Shaftesbury Enterprise Impact Report 2020-21 (COPY)


Shaftesbury Enterprise is Harrow School’s initiative focused on improving the educational outcomes and life opportunities for young people, regardless of background, particularly those who face significant barriers to progress.

Our purpose 

Our purpose is to offer transformative educational and co-curricular opportunities to help improve the prospects of children and young people, both in the borough of Harrow and further afield.

Our vision 

Our vision is to enable every young person in our community, irrespective of background, to thrive, achieve their full potential, find fulfilment and become successful adults who go on to make a positive mark on the many communities to which they belong throughout their lives.

Our objectives 

We will achieve our vision by focusing our efforts for the future on three key challenges:

Improving educational attainment through providing appropriate academic intervention at primary and secondary school level.

Improving life outcomes through offering diverse co-curricular opportunities and suitable interventions to support mental and physical wellbeing and helping individuals to gain a university place, further training or employment, with a focus on young people who would have limited access to such provision.

Widening access for those from a broad range of abilities and backgrounds through providing bursaries, exemplary pastoral support and opportunities in a boarding environment for boys who would thrive at Harrow School but for whom the fees are prohibitive.

We hope you enjoy hearing from Mr Alastair Land, Head Master of Harrow School, who shares his highlights from the past year in the video below.

Mr Tim Dalton, Director of Shaftesbury Enterprise, gives his overview of the year in the video below.


Every year, the Harrow School community organises and undertakes a sponsored run, swim and bicycle ride, called Long Ducker, to raise money for charity. Over the last year, the Harrow School community raised £216,000, predominantly to support important initiatives that help young people who face significant barriers to fulfilling their potential. We also wanted to honour the memory of a young Harrovian whom we recently lost to cancer by funding lifesaving research in his memory.

This year, the main recipient was Young Harrow Foundation (YHF), which received half the funds raised, while the Harrow Club and Cancer Research UK were given £54,000 each.

Young Harrow Foundation

This year, our focus was on mitigating the continuing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the most disadvantaged groups of society in north-west London. Through Long Ducker events, we were able to donate more than £120,000 to Young Harrow Foundation. You can read and hear more about our work together below.

Young Harrow Foundation

Young Harrow Foundation (YHF) is a membership organisation, set up by John Lyon’s Charity, that helps the local voluntary sector in Harrow to build capacity, increase fundraising opportunities and facilitate partnership work in the community. YHF focuses on the five key areas of mental health, physical health, inequality, youth violence and employment. YHF’s wide-ranging work plays a critical role in improving the life chances for young people in the borough of Harrow.

YHF moved into Harrow School-owned offices last year, allowing Shaftesbury Enterprise and YHF to work closely together to support young people in Harrow.

In 2021/22, YHF was the main recipient of Long Ducker funding. YHF received half the funds raised, with £120,000 being used to help 21 charities in Harrow run vital programmes to support thousands of vulnerable young people in the borough. 

We hope you enjoy hearing about the charities we were able to support in partnership with Young Harrow Foundation in the video below:


The Harrow Club

The Harrow Club received a quarter of the total funds raised through Long Ducker,  as well as additional grant funding provided by Harrow School.

Funded and designed by Old Harrovians, the Harrow Club was formed in 1883 as The Harrow Mission Church. First Missioner William Law recognised the need for provision in the impoverished Notting Dale area and set up the mission with the desire to improve the quality of life for local people, aiding harmony and promoting opportunity. Since 1883, the Harrow Club has been anchored in the local community, working with some of the most marginalised young people in West London,  providing accessible and high-quality opportunities, enabling them to maximise their life chances and enhancing their personal development. The Harrow Club is not afraid to work at the most challenging fringes of the community in order to achieve the greatest impact. Working with up to 500 young people each week across six clubs, the Harrow Club helps the young people it works with to recognise and fulfil their potential.

Through general youth clubs and specialist interventions, the Harrow Club empowers young people to complete their education, avoid anti-social behaviour and become positive contributors to the communities to which they belong.

We continue to celebrate our close links with the Harrow Club and are proud of its many achievements as it makes a measurable difference to the lives of hundreds of young people.

