The Harrow Curriculum

At the heart of Harrow’s educational philosophy are the development of the mind and an understanding of how an individual student learns best. The intellectual, social and ethical needs of our international students determine our educational requirements. In its curriculum development, always an on-going process, Harrow Shanghai is forward thinking and innovative. We believe in a curriculum that has its foundations in intellectual content rather than assessment, important though that is. We aim to equip our students to think, appreciate and create while always having the opportunity to excel.

The Harrow International School Shanghai curriculum is rooted in the English National Curriculum but a vital focus is also given to the international dimension of the school. We never lose sight of the fact that we are an international school in China and celebrate our host culture whenever possible.

The Harrow curriculum consists of two distinct yet complementary strands, both of which seek to promote individual excellence and achievement. The examined curriculum guides the academic structure in both the Senior and Prep sections of the school; the focus being successful preparation of students for both IGCSE and A Level public examinations. In our selection of courses we aim to provide subject material that will inspire students of all ages. The curriculum as a whole is well-balanced and provides the breadth to contribute effectively to students’ academic and social attainment. Harrow Shanghai aims to broaden the intellectual horizons of our students further through the non-examined part of the curriculum. Here we provide access to essential learning opportunities which may not otherwise be accessible to students in regular academic lesson time.

Education at Harrow Shanghai is a continual process of discovering, learning and maturing, as students, supported by their teachers and their parents, progress through the various key stages of their school life. Probably our greatest challenge as a school is to develop in our students the capacity for independent thought and action, and then combine this with rational and responsible decision-making.

We appreciate the value of many traditional teaching methods and we employ them with skill and enthusiasm, but we also believe that lessons are best when students are actively involved in a dynamic process of thinking, discovering, and understanding things for themselves. The way students learn is just as important as the way teachers teach. We therefore place an emphasis on interactive and co-operative learning; devising lessons that draw on the different knowledge, aptitudes and learning styles of individual students.

Classes are kept small and, as a result, each student receives the individual attention from the teacher that is essential in ensuring that necessary progress is made. The facilities and resources available support our educational philosophy at all junctures. Central to this is our Library, which symbolically dominates the main school building and is accessible to students of all ages being used for a host of activities throughout the school day and beyond.