Harrow School Online: A parent’s view
Interview with Julie Larrucea, Antonio’s mum
Why did you choose Harrow School Online?
I was looking for an online summer course in math, and I started to look at it just knowing the name of the school. It partnered with our thoughts about a UK system being better for Antonio than a US system, because of his aspirations to go to a European university. In addition, it was COVID, so everybody was doing online anyway. We wanted a school that had researched how to do online teaching, not just put it on zoom and continued as they were.
Those three things together made us say, let's just explore it. And then we really left it up to him. He made the final decision.
What do you like most about Harrow School Online?
I was completely surprised with the level of competitions and other activities that enhance the learning – for example the chess club, the World Economic competition, the business Olympiad. It was a nice surprise and Antonio has taken advantage of a lot of those. As we put some things on his resume, I thought, wow, Harrow has made a significant impact on him being a whole student, not just an A level student. He's doing lots of other things that have enhanced his softer skills.
How would you say an online school differs from a traditional school?
You save a lot of time. I don't have to drive anywhere.
I think online is great because it's going to prepare him better for university. He has to figure out how to schedule his own time. How to get things done, when to get them done, how to be disciplined enough to get it done as there's not somebody every day checking it. I think it will prepare him better for his life.
There are not the regular social interactions, you just have to plan it outside. We signed Antonio up for a sports team at a club. You just create those things yourselves.
Is online learning as good as face-to-face learning?
I will tell you a quote from Antonio – he felt like he was in class.
There were absolutely zero obstacles to learning. He sees the other kids in his class on the screen and the feeling he gets is that he's in class.
How much involvement is needed as a parent?
I have found that anytime I needed anything from Harrow it was there and very quickly. The Success Coach was a huge help – I never felt like I didn't have an answer or I couldn't be involved in something.