The contribution through the Long Ducker has been extraordinary and has helped us both directly and indirectly to launch new initiatives such as a programme for young people with behavioural issues who would otherwise be excluded from school.”

Philippe Chappatte, Chair of Trustees, Harrow Club

Hear more about our work together in the video below.


The Lumina Tutoring Programme was launched during the first national lockdown as a spontaneous and ad-hoc response to the educational challenges faced by care-experienced young people when schools closed. The programme has evolved into an efficient and effective way to meet a real need for looked-after children, a group already at significant educational disadvantage and who are also likely to have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic in additional ways.

The programme brings together inspirational teachers and mentors with diverse skills and backgrounds and from across the education sector, harnessing their expertise to help a group of young people facing significant disadvantages in thriving and moving on to successful careers in the future. In partnership with Virtual Schools, one-to-one online lessons, predominantly in English, Maths and Science, are being provided by teachers from partner schools on a weekly basis to support the educational progress of young people.

The programme is currently operating with 40 teachers across like-minded independent-school partners – Harrow School, Northwood College, Notting Hill and Ealing High School, John Lyon School, Radley College, Ibstock Place School, Bedford School, St George’s Weybridge and Homefield Prep School – and supporting over 60 young people.

The programme works in close partnership with Harrow, Ealing, Brent, Barnet and Sutton Virtual Schools, with the ambition of extending its reach in the months ahead.

Find out more about what's happened in the last year in the video below.

“It is with great pleasure that I am able to let you know that I have passed my GCSE maths, with a grade C. Thank you for the extra tuition and advice which definitely made a difference to my performance in the exam." A young person on the Lumina Tutoring Programme, 14 January 2022

“It is abundantly clear from our young women how much they have valued the support that they have received from Harrow School over time now. It is lovely to see how excited they are about Lumina and the enrichment activities it offers as well as the one-to-one tutoring. We’ve had amazing feedback. At our Awards Ceremony, it was great to be able to showcase to some of our younger students not yet taking part in Lumina, and to the foster carers too, the benefits of participating and the impressive outcomes of that commitment for our young people.” Bridie McDonagh, Head of Behaviour Strategy and Inclusion, Head Teacher, Ealing Virtual School


The Lumina Summer School has continued to grow in its online format. The flexibility of the online model has been appreciated by universities and schools alike, and the publication of the summer school by university teams means that we now have students attending from across the UK – quite literally from South Harrow to Sunderland. Interest remains high, with the programme being heavily oversubscribed. Last year, 330 students registered from 48 different schools across the UK. 

The diversification of the summer school since moving online is reflected in the increased breadth of offers; from the 2020 cohort, 16 students have completed their first year at Cambridge. It is notable that these students came from 15 different schools. All these students attended the Lumina Summer School and the complementary Lumina mock interview evening. In 2021, over 100 students were interviewed as part of the mock interview evening. We await the final list of university placements for our 2021/22 cohort.

Harrow School Enrichment Programme

In addition to one-to-one online tutoring support, Harrow School runs a weekly after-school enrichment programme for care-experienced young people and young carers. These sessions are held at Harrow School during term time. The first half of the enrichment session supports academic attainment, with young people participating in a carousel of activities across the School site for the remainder of the session. The broad range of activities spans everything from music recording to experimenting with pottery, honing debating skills, participating in various sports and attending dedicated career counselling sessions.

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Shaftesbury Enterprise Boys Volunteering Programme

Every Harrovian is actively involved in Shaftesbury Enterprise, by fundraising through the annual Long Ducker (see above) and through the volunteering and mentoring programme. 

Boys are invited to volunteer for many projects in the local community, ranging from supporting primary and secondary school children with their learning to working on specific enrichment projects with groups facing significant barriers to progress.

Around 200 Harrovians volunteer on a weekly basis. The collation of feedback to date suggests that they offered around 8,000 hours of time to Shaftesbury Enterprise projects during this cycle, with thousands of members of the community benefiting from their endeavours. Harrow boys enjoy the work; when they were asked to rate the quality, impact and usefulness of their particular project, the mean score was 8.7/10 (10 being the best). Alongside this, Harrow School staff have supported the boys’ activities by offering over 1,000 hours of their time to act as co-ordinators, coaches, mentors and contributors to the projects.


