From the desk of the Head Master 27 September 2019
I have just returned from a trip to Hong Kong to meet parents and OWs, and to interview and cultivate the next generation of Hong Kong-based boarders at the Top Schools UK event.
This has long been an annual fixture for Heads at Warwick School and, having missed it last September (I thought it a little too early to leave the country after just two weeks in the job), this was my first ever visit.
I wasn’t quite prepared for what I encountered. There were stunning views across the harbour, a skyline lit up by a light show hard-wired into the high-rise buildings, and many elements to remind us of Hong Kong’s long-standing links with Britain – we were staying on Gloucester Street, opposite Victoria Park and the buses (driving quite properly on the left-hand side) could have been lifted from any English city. And yet the territory itself is of course unmistakably Chinese. The dual traditions make any visit a rich cultural experience, and yet with that duality comes a source of tension, which has been felt strongly in recent weeks.
Concerns about protests were unfounded – the scene of the weekend demonstrations was a long way from our venue (although two weeks earlier, Victoria Park had been the focus). However, understandably, the political situation was a source of anxiety to all we spoke with.
I met a number of terrific boys across our two days of interviews and it was good to hear of the reputation our school has over there. I anticipate we will see many of those boys joining the school next year, bringing a wide range of talents and enriching our community. It must be said we were helped by an army of volunteers, current parents and recent leavers, who were able to share their experiences of Warwick and help applicants and their parents understand what makes it such a special place to be educated. It was a reminder of the warm and supportive Warwick community we have over there, and the reception we held on our last evening was a wonderfully well attended and vibrant occasion.
I am very grateful to all who showed such wonderful hospitality to us on the trip and I am already looking forward to my next visit.