Admissions FAQ

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

ACADEMIC:

Harrow Appi follows the British national curriculum. A version of this curriculum, which has been adapted by Harrow International, is offered to students in Years 7-9, leading to study for GCSE and IGCSE specialist courses in Years 10 and 11. IGCSE is the international equivalent of the GCSE qualification sat by all students in England at the age of 16 (comparable to a Junior High School matriculation examination).

Following GCSEs/IGCSEs, and prior to High School graduation, students complete a two-year A-Level programme, regarded as the ‘gold standard’ in the British education system and recognised for university access and by employers worldwide. A-Level subjects available in Harrow Appi will include; English, Mathematics, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, History, Geography, Computer Science, Art, Music, Design Technology, Economics, Psychology, Japanese and Chinese.

Many students also complete an ‘Extended Project Qualification’ (EPQ) which allows them to develop research skills and explore a topic of personal interest in academic depth, giving them additional credits for university application.

Additionally, Harrow Appi has specialisms within the curriculum. Inspired by Japan’s reputation for innovation and technology, Harrow Appi specialises in STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) and, appropriate for Appi’s outdoor environment, CPA (the creative and performing arts). A state-of-the-art ‘Innovation Hub’ is central to the school’s facilities, with all students engaging in ambitious and challenging STEM projects. Our CPA staff and facilities are outstanding and the opportunities for students to create and perform are extensive.

The main language of instruction is English. All core subjects are taught and assessed in English, other than Japanese and Chinese language and culture programmes. For those students who are relatively new to English, specialist additional support is provided.

The school offers lessons in Japanese and Chinese to a high standard. All students are required to study one of these languages and have the opportunity to study both if they wish. IGCSE and A Level examinations are provided in the subjects of Japanese and Chinese.

Yes. All students will study Japanese as part of their compulsory curriculum to age 16 (Year 11). Japanese A Level will also be provided as an option, allowing students to study the language to age 18 (Year 13). 

 

Japanese students will be able to progress sufficiently in their native language proficiency to secure entry to Japanese universities, should they desire.


To cater for students from various background and language levels, Japanese at HIS Appi focuses on differentiation and the individual ability of each student. Students are divided into three groups; ‘Beginner’, ‘Intermediate’ and ‘Native’. We value the importance of catering for different learning goals and appreciate the fact that learning needs may differ more as a student progresses through the school. Therefore, we have created clear learning goals for each level.

Utilising Harrow International’s experience in China, and the expertise developed in our bilingual Harrow Innovation Leadership Academies, Harrow Appi offers an extensive Chinese language and culture programme. Harrow Appi students have the potential to graduate with strong proficiency in Chinese as well as English, and Japanese if they wish.

As is the case with the Japanese language programme, Chinese teaching at Harrow Appi caters successfully for students from a wide range of language levels (please see the paragraph above regarding methods used for successful language teaching).

To ensure teaching quality Harrow recruits only the very best teachers. Our teachers are sourced predominantly from the UK, as well as Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, and Canada. All of our academic staff have strong teaching qualifications, many have advanced degrees in education. They have also gained a minimum of three years teaching experience in a good school before joining us, though most have many more years than that. In addition, all teachers receive thorough induction on joining Harrow alongside extensive training during their time with us, ensuring that lessons are delivered to the highest standard, and in line with the requirements of our ‘Harrow Standards’ framework. 

Further formal and informal quality assurance measures take place through our robust monitoring processes. Senior managers regularly observe and give feedback to staff, either in formal ‘Lesson Observations’ or less formal ‘Learning Walks’. Harrow Appi is visited three times a year by Governors from Harrow School, London, and by members of our Harrow International Education Team, who ensure that our programmes align appropriately with the ‘Harrow Standards’.

As a British curriculum international school, we do not directly teach aspects of the Japanese Junior High School or High School programmes. However, in terms of much of the content and many of the skills, there is a large overlap between the two; students learn many of the same concepts and processes (e.g., algebra or photosynthesis), though in English.     

We recognise that many students joining Harrow Appi speak English as an Additional Language (EAL). Our curriculum and our teaching approaches are designed to accommodate their needs. Our teachers are trained in methods to best support EAL learners. Additionally, a priority in our recruitment of academic staff is for teachers who have particular experience with EAL students. 