Harrovians have continued to build relationships with local primary schools through partnership work such as reading with young children, supporting them in their maths learning and providing general help with other projects and activities. 

Some boarding Houses have formed links with specific schools over several years, which has allowed for relationships to grow. These established partnerships provide many examples of good practice that translate through to new Shaftesbury Enterprise projects.


Our boys have supported maths primary partnerships and reading projects, with around 100 boys having worked with hundreds of local children. Over 1,000 hours have been dedicated to these projects between September and March of the last academic year.

Reading schemes usually involve one-to-one reading sessions or group work. Harrovians have worked with pupils who find reading challenging as well as helping the highest achievers to develop their skills. These projects took place largely at the primary school, with some groups having the chance to visit Harrow School’s Vaughan Library for workshops. Reading is known to improve critical thinking and brain development, to improve vocabulary and create more complex chains of reasoning. The chance to explore stories together and to become motivated by watching older boys reading has been very well received by the children.

"The [Harrow] boys came in weekly to read with children and ask both comprehension and inference questions. The boys worked extremely well with all the children, who were always very pleased to read with the boys." St Anselm’s Roman Catholic Primary School

One Harrovian noted that: "Many children said they didn’t read at home and so this project ensured there was someone there to listen to them read, improving their reading and their comprehension skills."

Grange Primary School: "[It] was a fantastic opportunity for the children to experience the cosiness, warmth and joy that comes from reading a good book, accompanied by a chocolate biscuit. The chance to engage with young people who value literature and culture is priceless."


Harrow’s mathematicians have visited local primary schools to run masterclasses for some of their top mathematicians, providing the opportunity for them to be stretched on problem solving and reasoning while having support. All the children who took part in the project were working at an accelerated level.

At the end of the academic year, we invited top mathematicians from our local partner schools to attend two special, fun-filled enrichment days focused on code breaking. The day dedicated to different types of code enabled them to bring together what they had learnt in lessons at school and what they had been taught by Harrow’s mathematics teachers. 

A teacher said: "I particularly enjoyed enabling the older boys to take ownership of the leadership and planning of the sessions and, by the end, the pupils they were tutoring were absolutely flying, which was such a pleasure to see."

Woodlands School

Woodlands Primary School in Edgware is a primary maintained school that caters for pupils aged 3 to 11 years with a range of complex and profound learning difficulties. These include severe autism, physical and mobility difficulties, and severe developmental delay. A group of ten boys from Newlands visited the school weekly during the project cycle to support learning and play activities, as well as enabling the children to access the local community.

The time spent outside the classroom, for example taking walks to the park and helping children to make use of the apparatus, has helped to improve the children’s motor co-ordination. These outings are made possible by the presence of the boys as they provide the one-to-one support that is so essential.

A Reception teacher said: "The relationships based on mutual respect that were formed with the children in early years were so helpful in developing the children’s independence."

Chemistry, Fives and Debating

Around 150 Year 6 pupils from Roxeth Primary School and Vaughan Primary School had an introduction to Chemistry, Eton Fives and Debating. This is a weekly programme that allows the pupils to develop new skills whilst practising these three disciplines. The pupils undertake secondary-school-level experimental science techniques in Harrow School’s Chemistry laboratories as well as learning the basics of constructing an argument and public speaking in the debating classes. Eton Fives is a non-contact sport developing hand eye coordination and good levels of fitness.

Each school took part in all three disciplines over the course of eight weeks. 

Participants in the Chemistry project said: "I thought that the vibrant nature of the spectacles combined with their seemingly "dangerous" aspect amazed and inspired the pupils and showed them the exciting aspect of chemistry and science in general that they would never have experienced first-hand before."

Secondary Schools and Young Adults

Harrow School hosts many conferences, talks, revision sessions and careers-focused events throughout the year for Harrovians. We make every effort to extend invitations to pupils of secondary schools and academies from the local area, with around 100 local schools receiving invitations to the majority of School events. We are pleased to report that large numbers of pupils from other schools take the opportunity to attend these events, either online or in person.

