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The Harrison Groups

The Harrison Groups exist to provide extra stretch and challenge for academically able girls through workshops, presentations by visiting speakers and the girls themselves, informal discussion groups and attendance at events outside school. There are two groups: the Junior Harrison Group, from Y7 to Y11, and the Sixth Form Harrison Group. Membership is regarded as a privilege and honour.

The Junior Harrison Group

The Junior Harrison Group comprises approximately 20% of each year group who are invited to be members for one academic year. The girls are selected through a combination of criteria: MidYIS/YELLIS scores, staff recommendation and examination performance. Parents are involved and the lists are regularly reviewed. The girls have a varied and lively programme each term where attendance is monitored. It is expected that behaviour and academic work will be exemplary.


Medical Challenge Day – March 2017

In March Y10 Junior Harrison Group students attended the annual Merseyside Medical Challenge Day at John Moores University. The girls were teamed with students from other schools and set a series of medical related challenges such as ethics, diagnostics and CPR. There was also a lecture by medical students and junior doctors on university applications and life as a doctor. The students represented the school well, with six students receiving awards for their performance. Well done girls!


Young Apprentice Day 2015

The Year 9 Junior Harrison Group recently took part in this year’s Young Apprentice Day. Their task was to design a new product and pitch their ideas to a panel of judges to gain investment.
Prior to the day the girls had time to design their products and do some market research. On the day Mr Lawell gave the girls a lesson on business studies and the students spent the rest of the day designing an advertising campaign and writing their presentations to pitch to the judges, Mrs Robinson and Mrs Mee.
There were some very innovative ideas, including a car windscreen that automatically tints to reduce glare, a baby bottle that heats itself and a home testing kit that identifies vitamin deficiencies. The winner, however, was a company called Destination Hacked who invented an advertising system for trains that tracks the location of the vehicle and shows adverts and local information according to next train stop. The winning company was created by Ceci Power, Alice Fletcher, Antonia Comb and Hannah Jones.
Overall the day was a great success. The students learned a lot about business and all gave very professional pitches to the judges. Well done girls!


Junior Harrison Group Go Geocaching

If you go down to the woods today you may be in for a big surprise! Year 8 Junior Harrison Group girls went geocaching in Formby woodsand left behind MTGS treasure in the treasure boxes they discovered. Lots of Merchant Taylors’ schools’ teddy bears were left behind for the next geocachers to find! The girls navigated their way around using GPS units and compasses.


Science and Skulduggery: A Critical Thinking Course

The Year 8 girls of the Junior Harrison Group took part in a critical thinking course run by ‘Wiser Words’ of Oxford. The course served as an introduction to the philosophy of science. The pupils learned how to scrutinise arguments and challenge their validity through logic, interference, credibility of evidence and objective justification.

The Sixth Form Harrison Group

The Harrison Group in the Sixth Form continues the provision of stretch and challenge and membership is by self selection. This means that most of the Sixth Form girls are involved! As well as a termly programme of workshops and events, the girls choose to join 1 or 2 of the study groups on offer: Thinking Skills, Scientific Studies, Debate Group, Book Group and Current Affairs. There is a ‘Keynote Lecture’ each term by a distinguished academic or public figure where attendance is compulsory.


Key Note Lectures

‘Rock Guitar in 11 Dimensions’ by Dr M. Lewney
‘Ebola: bats, burials and Band Aid’ by Dr Frederick Nye
‘HIV/AIDS: has the tide turned? by Dr Paul Williamson
‘The Power of Nutrition’ by Mrs Maura O’Donnell
‘Challenging assumptions: questioning the ‘obesity epidemic” by Dr Bethan Evans
‘Battling brain bugs’ by Dr Rachel Kneen

‘What explains the rise of populist politics and where might it be taking us?’ by Dr. Stuart Wilks-Heeg


The Harrison Dinner 2017

This Upper Sixth celebrated their commitment to learning outside the curriculum at the annual Harrison Dinner. Milly Cadman bravely said Grace in Latin, whilst Kate Abramson and Rosie Solomon gave an excellent report on theHarrison Group and a very sincere vote of thanks. The evening was enjoyed by all the girls, staff and Dr Jenny Fox, who kindly joined us.

Harrison Dinner

The annual Harrison Dinner takes place in Dining Room at Merchant Taylors’ Girls’ School. This event is for the Upper Sixth girls who have been members of the Harrison Group during their time in the Sixth Form, attending lectures and workshops on a variety of topics, as well as making their own presentations to their peers and staff. It is a formal occasion with invited staff, guests and Governors.

Activities include:
Presentations after school on a variety of fascinating subjects.
A choice of study groups from Scientific Studies, Current Affairs, Debating Group, Book Group, and Thinking Skills.
Talks prepared by the girls on a subject of their choice.
The opportunity to attend Masterclasses on a variety of topics.
Once they join the group the girls are expected to make a commitment to be fully involved in the activities and we are always open to suggestions for other events.