Mainstream EAL support is included within school fees. Where a student requires additional, specialist one-to-one support, and following discussions with parents, this is charged for.

We have very high expectations for the academic attainment of Harrow Appi students. A rigorous and ongoing assessment process is central to each student’s programme. At Harrow Appi we believe that learners are entitled to:

  • Have their achievements recognised, valued, and celebrated appropriately;
  • Assessment tasks which give a range of opportunities to demonstrate learning;
  • Assessment tasks that are authentic, worthwhile, interesting and educative;
  • Have clear and consistently criteria applied to their assessment tasks;
  • Have genuine, usable feedback to facilitate improvement.

The specific modes of assessment are tailored to the different phases of the school, these processes are fully explained to parents and students during induction.

Assessments carried out by external authorities are the GCSE/IGCSE and A Level examinations.

As a full boarding school, homework (known as ‘Prep’) is an integral part of the school day. 

Appropriately challenging ‘Prep’ (homework) is set every day, according to each student’s age and ability and carefully monitored by the House Master/Mistress. Prep is additionally supported by Harrow teachers who visit the boarding houses in the evenings for this purpose.

All lessons are taught by academic subject specialists, many of whom hold advanced degrees in their area of expertise. Our teachers are passionate about their specialist subjects and are expert in motivating students to be enthusiastic about their learning, so that they give their best.

The academic timetable starts at approximately 8:30am and finishes at 3pm each day. Some students may start their day earlier, for example for early morning swimming or cello practice. After 3pm, students enjoy our extensive Super Curriculum and Co-Curricula programmes. They will then return to their boarding houses to freshen up, eat dinner, followed by supervised ‘Prep’ (homework). 

From 9pm until bedtime (depending on student ages) students have time to relax and enjoy boarding house activities, or to join additional evening ‘Super Curriculum’ activities: The Astronomy Club might meet after evening Prep to enjoy the clear night sky, for example, or a student may sit with a member of the House staff to work on English grammar.     

Harrow Appi follows a typical northern hemisphere international school ‘tri-mester’ academic year, with Japanese national holidays recognised where appropriate.
The specific academic calendar for 2022-23 will be published in early 2022. The broad pattern of terms and holidays is:

Autumn Term (1): late August – mid December
Winter Term (2): early January – mid April
Spring Term (3): late April – late June

At the end of each term there is a holiday. This is usually three weeks in December/early January and two weeks in April. The summer holiday is approximately two months long. During each term there’s a one-week mid-term break (though in the short Spring Term (3) this may be a long weekend).

During these term holidays (including mid-terms) students are expected to leave the campus. Most will choose to return home, enjoying time with family. Some international students prefer to stay with friends in Japan. The school will support travel arrangements, in liaison with parents.

In exceptional circumstances it may be possible to accommodate international students during small portions of the term breaks, for example accommodating a late departure or early return. However, the general expectation is that all students leave the campus for the full duration of each break. For those unable to return home or to stay with friends, the school helps to find a local ‘guardian’ in Iwate Prefecture to support the shorter holidays. 

From 9pm until bedtime (depending on student ages) students have time to relax and enjoy boarding house activities, or to join additional evening ‘Super Curriculum’ activities: The Astronomy Club might meet after evening Prep to enjoy the clear night sky, for example, or a student may sit with a member of the House staff to work on English grammar.     

TEACHER’S BACKGROUND

This is very normal across our schools, yes. Indeed, for Harrow Appi we experience strong interest from teachers and managers already working in Harrow schools, both in Asia and London. Historically, teachers from Harrow School, London, have moved to teach in one or more of our international schools.

Our Head Masters/Mistresses are at the heart of each Harrow International School - ‘great schools have great leaders’! Therefore, the recruitment processes for our Heads are rigorous; we are confident that our Harrow Appi Head Master/Mistress will be an exceptional, visionary and experienced educator. 

Interviews for our Heads are conducted at Harrow School in the UK when possible and involve board members of Harrow School in the UK and the senior management of Harrow International. A multi-day induction into the ethos and standards of Harrow School is arranged to ensure our new Heads understand their role and responsibilities in ensuring Harrow’s quality of education.

