching and coaching primary-age pupils, raising sponsorship money by running in the annual Long Ducker, providing companionship for elderly people through Community Service, working in charity shops or organising their own fundraising events. We also put forward selected boys and Beaks to be involved at a strategic level with organisations such as Spear Harrow, Harrow Club W10 and John Lyon’s Charity.
Boys involved in the Conservation group assist in the management of the Hill's natural environment, which includes six conservation areas and a farm. Activities include clearing scrub, planting trees, erecting nestboxes and conducting surveys of different habitats.
Duke of Edinburgh's Award
While service is often rewarding in and of itself, the majority of boys have their work in these areas recognised through the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award. This well-known national scheme requires boys to learn a skill, undertake a physical recreation, carry out a service and complete an expedition, building resilience, perseverance and grit. In a typical year, boys at Harrow will achieve more Gold awards than any other centre in London.