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Competitive Spirit

The recent Harrow v Eton cricket match at Lord's – one of the longest-running annual sporting fixtures in the world - saw a buzz of excitement across the whole School. The event sees every Harrovian supporting the 1st XI in the run-up to the match, and celebrating with them if they win, or sharing in their disappointment if they lose. There is an incredible sense of community and spirit when the School comes together as one.

Encouraging a healthy sense of competition in schools brings a multitude of benefits, enabling pupils to acquire the skills necessary for life in the 21st century. At Harrow, the carefully crafted opportunities to develop a competitive spirit mean that boys learn how to handle success and failure within a safe and nurturing environment. They come to understand the importance of hard work and thorough preparation, and they gain invaluable experience of working collaboratively towards common goals.

At Harrow, competition is facilitated by our strong House system. There are 12 boarding Houses in the School, and ask any Harrovian to tell you which is the best and he will list a host of reasons why it is his own. Boys’ loyalty to their House is perhaps no more evident than through their incredible levels of commitment to House competitions. Indeed, boys compete just as vigorously for their House as they do for the School – perhaps even more so. The range of activities is huge: from sport and CCF; to music, singing, debating, art and drama.

There are opportunities for all boys to get involved, regardless of where their talents and interests lie, ensuring that each boy can make his own contribution to the House’s collective effort. Whilst the House Master retains oversight, the various teams and ensembles are always led by the boys themselves, providing many opportunities for them to develop leadership skills for the future.

Our values of courage, honour, humility and fellowship are central in everything we do and they resonate particularly strongly in these important aspects of a boy’s career as he progresses through the School and on to a life of service, learning, leadership and personal fulfilment.

Dr Stephen Harrison, Director of Pastoral Care