All teaching staff are recruited through a rigorous selection process. A qualification recognised by the British Department of Education (‘Qualified Teacher Status’) or equivalent is required, as well as significant experience of teaching the British National Curriculum. An undergraduate degree in the subject specialism is a necessity (e.g., a Physics degree for a Physics teacher).

Each class is led by a specialist teacher. Dependent on the subject, there may be additional support from a technician. If the English language ability of the students requires it, there may be an additional language support teacher in the classroom. 

PATHWAY TO UNIVERSITY

Yes, very well. Many Harrow International students graduate to top US colleges and universities. A Levels are highly regarded by US colleges, often attracting advanced credit against Freshman courses. In recent years Harrow International students have been admitted to Brown, Tuffs, MIT, Yale, UCLA and Stanford, amongst other US colleges.

Yes, this can be strongly supported. Harrow International students from across Asia have been admitted to a number of prestigious Japanese institutions including Waseda, Tokyo Met, and Kyoto University. Our expert university guidance team supports each student with their application, wherever in the world they aspire to study, including Japan. Our ambition is to gain admission for a Harrow Appi graduate to Tokyo University as soon as possible. 

Each year Harrow International graduates receive offers from top British universities including Oxford, Cambridge, the colleges of London University (UCL, Imperial, LSE, Kings), Durham, Nottingham and Edinburgh. Additionally, a range of colleges in the USA, the best universities in East Asia, plus other global destinations such as Australia, Canada, Ireland, and Holland have been destinations for our graduates.

BOARDING

Full time boarding is a hallmark of a Harrow education. Harrow Appi will replicate the full boarding experience of Harrow School in the UK; all students will be full 7-day boarders, from Year 7 (our youngest students) up. The opening capacity is 312, the maximum capacity 920.

In terms of sport, students enjoy two distinct co-curricular (extracurricular) seasons: white and green.

The White Season focuses on winter sports. Our Ski Academy caters for skiers and snowboarders. Expeditioning, winter trekking, and ski-mountaineering will also be available to the more adventurous. All students will have training in safe techniques for traveling in the mountains in the winter, avalanche awareness for instance, and snow-shoeing.

The Green Season focuses on our Golf, Tennis and Cycling Academies, with high quality coaching and tuition. 

The Swimming Academy operates year-round, for recreational swimming and swimming for fitness, as well as for our elite swim team.

A very full range of other extracurricular activities is offered. Students are required to become fully immersed in the Co-Curricular programme, enjoying Creative and Performing Arts, Academic Stretch, Special Interest and Community Service activities, as well as many sports additional to our elite academies. 

All programmed coaching and instruction are included within the school fees. There may be additional fees where students elect for specialist one-to-one coaching or for additional elite training over and above normally programmed sessions.

Additional academic support will also be available to students in the evenings through structured prep/homework time.

Yes. All Harrow Appi students will be full time, seven day a week boarders, regardless, for example, of whether they come from Morioka, Osaka or Singapore.

Yes, absolutely. We need children with a wide range of interests. For those less motivated by sporting pursuits we offer a wide range of other activities.

We are particularly specialist in Creative and Performing Arts. Harrow’s Musical and Visual Arts programmes are renowned across the region with elite programmes for very able students and a wide range of groups, collaborations and events provided throughout the year.

There are also extensive opportunities for students to engage with our STEM and Digital Technology programmes (utilising our Digital Campus and Innovation Hub) and with our Community Service offering (a unique chance to have a huge impact on many peoples’ lives, both the contributor and recipient).

ADMISSIONS

For the 2022-23 academic year, Harrow Appi will open for students in Years 7 to Year 10 only.

PHASEYEAR GROUPAGEBIRTH DATE FOR
ACADEMIC YEAR 2022-23
PREPYear 711 to 121 Sep 2010 - 31 Aug 2011
Year 812 to 131 Sep 2009 - 31 Aug 2010
SENIORSYear 913 to 141 Sep 2008 - 31 Aug 2009
Year 1014 to 151 Sep 2007 - 31 Aug 2008
Year 1115 to 161 Sep 2006 - 31 Aug 2007
SIXTH FORMYear 1216 to 171 Sep 2005 - 31 Aug 2006
Year 1317 to 181 Sep 2004 - 31 Aug 2005

Please note: For the 2022-23 academic year, Harrow Appi will open for students in Years 7 to Year 10 only.

