Last Friday, we had the chance to attend Harrow International School to celebrate the school’s 10th Anniversary in Beijing. His Royal Highness Prince Andrew, Duke of York attended and spoke at the event. Kicking off the ceremony, Harrow’s choir entertains the crowd while Prince Andrew visits classrooms. The choir begins with a humorous melody about a “bachelor hippo trying to find love” followed by the school’s anthem Follow Up, a song about life at school and what it will be like in forty years when students return to their former school.
After much anticipation from the audience, attendees are instructed to stand as Prince Andrew enters the auditorium and Headmaster David Shinkfield welcomes him to the stage. Prince Andrew gives for a short speech about the value of education. “Learning is a gift. A gift is something given freely but the person giving it has no idea how the recipient will use that gift. You never know when you’ll call upon it but you’re always recognizing how important that gift was,” Prince Andrew says.
Prince Andrew also spoke on leadership and called upon students, staff, and teachers to understand his and her own contribution to the success of each student. “In order to lead, you’re going to need to apply the challenges this school lays out for you. I wish you all success, students, but remember to take the challenges this school offers you. Staff and teachers, I wish you success to get the most out of your students. Education is no longer about route learning, but about encouragement.”
Finally Prince Andrew wraps up his speech with a message to parents. He says: “No school can work without its parents because students, teachers, staff, and parents work in harmony. Students, say thank you to your parents for having you because without them, you wouldn’t have had the opportunity to come to a great school like this.”
After his speech, Prince Andrew helps to unveil the 10 year plaque with Chairman Daniel Chiu of Harrow International Management Services Limited. Chiu is also the founder of the Harrow International Schools in Beijing, Bangkok, and Hong Kong. As a part of the Harrow International School Foundation Limited, Harrow Beijing has a governing board with members from the UK who are responsible for the philosophy, culture, and strategic direction of the school as well as providing oversight to ensure appropriate policy and procedures are in place for day-to-day operations. Governing members were also in attendance for the 10 year ceremony.
After the ceremony, media and members of the extended Harrow community were invited for a tour of campus.
“I’m so envious. I wish I had this when I was growing up, says Shinkfield. “Harrow Beijing is the result of the Harrow UK Governors’ decision over 20 years ago to perpetuate the legacy and tradition of Harrow. We will ‘follow up’ and try to live up to the tradition of our school.”
Photos: Courtesy of Harrow