Partnership schools include the London Academy of Excellence Tottenham, Bentley Wood High School, Whitmore High School, Ruislip High School, Queensmead School, Tywford Church of England High School, William Perkin School, Harrow High School, Hatch End High School, Rooks Heath College, Fulham Boys School, Dormers Wells High School and St Dominic’s Sixth Form College, as well as many others. 

Harrow Rifle Corps and Harrow High School

The Harrow Rifle Corps continues to maintain its successful partnership with Harrow High School and welcomes 25 Army cadets for weekly training sessions at the School. Training is overseen by Captain Robson and Major Davies and is delivered alongside Harrow boys, Harrow teachers and staff from Harrow High School. 

The cadets, a mixture of girls and boys aged between 14 and 17, take part in a full range of Combined Cadet Force (CCF) activities, which include field craft training, skill at arms instruction and shooting on the School’s range, as well as adventurous training, using the full scope of the School’s resources, and attendance at the week-long summer camp on the Isle of Wight. Many cadets have been involved in field days at Pirbright Ranges, during which they successfully passed their Basic Advanced Army Tests. This year, we saw one cadet advance to Cadet Sergeant and another to Cadet Corporal.

Shaftesbury High School

Shaftesbury High School is a special needs school in the London Borough of Harrow for children with learning, emotional, behavioural, autistic, communication, medical, physical, sensory and social needs. Harrovians have supported pupils who have been making use of the Harrow School sports facilities.

London Academy of Excellence Tottenham

The School continued its formal partnership with the London Academy of Excellence Tottenham. LAET is an academically selective free school for young people aged 16 to 19, which was opened as part of the White Hart Lane redevelopment in 2017. Pupils from LAET have visited Harrow and taken part in History and English lessons alongside Harrovians. Harrow continues to support LAET in English and History, with the departments linked and working together on the curriculum.

Sport and Mentoring

Harrow boys designed and ran sports projects with Shaftesbury High and a tennis programme with St Anselm’s where 60 pupils attended a six week introduction to tennis coaching programme. Twelve members of our Lower Sixth worked with Byron Court on a weekly mentoring programme with their Year 6 boys involving sports and a tour of Harrow.

School of Hard Knocks

School of Hard Knocks (SOHK) is a unique long-term intervention programme that uses weekly rugby coaching, classroom sessions and mentoring to improve attendance and behaviour at school with the ultimate aim of helping at-risk children avoid permanent exclusion and complete mainstream education in schools. In the fifth year of our partnership with SOHK, Harrow hosted the biggest SOHK festival yet with over 250 boys across year 9, 10 and 11 from SOHK partnership schools to play in a round robin tournament. Harrow boys in the Yearlings E, F, Junior Colts E and Colts C teams also played with members of The XV helping to run, coach and offer encouragement to all the boys. It was a tremendous success and showed how the spirit of rugby can unite boys from all different backgrounds. The day finished with a kit donation from Harrow to SOHK to help facilitate their sessions in the future. We will be welcoming SOHK back on the 10 November 2022 with a further charity rugby festival as we continue to grow our relationship.


Harrovians continue to work with FirmFoundation, which is a charity based in Harrow that works to support the homeless. Five boys volunteered regularly at daytime drop-ins. Julian Saunders, FirmFoundation’s Charity Manager, said that the Harrow boys have "been a valuable addition to the Drop-in, always helpful and respectful with our volunteers and, importantly, with our guests. They engage sensitively and are well received. I have found them to be gracious and unflappable, treating each person regardless of their situation with the same ease and respect.

FirmFoundation is grateful for the work of Shaftesbury Enterprise, the willingness of the boys and their consistent approach regardless of who is sitting in front of them. Often the people we see are at their lowest ebb, and to be involved in a conversation without judgement can be the very thing they need on that day".

Harrow also hosts an annual sleepout to raise money for FirmFoundation; this year around 25 boys raised £6,000.

We have also been able to support educational projects at our partner primary schools with funding through Shaftesbury Enterprise grants. In the last academic year, nearly £35,000 in grants has funded a diverse range of projects.

We hope you enjoy seeing a selection of projects that we have been able to support over the past year.