Students are asked to sit for a series of age-moderated tests in Mathematics, English, and Non-Verbal Reasoning. The results of these tests are benchmarked against the standards in our other schools. All of these tests are conducted in English. Transcripts and reports from the student’s current and previous schools are also reviewed. 

There will also be an interview with a senior member of the teaching staff.

Harrow Appi will open with classes in Years 7, 8, 9, and 10 (Grades 6, 7, 8, and 9).

We believe that every child’s application should be treated on its own merit, regardless of nationality. As such, we do not operate rigid nationality quotas. However, in order to create an international environment, we ensure that there is no dominant national or language grouping. The school will offer a diversity of national and linguistic backgrounds and a truly international environment.

Full detail of the school fees is available on our website here.

Classrooms vary in size but are generously apportioned; for example, the Science Labs are 100sqm. Aside from our specialist seminar rooms, no classroom is smaller than 60sqm.

The student-teacher ratio across the whole school is 1:8. 

Class sizes in the Prep School (Year 7-9) will be approximately 21, 18 for Year 10-11 (GCSEs) and Year 12-13 (A Levels). Class sizes will often be lower than these maximums. 

Harrow Appi students will be all-rounders. They will typically be academically strong, aiming to access some of the world’s best universities. However, importantly, they will also enjoy sports, the arts, and outdoor life. They will be active, energetic and self-motivated. They will relish the challenge of early morning violin, an afternoon run, or a night spent camping in the woods. They will be team-players, willing to support their peers. And, they’ll have the courage and resilience to keep going when things get tough, when it's a little cold on the mountain, or when they are finding their academic studies challenging. 

 

They will want to be the best Harrow students that they can be.

Please be assured that English is not the only criteria we use to evaluate students for admission. An English test forms part of the assessment, but it is only one part, along with the other components: mathematics, non-verbal reasoning and a face-to-face interview. Through this combination of assessments, we form an overall picture of your child and are then able to make a well-informed judgement of their ability to access a Harrow education.

 

That said, Harrow Appi students do need to be able to speak, read and write in English at an age-appropriate level. For example, they should be able to read and discuss a book in English aimed at a reader of a chronological age only slightly lower than their own. 

 

To evaluate your child’s suitability, we encourage you to join one of our educational consultations. We will then test your child’s English (and their mathematics and non-verbal reasoning skills) and will make an overall judgement of their readiness for a Harrow Appi education. We will also provide guidance as to how much additional study may be required before your child is ready and will recommend suitable English language tuition centres if needed.

 

For further information, please register your child for a pre-test here: harrowappi.openapply.com/roi

OTHERS

We are able to support students wishing to move between our schools, though each school has its own admissions tests. Transfer isn’t automatic but is something we assist with across our family of schools.

Harrow School in the UK is all male and has a strong interest from around the world. Students can apply to Harrow School but will be subject to the school’s usual assessment procedures. Several Harrow International students have been successfully transferred to Harrow UK in recent years, often for Sixth Form.

Yes, you will be very welcome to visit our beautiful school facilities. We will make arrangements for special campus tours when the site is operational. These visits will be publicised well in advance.

We will offer a range of options for transport to/from the school at the start and end of terms and for holidays. The school has a Transport Department to support students’ transport needs and we work closely with parents to ensure travel arrangements are safe and well organised, whether your home is in Japan or outside the country.

Chaperone services will be available from Tokyo Station for younger students and shuttle buses will operate to/from Morioka Station. Other pick-up options will be available according to each student’s individual need.

For international students, a range of airports can be considered in order to get home.

Shuttle bus services from stations local to Appi will be included in the school fees.

We have strict rules about where each student can go during the evenings and during their free time at weekends. These rules vary according to age and always take a ‘safety first’ approach, with parents kept closely informed. Older students are able to visit local shops in Appi as a privilege. There are supervised visits to towns and tourist sights at weekends.

