Harrow Way Guarantee‘The Harrow Way Guarantee,’ a new initiative launched by Harrow Way last term to help students be more rounded individuals and learn about life in modern Britain is already proving to be a huge success and supports the governments new citizenship requirements.

Deputy Headteacher Mark Warren, who introduced the innovative scheme to the school said: “The Harrow Way Guarantee is a series of activities designed to make the students better citizens with a greater understanding of life both beyond and within their immediate community. We launched the scheme last term to Year 7 students and they have until May 2017 to complete as many activities as possible. Students have already been busy blogging their activities from last term and the Christmas holidays.

The Harrow Way Guarantee activities are divided into five categories. ‘Performing for a variety of audiences’ encourages students to take part in a debate or public speaking competition or deliver a presentation to a large audience are some of the suggestions which show increasing maturity and confidence.

The second category of activities, ‘take advantage of enrichment opportunities’ urges students to try something new, whether tapping into the wealth of extra-curricular activities on offer at school, visiting another town/city or exploring a tourist attraction. The key, says Mark Warren is to “explore new horizons.”

‘Make a contribution to society’, the third activities category, is about developing responsibilities within the community. Students are invited to volunteer their time to a worthy cause, organise or lead an activity or group or take responsibility for how the school looks by keeping an area litter free. In essence it is about putting others first and giving something back. To support this, the chosen charities this year are Icknield School and Andover MENCAP. Some students have already visited Icknield, there were joint stalls at the Christmas Fair and later this term there will be a joint bake off and cake sale. Two Icknield students are also joining a Year 7 Art class and our Drama Club. Later in the year students will be helping out a MENCAP clubs.

The penultimate category, ‘be involved in the wider life of the school’ encourages students to take on a position of responsibility or vote for something that affects the school community. They could represent their house or the school in a team or competition or produce a piece of work for display in the school. Mark Warren explains further: “Students spend the majority of their day at school and we want them to consider how they can contribute to the fabric of the school and the community which works and studies there. Their contribution matters and will make a difference.”

And finally, ‘show all round learning’, the fifth category which looks to inspire students to seek knowledge and experiences beyond the classroom by perhaps visiting a museum, art gallery or exhibition. They could attend a sports performance, a concert or go to the theatre and write a review of it or go international and communicate with somebody in another country.

Each student has their own personal, web- based blog to record evidence (text, photos or videos). Trained Digital Leaders from Year 8 will check the blogs regularly and work with the Year 7s if more information or detail is required. At the end of the two years, in May 2017, each student will be assessed by the Tutor and Head of Year for the quality of the blog, attendance, behaviour and attitude to learning.

A special Graduation for parents and students in July 2017 will acknowledge students who complete the Guarantee with Pass, Merit or Honours.

Mark Warren concludes: “This is the first year of the Guarantee and the students have been really enthusiastic about completing their blogs and trying the various activities in the five categories. We believe this will further enhance the, already very positive and strong, culture we have here at Harrow Way with students who are more rounded, better citizens who have been encouraged to learn and experience life in this modern country.”