“I wanted to get back in touch this afternoon about the boys who visited today. The feedback I received from the group who were supporting in class was very positive. I worked with the group of Sixth Formers who were mentoring my group. The group were FANTASTIC and incredible ambassadors for your school. I coached my boys in how to greet a new person, offer them a seat, drinks etc. Your boys played their roles superbly. In pairs, they shared their goals, aspirations, career dreams and played games together.”

“The Harrow boys came into school on time and were keen, polite and considerate. The boys engaged well with the pupils they read with and were resourceful. All the pupils who read with the Harrow boys enjoyed this extra reading opportunity.” 

“It was lovely to welcome the boys yesterday and I was delighted to see that two of the boys were returnees. They were very friendly and engaged with both staff and pupils with ease. Some of the children asked this morning were they coming in today.” 

“Can I say what a pleasure it was to see the boys working with our children yesterday. I heard such lovely engaging conversation from both parties and all the boys represented you well. They were all polite and enthusiastic. It is such a valuable thing for the boys to do. We look forward to welcoming the boys back on 24 November.”

“I was also really inspired to hear the possibility of some of your boys leading a Latin and etymology session for some of our children. We are developing our teaching of vocabulary and feel this would be an exciting project.” 

“The boys’ enthusiasm was obvious from the minute I spoke to them and shared which year groups they were with. They got stuck in and followed the lead of the adults in the classroom. One of them even got involved in the weekly monitoring of what we do, which involves SLT, our staff and children. It was great to see them get settled so quickly. Looking forward to seeing how they work with our children as they become more familiar with the school.” 

“The students who came in yesterday from Harrow School were so polite and had lovely manners. Our first session was a safeguarding and health and safety session and our SENDCO particularly commented on their politeness and maturity when it came to asking questions. We look forward to seeing them the week after next.”

“The Year 4 team spoke very positively regarding the support with reading given by the boys.”

“I would like to say on behalf of Marlborough how grateful we are that you have provided our pupils with the opportunity of extra reading. I only have positive feedback, the boys were all incredibly polite, enthusiastic and were very engaging with our reluctant readers. The pupils are already asking when they can read with the boys again, which is such a fantastic thing to hear!”

“It was great to have the boys with us last week for their first visit to Woodlands. As usual, the boys arrived with willingness to be involved and positivity, and engaged really well with all the children. I want to thank teachers involved for preparing the boys for our environment prior to visiting as I know it can be a challenge and not necessarily suited to every personality. One of our teachers commented that the boy visiting the class knew to give attention to all the children and smile and engage with them. It is always great to see from our point of view all of our children being included in this way.”

“Boys from Harrow School Conservation Team worked with pupils from St Anselm’s Catholic Primary School in the grounds of St Mary’s Church. They discovered wildlife and fungi, worked together to remove ivy from headstones and cleared any litter and debris that did not belong in the church grounds.”

“The Harrow boys were great at building relationships with Grange children, both at Grange and at the Vaughan Library. The children who visited the library were proud that they made a new friend (even if some had forgotten their names). The Harrow boys supported children with quite significant needs, both language and special needs, and they did so maturely and with great compassion (I saw one boy reading to a girl who couldn't read the book she had brought with her). They were all incredibly welcoming and made our children feel comfortable in a new environment where they were out of their comfort zone.”

All staff here have witnessed how our students’ self-worth and self-confidence rose significantly during the session and this is in no small part thanks to how fantastically every member of your House behaved. Put simply, these boys are demonstrating perfectly the Harrow School values of courage, honour, humility and fellowship and their actions are helping our students to demonstrate our own school morals to be kind, be respectful, be resilient, be responsible and grow.” Simon Lewis, Teacher, Shaftesbury High School, January 2022. SE Activity, Games in Sports Hall

“For me, a few projects and events have stood out. Firstly, The Head Master’s House project with Shaftesbury High, a local school for children with a wide range of disabilities, where we would go down to the Sports Centre each week and play team games such as five-a-side football and basketball, and work on problem-solving tasks. Seeing the children enjoying themselves was a wonderful feeling and I know for a fact that all the other boys loved it as much as I did. Another highlight was being involved in the Cooking with Compassion event where we cooked and served a three-course meal to adults from the borough of Harrow who have struggled with their mental health. The highlight for me were the small interactions while serving the food because, even though my conversation was limited, just being able to provide a service and watch everyone enjoying the day and having fun was a great feeling.” Jack H, Shaftesbury Enterprise Monitor 2021/22

Shaftesbury Enterprise Grants

Shaftesbury Enterprise initiatives in 2021/22 have continued to focus on mitigating the impact of the pandemic, particularly on improving the mental and physical wellbeing and improving the life chances of young people for whom the pandemic has had a disproportionate impact. 