Yes, of course. We welcome parents to visit Harrow Appi, though ask that these visits are planned well in advance and that they take place at appropriate times (weekends and evenings for example, not during the school day). You should communicate with your child’s House Master/Mistress to organise a visit.

We are pleased to confirm that the Appi Resort has a Harrow Appi Family Package which offers outstanding value for skiing, tennis, golf and other recreational pursuits. We hope this package encourages you to visit Appi to check in with your child, plus to enjoy the natural environment. Please request more details if interested in joining this programme.

Example Weekday Schedule

6:15 – 7:00am:Start the daySome students may join early Academy or Creative Arts sessions (e.g. swim training, morning run, or cello practice), or have an academic or English-language tutorial.
7:00 – 7:30am:Breakfast
7:40 – 8:00amMorning RegistrationRoll Call & Pastoral Meetings in the Boarding Houses
8:00 – 3:00pmAcademic LessonsLunch will also give opportunity for super curriculum or House activities (e.g. House Chess or Debate Club)
3:00 – 5:00pmCo-Curricular ActivitiesAll students will be required to undertake at least one co-curricular activity each day (Service work, Sport or Creative Arts); for some, this might include additional academic support.
5:00 – 6:00pmSuper CurriculumStudents might choose to join the Model United Nations (MUN), the Coding Club, the Philosophy Club or one of many other academic enrichment activities.
6:00 – 7:00pmDinner Once a month this will be formal
7:00 – 9:00pmPrepSupervised homework time, with academic and English language support, supported by Harrow teachers
9:00pm – 10:00pmSuper CurriculumBedtime routines start for our younger students. Older students have an additional opportunity to engage with Super Curriculum activities (e.g. The Astronomy Club might meet to enjoy the clear night sky, the Ski Race team might meet to discuss the weekend race programme)
10:00pm – 11:00pm
(age dependent)
Lights out

Weekend Schedule (Indicative Only)

Saturday

7:30 – 9:00amBreakfast & Morning RegistrationExtended and relaxed weekend breakfast
9:00 – MiddayMorning Co-Curricular ActivitiesE.g. in the White Season, a morning of ski training, in summer, a round of golf, a game of tennis, a mountain bike ride, piano practice, or time spent in the art studio.
Midday – 1:00pmLunch
1:00 – 5:00pmAfternoon Co or Super Curricular ActivitiesPerhaps a return to the ski slopes, some time on the golf driving range, some tennis coaching or maybe a relaxing afternoon painting or practicing a new song with band mates.

Alternatively, time to do some extra study or to play some light recreational sport, perhaps some football in the sports hall, or a swim or some landscape painting in Appi’s natural environment.
AfternoonSupervised Homework & StudyFor those not doing activities, an optional session for guided study, English-language tuition, and homework support with Harrow teachers
4:00 – 5:30pmSnacks & RelaxFree time to relax and recharge
6:00 – 7:00pmDinner
7:00 – 10:00pmEvening ActivitiesCard games, cinema night, a quiz, board games, listening to music, or House Activities in the Common Room.
10:00pm – 11:00pmBed & Lights out

Sunday

9:00am – 11:00amSunday Brunch Morning RegistrationAn opportunity to sleep in and enjoy an extensive brunch menu through to mid-morning.
MorningSupervised Homework & StudyFor those not doing activities, an optional session for guided study; English support and/or homework guidance with Harrow teachers.
11:am – 5:00pmCo or Super Curricular Activities & TripsSome students may enjoy the ski slopes, the golf course, the tennis courts, or a mountain hike. Others may prefer a supervised trip into Morioka for some shopping and a meal.
5:00 – 6:00pmFree timeTo relax
6:00 – 7:00pmDinner
7:00 – 10:00pmEvening ActivitiesA focus on relaxation to end the week, perhaps a movie, listening to or playing music or just chatting with friends about the weekend’s activities and events.
10:00pm – 10:30pmBed & Lights outAn earlier bed for everyone, preparing for the week ahead.

Note – These responses to FAQs are written in the present tense, though we are mindful that Harrow Appi opens to students from Year 7 to 10 in August 2022.

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