Harrow Haikou is a deeply values driven school with courage, honour, humility and fellowship central to how educational excellence for life and leadership is delivered. I have been especially impressed by the friendliness of the pupils and their willingness to talk with me in English.
I acknowledge you have high expectations for the impact I will make in this role. Over the coming years I suggest evaluating the school from two dimensions. Firstly, most importantly through the progress pupils make. Secondly, built on the progress pupils make, please also evaluate my work through the increase in pupil enrolment, university destinations, exam results, competition success and the happiness of pupils, staff and parents.
I have spent the previous five years at Sedbergh School in Fuzhou. Where I was founding Headteacher. I am proud of the achievements of the school most notably the university admissions results, COBIS accreditation and two British School Awards. In all I have been a Headteacher for eight years in China.
I have an undergraduate degree in Business from The University of Sheffield, my PGCE in ICT (teaching qualification) is from King’s College London, as is my MA in Education Leadership. My NPQH (Headteacher qualification) is from University College London. I will submit my PhD thesis to Lancaster University in the next two years. This is my twenty second year in teaching. I have lived and worked in England, China and Japan.
It is my belief that my previous experience of Headship in China and the success of my previous schools will provide useful ideas to further develop Harrow Haikou.
Harrow Haikou is at once a bilingual and international school. This is a strength that we can use to enrich the opportunities for our pupils.
I am not the only new member of staff joining Harrow Haikou this year. In August, once new teachers have begun to settle into Haikou, I look forward to introducing them to you in person.
My priorities are to strengthen communication with parents about how pupils are doing in school, developing and sharing information about the learning content within the curriculum and in what way we are preparing pupils for success academically, pastorally along with their applications to university and success in life.
Strong communication is built on two-way dialogue. It is important to me that parents, pupils and staff are consulted on the adjustments we wish to make to develop the school. This will by necessity mean that changes will not be immediate. This will also allow time for new staff to settle and for stability within the school to be enhanced.
Pastoral care is the most essential aspect of any school. Pupils who are content are free to learn and enjoy school. In the post-COVID era we can look forward to pupils preparing for and entering more competitions such as the World Scholars Cup, Spelling Bee China, various mathematical competitions and Olympiads.
I very much want Harrow Haikou to become a sporting, artistic and scientific hub for other schools within the Harrow community. In time I also hope to extend this to other similar schools around China. With our pupils benefiting from the enhanced interaction, fellowship and challenges these visits will involve.
To achieve success I will bring high academic standards coupled with the support and challenge needed to reach goals set. This may involve some difficult conversations, but we must not be afraid to speak truthfully to each other, as long as we have the necessary support structures in place to ensure wellbeing for pupils, staff and parents.
I know my new colleagues are already planning many new activities and initiatives for the coming academic year, most notably the introduction of the Duke of Edinburgh International Award, a programme that allow pupils to make terrific progress and is also highly regarded by universities.
Educational growth is a long journey, taken in hundreds of small steps, cemented in good habits that can be hard to establish, but natural once they become routine. Goal setting for pupils and explaining the route ahead to those goals is important. At the same time we must, as a community, ensure goals do not become pressure that inhibit pupils in their everyday progress. This will almost certainly require all of us, parents, staff and pupils to accept new perspectives and ways of doing things. As the saying goes, it takes a whole village to raise a child.
My wife and children will be joining me in Haikou. Emily (何芳宜), Jack （何俊廷) and Tommy (何俊儒) are all very excited about the move to Harrow. We very much enjoy being part of a community. Thank you for welcoming us into the Harrow Haikou (village) community.
Mr Oliver Wells (何欧立)