Through our partnerships, we are enabling young people who face the greatest barriers to progress to close learning gaps, improve mental and physical wellbeing and access further education and opportunities, with the bold ambition of helping them to recover from the impact of the pandemic as quickly and comprehensively as possible.

All the funding is targeted at those most in need.


IntoUniversity believes that everyone should have the opportunity to access the benefits higher education can provide. These benefits are well studied and numerous, and include greater life satisfaction, higher-achieving children, lower unemployment and increased earnings. Graduate salaries are consistently higher than for non-graduates, with a recent Institute of Fiscal Studies (IFS) report revealing that, overall, 80% of students are likely to gain financially from taking part in higher education. At the age of 30, women who have higher education qualifications earn, on average, 27% more and men earn 6% more, with the average increase in net lifetime earnings estimated to be £100,000 for women and £130,000 for men.

Core to successful progression into higher education is early intervention that allows young people from less advantaged backgrounds to break cycles of underachievement. Through a grant, Harrow School is able to help IntoUniversity’s Brent Centre to run its Primary FOCUS programme, which is aimed at inspiring and broadening the horizons of students in Years 3 to 6 and supporting them in overcoming barriers to higher education and future career opportunities. Through a series of structured workshops, pupils are able to participate in an enhanced National Curriculum, intended to raise students’ ambitions and increase their knowledge of future pathways, and promote essential skills such as teamwork and communication. 

Five hundred students took part in the Primary FOCUS programme at IntoUniversity’s Brent Centre in the last academic year.

Harrow Carers

The aim of Harrow Carers is to support young people and children in overcoming the negative impacts of their caring responsibilities, and to promote wellbeing, resilience and achievement in life. 

A recent survey carried out by Harrow Public Health, alongside Young Harrow Foundation, found that 24% of respondents lived with someone with a disability condition, illness or addiction. This is in line with national joint research by the BBC and Nottingham University that suggests that one in five young people growing up in England are young carers. Young carers often spend many hours each week caring for members of their family. This leads to a variety of negative effects on their own lives including reduced educational outcomes, reduced employment prospects and diminished mental wellbeing as a result of the anxiety and stress.

Through a grant, Harrow Carers is being helped to run five regular clubs equating to ten hours’ face-to-face support a week for 150 young carers. The clubs focus on increasing academic attainment through offering access to the internet, IT equipment and a quiet, supportive place to study. They also offer carers the opportunity for respite through informal education and a safe space with provision of activities promoting wellbeing through access to music equipment, creative arts and fitness sessions. It enables the Harrow Carer team to offer one-to-one support when it is needed, particularly for young carers who are struggling at school because of their caring role.

Spear Harrow

£30,000 was received to cover the costs of the Spear Programme for two cohorts in 2022.

The Spear Programme helps 16–24-year-olds who face barriers to sustain employment or education. Harrow Spear equips young people with the confidence, motivation and skills they need to succeed in long-term employment. The first part of the programme, Spear Foundation, is delivered over six weeks through group and one-to-one coaching. These highly interactive training sessions focus on areas such as navigating conflict and making positive choices, as well as CV writing and professional communication. Harrow Spear actively sources job vacancies within a network of employers and facilitates external touch points with professionals, including practice interviews. The coaches provide support for a year after Spear Foundation, ensuring young people obtain and remain in work.

Westside Young Leaders Academy (WYLA)

Westside Young Leaders Academy (WYLA) provides support and early intervention for black and minority ethnic participants who are at risk of underachieving at school and/or participating in criminal and anti-social behaviour. Their leadership programme, Raise the Bar, aims to address and challenge the personal and systemic barriers that affect their development and attainment, and will introduce a number of enriching activities and interventions that are designed to teach key leadership skills, improve confidence and self-esteem, raise aspirations, improve presentation skills and develop a can-do attitude, particularly for at risk individuals, and help them to fulfil their potential.

