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What says..

More rounded and less single-mindedly academic than some of its competitors, with a broader range of ability. Inspiring and personalised learning are further draws for parents. ‘They have this ability to bring out the best in every child – they nurture talent rather than expecting pupils to already be really swotty and amazing,’ said one. While pupils are expected to drop some or all the extras at the doorsteps of other schools in favour of the academics, quite the opposite happens here. The only thing that may hold them back…

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What the school says...

John Lyon is an outstanding independent co-educational London school that has a richly deserved reputation for providing an excellent all-round holistic education. Located in Harrow-on-the-Hill, we combine high academic standards with a broad, varied and inclusive extra-curricular programme, with focus on excellence in sport and the arts. We also offer exceptional and compassionate pastoral care. The School is a friendly and purposeful place. Learning is both broad and deep, and we offer a unique education that embraces opportunity and excellence both within and beyond the classroom. At John Lyon, every pupil matters.

2021 marked the beginning of co-education at John Lyon, with girls joining us for the first time in our 145-year history. We also now offer an all-through education from Nursery right the way through to A-Level (3 to 18), thanks to our coming together with Quainton Hall School in central Harrow, which has become John Lyon’s prep school.

Academic excellence is at the very heart of what our 600 senior pupils who study here seek to achieve. Pupils’ academic standards and personal development were both rated the highest possible 'Excellent-Excellent' in our recent school inspection.

The curriculum sits at the centre of every working day. Pupils gain a good grounding in all the major academic subjects. Dedicated teachers work to develop learning skills, creativity and the ability to apply learning in all areas of life. Building on this platform, pupils perform well from the point they join and achieve excellent results in public examinations at GCSE and A-Level. Most gain places at leading UK universities and then move on into the workplace in a huge and varied range of valued professions.

A John Lyon pupil also gains from time spent outside the classroom. In particular, there is a strong reputation for music, art, drama and sport. Add to this an exciting co-curricular timetable focusing on each pupil’s sense of community, achievement and wellbeing, a range of more than 70 extra-curricular activities, and pastoral care that is second to none, John Lyon is a school designed to nurture high-achieving and happy children.

We understand that choosing a school can be a difficult process for both parents and pupils. At John Lyon we pride ourselves in our welcoming and helpful approach to admissions.

John Lyon offers a broad education to pupils who aspire to achieve excellence in all they do. As such, the admissions process at John Lyon tests academic ability, as well as containing elements we use to learn about character and potential. We look to offer places to able young pupils who have a great attitude to learning combined with a desire to be the best that they can be.

Entry is based on a combination of examination and interview (for Years 7 and 9) and on GCSE results and interview for Year 12. Our tests do not contain ‘trick’ questions and we aim to create a level playing field to allow future John Lyon pupils to shine.

It is expected that the majority of children who enter our Year 6 at Quainton Hall will automatically progress through each stage of the Prep School and transition into John Lyon Senior School. For this to be the case, children need to demonstrate that they have sufficient ability to cope with the demands of the curriculum at each next stage, and have the skills and maturity to do so successfully. In the transition from Prep to Senior, all children will sit an academic assessment, the results of which will assist in the smooth transfer from Year 6 into Year 7. Guidance will be provided to parents about the transition process from Quainton Hall Prep to John Lyon Senior School.

John Lyon is committed to widening access, enabling the children of those who could not otherwise afford the fees to benefit from our all-round independent school. Each year, the School makes available a number of means-tested bursaries to pupils who demonstrate exceptional talent and potential.

All pupils who take the 11+ or 13+ examination in January will be considered for an Academic Scholarship. Sixth Form Scholarships are awarded dependent on GCSE results. We also award a small number of Scholarships to candidates of outstanding ability and potential in drama, music and art, sport and STEAM.
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What The Good Schools Guide says


Since September 2023, Rose Hardy, previously headmistress at Haberdashers’ Girls’ School in Elstree and before that, head of St Margaret’s School in Bushey for five years. She was the first female head of the co-ed sixth form St Albans School before becoming second master - again the first female to do so. She read history at Somerville College, University of Oxford, then studied for a PGCE at the University of London. She is a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and completed an MEd in educational leadership.


At 11+, 75 per cent of pupils come from local primaries (about 250 apply from over 100 schools for 100 places, with increasing numbers making John Lyon their first choice). During the entrance exam day, prospective pupils sit English and maths exams, and take part in a...

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Please note: Independent schools frequently offer IGCSEs or other qualifications alongside or as an alternative to GCSE. The DfE does not record performance data for these exams so independent school GCSE data is frequently misleading; parents should check the results with the schools.

Who came from where

Who goes where

Special Education Needs

Condition Provision for in school
ASD - Autistic Spectrum Disorder Y
Aspergers Y
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorders Y
CReSTeD registered for Dyslexia
Dyscalculia Y
Dysgraphia Y
Dyslexia Y
Dyspraxia Y
English as an additional language (EAL) Y
Has an entry in the Autism Services Directory
Has SEN unit or class Y
HI - Hearing Impairment Y
Hospital School
Mental health Y
MLD - Moderate Learning Difficulty
MSI - Multi-Sensory Impairment
Natspec Specialist Colleges
OTH - Other Difficulty/Disability
Other SpLD - Specific Learning Difficulty
PD - Physical Disability Y
PMLD - Profound and Multiple Learning Difficulty
SEMH - Social, Emotional and Mental Health Y
SLCN - Speech, Language and Communication Y
SLD - Severe Learning Difficulty
Special facilities for Visually Impaired
SpLD - Specific Learning Difficulty Y
VI - Visual Impairment Y

Who came from where

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