We take an inside look at Harrow, one of the country's most prestigious schools, where past pupils include Winston Churchill and Benedict Cumberbatch.
Going beyond the school gates and into the classrooms and dormitories, Harrow: A Very British School gives an exclusive look into one of Britain's most recognisable schools. For the first time ever Harrow gave access to cameras to film over the course of the 2012/2013 school year in West Acre, one of the twelve school houses. The series is an in-depth look at life at the hallowed all-boys institution, the extraordinary world of traditions, and what it is like to be a modern boy in a British institution that boasts nearly 450 years worth of history.
The series opens as the peace of West Acre boarding house is shattered by the arrival of its 66 inhabitants. Veteran House Master, Martin Smith, is welcoming 14 new boys (or, as they're known at Harrow, 'Shells'), from as far afield as Malawi. It's a big day for the new arrivals who are used to living at home with their families. Wearing their Bluers (blazer), Greyers (trousers), and not forgetting the famous Harrow boater, the Shells attend a welcome speech from the Head Master in the historic 450 year old Fourth Form Room. Will seeing the names of hundreds of old boys, including Byron, Sheridan, and Winston Churchill, carved into the walls be an inspiration to the Shells or a daunting reminder of what they have to live up to?
Over the course of eight weeks, a variety of staff and pupils from West Acre feature from Matron Cate Bain, the new Shells, and the competitive sixth-formers.