“Building direct, front-facing, creative support networks and resilience for our young is so important and Harrow School has led the way. There are so many talented young people out there and we just need to spark the creativity that we know, when supported, can lead them on to greater life chances and future success.” Colin Powell, Harrow Carers - 3 November 2021 (email to Tim Dalton in response to Impact Report 2020/21)

Shaftesbury Enterprise Music Programme

This has been the first year of incorporating music into the Shaftesbury Enterprise partnership work with local schools. We have worked with over 130 children, aged between 8 and 12, from six primary schools: Grange Primary School, Byron Court Primary School, St Jérôme Church of England Bilingual School, St Anselm’s Catholic Primary School, Norbury School and Newton Farm Nursery, Infant and Junior School. The aim of this partnership work is to establish and further develop the musical opportunities available to children in the immediate area. This year, the School’s Choral Fellow, Tom Moy, has visited and established choirs in each school, with a focus on introducing classical music to the children. 

Throughout the year, the children have been learning about various genres and examples of the classical repertory, covering music composed as early as the mid-13th century, Sumer is Icumen in – one of the earliest examples of surviving notated canonic polyphony – right through to Howard Blake’s famous We’re Walking in the Air from the 1982 animated film The Snowman. The children also explored folksongs from the British Isles, works by 20th-century composers such as Ralph Vaughan Williams and songs from the Italian baroque tradition.

One of the highlights of the year was the community opera production of Benjamin Britten’s Noye’s Fludde in which children from four of the primary schools performed the roles of the animals alongside professional principal singers, boys from Harrow School and girls from Bishopshalt School. This was a fully staged production held in Speech Room alongside an orchestra of 70 instrumentalists and included the use of the organ and piano. The performances were part of the celebration of Harrow School’s 450th anniversary and took place during the Community Day Event on 30 April. Preparation for this event included weekly musical rehearsals with the Music Department, a drama workshop with the Drama Department, and an animal t-shirt-making workshop with the Ryan Theatre Production Team. The two performances were very moving and memorable, and we hope to build on this process in future years.

There have been five collaborative sessions for the primary schools with boys from Harrow School this year, two of which involved Harrow boys rehearsing and performing to, and with, the children in their own schools. One session introduced the concept of ensemble playing, led by a Harrow School string quartet, as well as acquainting the children with previously unknown instruments. We also hosted a fantastic introduction to the organ in Speech Room, which was led by Director of Music, David Woodcock, and showcased many of the remarkable capabilities of the instrument. This session concluded with a short tour around parts of the School and a hearty rendition of Forty Years On by a group of Harrovians.

At the end of the Summer term, choirs from Grange Primary School and Norbury School were taken to an enrichment day, organised in partnership with the University of Cambridge to introduce them to university life and study. The Directors of Music from Robinson College, Cambridge discussed musical concepts and ideas with the children and introduced them to some of Cambridge’s amazing musical opportunities. The children were given a private tour of King's College Chapel including an introduction to the organ by a current organ scholar. Following this trip, we hope to be able to provide more exposure to university as a concept to primary school children who may not have previously considered such opportunities.

In addition to these experiences, we have also helped schools by providing transport for events such as SongFest, as well as assisting with piano-tuning and repair costs where necessary.

The initial progress and impact of this music partnership initiative has been well received by all our partner schools, and we look forward to exploring other ways in which we can widen access to musical opportunities for the community next year.

"Some of our children whose lives have been positively impacted through an immersion in music and choir participation as part of Harrow School's music outreach at Norbury, are also those who have been impacted by bereavement or grave ill health in the family, those who have had low self esteem and confidence and some who have been close to exclusion. Tom M has made an enormous difference to SO many children across the Borough I see each week, the difference he is making to all our children but especially those who are vulnerable and facing challenges in other spheres of their lives." Ann Sadan, LP - Music - Norbury, SLE - Music - Harrow, Art Lead, Norbury School