Beyond their academic work, Harrow School Online pupils engage in a wide range of activities that develop character, foster friendships and promote leadership and personal fulfilment.
The School promotes leadership opportunities within the running of the clubs, where possible. If pupils have a specific interest which is not currently catered for, they are encouraged to approach a teacher for assistance in setting up a society.
I really love the way in which the school manages to combine learning with socialising focusing on the student's well-being as well as the academic perfomance.
The Student Newspaper
The pupil-led clubs and societies at Harrow School Online give pupils the opportunity to make friends and develop leadership and teamwork skills while pursuing and expanding on interests beyond their A level studies.
Most of our clubs and societies are pupil-led, with leadership decided by student-selection. A member of the academic team is affiliated to each club and will host the online meetings and support the pupil leadership.
Pupils choose which clubs and societies they would like to join at the start of the academic year, with the option to make changes to their enrolment on a termly basis. All full-time pupils are expected to join at least one club or society, with no limit to the number of clubs or societies a pupil can join. Most clubs meet once per week. Timetabling of clubs and electives takes into account where possible the availability and time zones of members.
Clubs currently on offer at Harrow School Online include:
Health and Sports Society
Health and Sports Society brings together like-minded individuals to participate in and lead a variety of exercise workouts as well as discuss the benefits of the integration of sport into our everyday lives. We also devise and discuss workout plans and have been known to create healthy snacks to eat during the school day and before and after workouts.
The purpose of Science Society is to broaden pupils’ knowledge and appreciation of the sciences. This is achieved through a rotor of presentations delivered by pupils to their peers, along with the occasional session featuring an external expert speaker. Sessions are informal and interactive, and the audience have the opportunity to contribute thoughts and questions both during and after presentations.
Medical Research Society
Medical Research Society is aimed at pupils who have an interest in the medical field, covering topics relevant to aspiring doctors, nurses, dentists, vets and radiographers. Pupils research and present to their peers on an area of particular interest, then field questions from others in the society. External speakers have included practising GPs, surgeons and medical researchers.
In Digital Photography Club pupils learn the basics of digital photography, covering a wide range of topics including focus, composition, lenses, focal length, exposure, apertures and depth of field, shutter speed, and understanding light and white balance, amongst others. They then put their knowledge into practice, collaborating on diverse and challenging weekly themes and submitting photos for peer review. The strongest submissions of the term are exhibited in a virtual gallery in the metaverse.
Book club holds meetings every half term, giving pupils that chance to read whichever book was selected by the group in the previous meeting. The international nature of Harrow School Online means a wide range of books have been put forward for reading, introducing members of book club to authors across the globe. The themes and questions raised by the books are discussed within the sessions, and each meeting ends with proposals and a vote to decide which book to tackle next.
Debate Club is a chance for pupils to develop their confidence and public speaking within a fun and supportive forum. Formal debates following the British Parliamentary Style are typically hosted fortnightly, while alternating weeks have less formal debate games and workshops, helping to develop confidence and oratory skills. The club sends teams to participate in external competitions, including the Oxford and Cambridge Schools debate competitions.
Economics & Investment Society
In Economics and Investment society, we get involved in debates on current economic issues, invite speakers from different parts of the financial world to share their expertise and have even created a trading game on Investopedia. The society inspires students with insights about stock trading, career prospects in finance and real-life applications of economics theories. Expert speakers have ranged from quantitative analysts to bankers and venture fund investors.
Film Club offers a meeting of minds for students interested in any part of filmmaking or films, with typical sessions comprising casual discussions on films that students may have recently watched and recommendations for films to watch. There are also often student presentations on specific aspects of filmmaking that they are particularly passionate about.
Twice a term Harrow School Online publishes an online magazine that is written and edited by the student body. As a flagship publication, the production quality is high and it gives students a great opportunity to write, photograph and design to exacting standards against a deadline. The range of content is impressive, from detailed, scholarly articles, to inspirational creative writing and from outstanding photography to delicious recipes.
Chess Club is a great opportunity for students to play chess against their peers, solve chess puzzles and take part in internal tournaments. This club helps pupils improve and develop their chess skills further, while enjoying the social aspect of interacting with other chess enthusiasts. The experience and level of students in the club varies, and everyone with an interest is welcome to join.
Computer Programming Club
Computer Programming Club meets weekly for general programming challenges and is open to students of all capabilities. Students can work on short programming challenges to develop their skills or take on longer projects over a few weeks. Previous projects have included a Snakes and Ladders game and a perfect Tic Tac Toe Computer.
Students in the marketing society engage in a variety of activities to improve the website, social media channels and marketing communications of Harrow School Online. These include blogging, creating social media content, filming and editing student interviews, and anything else students come up with! This society gives students the chance to improve their writing, communication and social media skills, and members have a great deal of freedom to pursue their own vision of increasing outreach and shaping the public-facing image of Harrow School Online.
Creativity society cultivates a safe space for students to showcase their diverse range of talents. Digital artists have shared stunning portraits and creatures from the darkest depths of imagination (the weekly theme of Halloween and Day of the Dead was a favourite!). Some students have crafted 3D models and others digital renders of aircrafts, ships and even spacecraft. We have had live performances of spoken word poetry and others in the group have been inspired to try new art forms for the first time.
Debate Club has really helped me gain confidence with public speaking.
Student, Debate Club
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.
Julie Larrucea, ParentI am always amazed by the wonders of science.
Student, Medical Research Society
Pupils enrolled on our full-time or enrichment programme participate in the House Award, which rewards their commitment to extracurricular activities, both within and outside the School.
Pupils can take part in activities online or in their local community. For activities that take place outside of the School, a responsible adult completes a report on the pupil’s involvement, and evidence of the activity, normally including photographs or a video, are submitted.
There are three levels of achievement for this award: Pass, Merit and Distinction. Pupils obtain points for individual attributes spread across all of the four channels:
Charity and Service;
Sport and Wellbeing; and
The highly flexible 'anywhere, anytime, any place' aspects of Harrow School Online allows pupils to participate in these activities throughout the week.
Harrow School Online also runs a number of taught elective programmes which you can read further about here.