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Talking Heads: Mel Mrowiec From Harrow International School

An Interview With The Head Master

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We continue the Little Steps Talking Heads series, where parents can meet, greet, and get tips from Hong Kong’s Heads Of Schools. Get personal with these fabulous personalities and find out what makes them tick, their advice for parents navigating the schooling scene, and their favorite things about life in the city.

In this edition, we say hello to Mel Mrowiec, Head Master at Harrow International School Hong Kong.

  • ABOUT MEL MROWIEC:

    1. Do you have a nickname? I am not yet aware of one here, but it is early days. Wwhen I was at Harrow School in England, it was as simple as 'Mel'. However, as Deputy Head Master, I was probably called all sorts of names!
    2. Where were you born and where did you grow up? I was born and brought up in Ipswich in eastern England. My father was Polish; he was de-mobbed at the end of the Second World War and eventually married an English girl.
    3. Where do you live in the city and why do you love it there? I live within Harrow International School in the Gold Coast area of the New Territories. As we have a strong boarding ethos, our Upper School teachers are expected to live in School accommodations, so that we can provide a full range of activities related to boarding.
    4. What's in your lunchbox? I eat lunch four days a week with one of our Senior School or Prep School Houses, or Lower School Classes. While I enjoy the School's food, it is more important for me to find out what our pupils think of the huge number of things going in the School.

  • HIS SCHOOL: Harrow International School

    1. What or who inspired you to become a Head Master? At 11, I went to the local grammar school in Ipswich. The school required the pupils to study a modern foreign language for five years. I was placed in the class studying Russian and my first ever teacher, Mr. Smith, was simply brilliant. He clearly loved what he was doing and I think I always knew that I would be a teacher from that time onwards.
    2. Describe your school in 5 words or less.Vibrant community with inspiring teaching.

  • FAVORITE THINGS:

    1. What's your favourite thing on your desk and why? The screensavers on my iPad which are a recent photograph of our family taken in Cornwall (my wife and I have four daughters) and our cat in a Christmas coat!
    2. What are your 3 favorite children's books? The Lighthouse Keeper's Lunch by Ronda and David Armitage, the Alfie books by Shirley Hughes and Emma Quite Contrary by Gunilla Wolde – we had a daughter named Emma who I loved reading this to for all sorts of reasons!

  • ADVICE TO PARENTS:

    1. What's the best way for parents to be involved in their children's education? Focus on helping, in an age-approriate way, to empower children at home and at school to take responsibility for their actions, to learn to work independently and to make their own informed decisions.
    2. Any tips for parents when applying for schools? Encourage children to love learning for its own sake and to develop interests outside the classroom. Children who can communicate naturally about themselves as individuals come across so much more effectively at interview. However, it is also important that parents ensure they understand the philosophy of any school to which they apply and assess if it is right for their child.
    3. What's the best advice a teacher ever gave you? It was actually a former teacher who was my PGCE tutor in my final year at Oxford. He told to continually think about what each pupil is doing at any point in a lesson; in other words, to focus on the learning that is actually taking place.

Where To Find It:​

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